How many of you have been to high tea? With the royal wedding coming up, many traditions, including high tea are becoming popular. I have attended only a few, the best of which was at the Rasa Sayang* in Batu Ferringhi, Penang, Malaysia. But I have observed the importance of high tea at Wimbledon. Even when the tennis match is exciting and important, patrons of the All England Club leave their seats for high tea in their special, member’s only clubhouse.
First, let me say, it is not what you expect it to be. And second, it is even better than I ever expected!
Per Stacy Leaska: Now that Meghan Markle, an American, is set to walk down the aisle with Prince Harry, an arguably extra-British Brit, it’s perhaps time to start blending just a little bit of both cultures into our daily lives. The best place for Americans to start might be joining the well-known U.K. tradition of high tea. “The drinking of tea not only became a social event for the upper classes, it altered the time and manner in which they took tea,” U.K. site Afternoon Tea explains. “Afternoon Tea became the bridge between meals because many wouldn’t eat their evening meal until maybe 8pm. As such, Afternoon Tea became a ‘mini meal’ in itself.”
The site further explained that the tradition of drinking tea in the afternoon soon trickled down to the working masses, only on a slightly different schedule.
What is High Tea?
The drinking of tea not only became a social event for the upper classes, it altered the time and manner in which they took tea. Afternoon Tea became the bridge between meals because many wouldn’t eat their evening meal until maybe 8pm. As such, Afternoon Tea became a ‘mini meal’ in itself.
This was all well and good for the upper classes, but the working classes ran to a different schedule and a different budget. Tea was still quite expensive at the time and the working classes could not afford to waste it on anything other than necessities. A wearied factory worker wouldn’t arrive home until six in the evening, and when he did, he was famished! Thus, in the industrial areas of the UK (northern England and southern Scotland), the working classes evening meal evolved: high tea. (from the afternoontea.co.uk website)
Here is a list of places closer to home:
Davis, CA: Tea List
San Francisco, CA: The Rotunda (the best locally)
Atlanta, GA: Tipple & Rose Tea Parlor and Apothecary
Stony Brook, NY: Robinson’s Tea Room
Las Vegas, NV: Tea Lounge
Plymouth, MI: Sweet Afton Tea Room
Gold Hill, OR: The Teapot on Wheels
Chicago, IL: Palm Court
Miami FL: Cauley Square Tea Room
Granite, MD: The Granite Rose Tea Parlour
San Antonio, TX: Madhatters Tea House & Cafe
Oviedo, FL: The Lemon Lily Tea Room & Bakery
Georgetown, CO: Dusty Rose Tea Room
Denver, CO: House of Commons
Phoenix, AZ: Tipsy Tea Party
Rockville Centre, NY: Chat Noir
Richardson, TX: Bangkok At Beltline
Salem, MA: Jolie Tea Company
Toms River, NJ: 600 Main Bed & Breakfast and Victorian Tea Room
Oak Park, IL: Serenitea Cafe and Boutique
Scottsdale, AZ: Lobby Tea Court at the Phoenician
Annapolis, MD: Reynolds Tavern
Anoka, MN: The Mad Hatter
24 Ann Arbor, MI: TeaHaus
Philadelphia, PA: Mary Cassatt Tea Room
The Rotunda, a “remnant” of the old City of Paris department store, now the home of Nieman Marcus, is the closest place to me. Or Davis, CA. Take my word for it, go to the Rotunda, it will take you back to the old days of San Francisco, a place we call, “The City”.
# = The Rasa is the best hotel we have ever stayed at, and we were fortunate to do it twice! My personal preference is for champagne with sushi, and hot appetizers.