The difference between “High Tea” and “Afternoon Tea”

Our Wai’oli Tea Room is known for serving its “afternoon tea” – which is sometimes confused with “high tea.” Do you know what the difference is between the two?

While today, both terms are used to describe an afternoon repast, the origins of the terms are very different. High Tea referred to the Victorian working man’s last meal of the day – which allowed him to get to bed before dark. It consisted of different meats, salads, breads, and cheeses and served as a meal between lunch and breakfast.

Afternoon Tea, however, was a custom for higher society, between lunch and dinner. You were served scones and jams, finger sandwiches and tea cakes, and of course, tea! Wai’oli Tea Room first started out with afternoon teas as part of the vocational training for the Children’s Home.

You can still enjoy afternoon tea at Wai’oli if you want a bit of history and nostalgia! Stay tuned for more facts about the historic tea room in the weeks to come!

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