Happy Sunday my lovely readers, hope you are enjoying the sunshine! In this post I would like to talk about my love for High Tea and how I am trying to put a Persian spin on it ;p
My love for High Tea is as strong as my love for brunch! I love everything about it, the rich history, the tradition…having to use fancy china whilst holding your pinky up!! I’ve always been so interested in this quintessential English tradition of Afternoon Tea. In Iran we do have a similar thing called “Asrane” (Asr meaning afternoon) which is usually a light snack served with some tea but never to the calibre of High Tea.
I did some research and did you know that this British tradition began in the mid 1700s as an afternoon meal for the working class?! These working class folk would eat it either standing up or sitting on tall stools thus the term “High”. Later on…around 1840 to be exact it was introduced by a hungry Duchess! (Anna, the Seventh Duchess of Bedford) who clearly couldn’t wait for dinner time and needed a little something to keep her from getting hangry!! She started having her friends over around 3 in the afternoon and henceforth the concept of High Tea was born and become a tradition.
Now that we have dealt with the history portion of High Tea lets move on to the etiquette and some tips on how to host a great one so that you can be the hostess with the mostess!!
Firstly, one must have Tea! When you are hosting a High Tea DO make sure that you provide options for your guests. I like to serve a black tea like a French Earl Grey or an English Breakfast and also a Tisane like a Lemongrass/Ginger…anything with Ginger is always good 🙂 Tea is an important part of this tradition and one must pay respect to it. For large groups of guests, have multiple pots on hand and keep topping up and refilling their cups.
Secondly, the scones. There is no High Tea without Scones, they are a must and so easy to make. I like to fill mine with Albaloo Jam (Checkout my older post on “Albaloo” for the recipe) it adds that Persian touch!
The etiquette of High Tea is also in the order of eating the food. Finger sandwiches and savouries are first, followed by scones with jam and clotted cream and finally desserts and sweets.
Note: courses may not always be served on a three tiered stand in the same order, however the eating order still applies!
For my Persian take on High Tea, I like incorporating Persian flavours and touches to make it unique.
For example, I use Olevieh as one of the fillings for finger sandwiches. This is a very traditional Persian salad and makes the most amazing filling (checkout my previous post on “Olevieh” for the recipe). I also like using Koloocheh, these cookies are always very popular and you can make them in smaller moulds so that they are bite size and adorable. You can checkout this recipe on my previous post titled “Koloocheh”.
Another thing I like doing which is always very popular and impresses guests is having a signature drink. Whether it be a mocktail or a cocktail this addition is the perfect touch to enhance the experience for your guests. If you are looking to impress with a very unique and super easy no fuss recipe refer to my previous post on “Faloodeh” for the ultimate drink recipe…I got you covered 😉
Other things that I like to add when the S+S team hosts a High Tea is a cheese board (because who doesn’t love cheese???), a variety of fresh fruits and a cheesecake; homemade is preferable but not mandatory. These little extra touches hugely impact the calibre of a High Tea. Taking it from great to Ah-mazing 🙂
Finally, hosting a High Tea is not as hard as it seems. You just need to be organised and have good time management skills. Prepare some things like cookies and biscuits in advance as this will help you focus your time on the fresh items and things that are more time consuming.
Most importantly, the key to a fantastic High Tea is to enjoy it with great company. After all, that’s what makes the experience so special 🙂
Hopefully these tips will help you with hosting your next function. There are more than enough recipes provided for you to try and make your next party super fab!let me know how it goes. Till next time Xx