Mmm, high tea! Or afternoon tea, as it’s more commonly known. But what it is? Usually served with good, old English breakfast tea but sometimes (and if you’re feeling fancy) accompanied by Prosecco, the traditional afternoon tea contains all manner of bite-sized delights.
Think small, crust-less sandwiches (sometimes just cucumber-filled, containing salmon, or cheese, or even ham and mustard), scones as large as your head, and a sponge cake or two. Are you salivating yet?
The thing is, there are few things more decadent than an afternoon tea – but they can be expensive! So, why shell out when you can enjoy high tea at home?! Here are our top tips for creating an afternoon tea to be proud of – tea drinking pinkie finger at the ready!
Find Some Quirky Crockery
An afternoon tea isn’t really an afternoon tea if it isn’t served on mis-matched china, is it? So, dig out your finest crockery – and the essential three-tier cake stand – and arrange it nicely on a table, doilies and all!
Master the Perfect Scone
Shop-bought cakes are fine, but if you’re going to do one thing right it has to be the scone! BBC Good Food has a recipe for perfectly-fluffy scones – and it’s simple to follow! Don’t forget to whip up your own jam on the hob, too, to add that extra special touch.
The question on everyone’s lips when it comes to scones is this, though: do you put the jam on first, or the cream? You decide!
Crust-less is the Only Way to Go
If you’re making sandwiches, the easy way to ensure they look that bit fancier is to cut off the crusts – plus, it’s extremely traditional. If you want to go all-out, opt for finger-shaped sandwiches and fill them with cucumber only. Want to be a bit more extravagant with your fillings? Smoked salmon and cream cheese is the perfect combo!
Get the Kids Involved
Make light work of the baking by getting the kids involved – they’ll love it. Encourage them to decorate fairy cakes with coloured icing and sprinkles, if you’re happy to opt for a less-than-traditional afternoon tea, that is. Not much time on your hands? As we say, shop-bought cakes are fine; just try making the scones and you’ll be glad you had a go.
Try Your Hand at Pattiserie
Consider yourself a ‘Star Baker’ – Great British Bake Off Style? Then you’ll want to have a go at all manner of perfect patisserie. Click BBC Good Food’s links below for some of the site’s favourites:
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Planning to throw your own afternoon tea? Make sure you let us know how you get on! We’d love to hear.
Until next time…