Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Afternoon Delight - High Tea

I’m not talking about the 1976 #1 song made famous by the Starland Vocal Band. For some people, the traditional British Afternoon Tea, is a way of life that has been going on since the mid 1800’s. In the United States we call it High Tea.  I was introduced to the concept in the middle 1980's.
While I would sneak into my local McDonald's for an afternoon pick-me-up, some people, more affluent and sophisticated people were enjoying an afternoon cup of tea.
It's not just a cup of tea that I'm talking about, in a world I never knew existed before, I'm talking about waiters in tuxedos serving guests seated at lace covered tables with pure white linen napkins, and a multilevel tiered assortments of biscuits, scones, crumpets, dainty one or two-bite finger sandwiches, and decadent one or two bite pastries.
 
One year, way back in the middle  1980s, or the decade of big hair bands, I was able to take my mother to the Palm Terrace at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, where we enjoyed their version of High Tea. To say that Mom was in heaven would be an understatement.
Drinking tea from what I would call miniature fine China tea cups, with my pinkie finger extended to heaven, as if that were the way to get in, is not my cup of tea. I'm more of a big mug in hand kind of guy.
High tea is to many people an afternoon delight. It was during a High Tea that I enjoyed my first crumpet and a scone. The crumpets were served with gourmet jams, preserves, and whipped butter. The  crumpets were similar to an English muffin and the scones were like sweetened country biscuits that reminded me of Irish Soda Bread. The next level was finger sandwiches, filled with cucumbers, radishes, egg salad, tuna salad, and ham salad, just to name a few. For the sweet tooth, there was an assortment of miniature pastries. It was here that I enjoyed my first petit fours.  Petit fours are miniature, decorated bite-sized cakes.
It was at High Tea that I realized that this was a life style that I could get accustomed to. I often wish that I had been born rich, instead of so damned good looking. LOL! There's another first, I used LOL for the first time. The tea that was served was a house blend that I really didn't care for. I'm more of a Lipton green or black tea kind of guy. My choice for gourmet tea is English Breakfast Tea.
Why not whip up a batch of your favorite egg salad, chicken salad, tuna salad. or lobster sandwich filling, grab some good sturdy bread and relax. Make a pitcher of ice tea and relax poolside. It's tea time!
Lobster rolls
© TMelle 2015

4 comments:

Marianne Smith said...

I remember high tea very well. Mom & I also visited the Drake for High Tea. We loved the yummy pettifours too. Thanks once again for taking me down memory lane.

Anonymous said...

I loved the pix of the sandwiches. I'm reading a series on England during the world wars and this helps concretize the scenes of afternoon tea.

My Lyrics said...

The creativity that how the sandwiches was designed make it looks awesomes!!... drool!!!


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