High tea is a delightful and sophisticated way to spend an afternoon with friends or loved ones. It is a tradition that has been enjoyed for centuries, and proper etiquette is essential to the experience. According to the Australian Etiquette Guide, proper etiquette is crucial to the high tea experience. This includes dressing appropriately, table manners, and respecting other guests.
“Besides providing the ideal cup of tea, afternoon tea etiquette requires paying close attention to detail and respecting tradition. We at Beach Umbrella think that small touches can make a big impact, which is why we offer stylish beach accessories as well as the knowledge and skills necessary to take any tea party to a new level of sophistication,” says lifestyle expert Isaiah Burke of Beach Umbrella—Australia’s top provider of fashionable, durable, and long-lasting beachfront gear.
Here are some guidelines for an enjoyable and proper afternoon tea experience.
While there is no requirement to adhere to a specific dress code when attending afternoon tea, it is strongly recommended that you at least make an effort to look presentable. The most appropriate mode of clothing is casual but tasteful, and it is unquestionably preferable to err on the side of being overdressed rather than underdressed. Dress pants can be worn with a collared shirt for men, while women can wear a dress skirt, dress pants, or trousers with a blouse. Men can also wear a collared shirt with dress shorts.
Setting the tables for afternoon tea is one of the most critical aspects of the overall experience. In most situations, the host is responsible for seating the guests, and couples should sit opposite one another when possible. Also, it is traditional for the host to take the place of honor at the head of the table, and the guests are expected to wait until the host has taken their seat before doing the same.
Tea is the centerpiece of an afternoon tea experience. The tea should be served hot, and the leaves should be loose. It is customary to brew the tea in a teapot and to fill it in delicate china teacups. The teapot should be lifted and held over the teacup when pouring the tea, with the spout facing the cup. The host should always pour the tea for their guests before pouring it for themselves.
Sandwiches, scones topped with cream and jam, and other cakes and pastries are the traditional fare offered during a high tea event. You must start by eating the sandwiches, then go to the scones, and finish with the sweets. Using a knife rather than a spoon when applying the cream and jam topping to the scones is also standard practice. Regarding beverages, it is common to serve tea, but other drinks, such as coffee, hot chocolate, or champagne, may also be provided.
While taking afternoon tea is a social occasion, starting a conversation with the other guests is essential. Avoid conversations about sensitive subjects or anything else that can make others uneasy. Using your phone or any other technological device while others enjoy their tea is also considered rude.
Here are some additional etiquette tips to keep in mind during a high tea experience:
Olinda Tea House is an excellent choice if you’re looking for the perfect place to enjoy afternoon tea. With stunning views of the Dandenong Ranges, this location offers a unique and peaceful environment to enhance your experience. Plus, we believe we have the best scones in town!
We recommend booking your high tea experience during the week, as weekends can be crowded, and the peace and tranquillity may be less present. Our high tea menu is extensive, and we have a variety of teas and beverages to choose from. You can also check out our high tea menu to see what’s available.
Contact us today using our easy online form or at (03) 9751 0556. So what are you waiting for? Reach out to us today, and let’s start brewing some delicious tea together!
article written by Maya Bishop