Have High Tea in the 1800s and We'll Tell You How High Maintenance You Are

Zoe Samuel

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

High tea is a British concept that was originally about hunters returning too late for a regular teatime, typically between 4-5 p.m. As they would come in cold, probably wet, and hungry, they didn't always want to wait until a formal dinner time (usually 7.30 p.m. or even 8.30 p.m.) to munch on something. 

It was also the name of a meal eaten by poorer people who couldn't take a break for teatime and had to wait longer to have their afternoon tea, meaning they needed something a little more substantial. In Scotland, it is more like a regular afternoon tea, but instead of just typical teatime fare, it includes a savory item or too like a cheesy pastry, to fill you up against the damp and cold. It was so popular in England that many people from working-class backgrounds still refer to their evening meal as "tea."

High tea is thus a glorious combination of "low" tea - that is, the kind you eat on comfy chairs or, weather permitting, in the garden - and dinner. It involves a delicious pot of hot tea to heat your chilly insides, as well as teacakes such as Swiss roll and French fancies, and perhaps a couple of scones and some sandwiches. What makes it really amazing is the way it also includes something more hearty, like a meaty pastry, Scotch eggs, or a slice of meat pie.

Time to nosh on your own high tea, and we'll see how hard you are to please!

What time is high tea?

What are you going to wear?

Who else is there?

How will the tea be served?

What sandwiches will there be?

Where will you eat?

Who will serve the food?

What will you talk about?

How long will it last?

What will the sandwiches rest on?

Will there be coffee?

What lighting will there be?

Where will the dog sit?

What will you put in your tea?

How will the tea be brewed?

Will the china match?

What sweet items will there be?

What will the table look like?

How will people be invited?

What entertainment will there be?

This being the 1800s: does the house have heating?

If politics comes up, what will you discuss?

Will you have any guests from different social backgrounds?

Who will tidy up?

Will the kids be welcome?

What sort of savory item will there be besides sandwiches?

Will you ever go out for high tea?

Will the men have time to change?

Who are you trying to impress?

What is the worst thing that could happen at high tea?

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