The tradition of high tea goes back to the 19th century England and it was strictly for the wealthy. They would have tea in the late afternoon with sweets and finger sandwiches. Tea would be served in the parlor or in the garden, weather permitting and it was a bit of a snobby social occasion. Today high tea or afternoon tea is a bit of a novelty. You can find high tea usually served in one of the older fancy hotels like the Plaza Hotel in New York. If you want high tea in Vancouver then head to the Wedgewood Hotel.
Here tea can be served in the lounge area of the hotel, while the chairs and set up are comfortable the large television in the background is more than a little out of place. The service is excellent however and rather being rattling off a list of teas or bringing a menu the server will bring over a tea box and you have the ability to choose your own.
The selection of teas come from The Tealeaves Company and you have a pretty big selection of teas to choose from. If you want something light and fruity then try the Pear Tree Green Tea. If you want something more traditional then you can select the Earl Grey. The teas are excellent and you can serve them clear or with milk and sugar.
The Finger Sandwiches
High tea would not be complete without some of the delicate finger sandwiches that come with it. There is an excellent array of finger sandwiches that included:
- Organic egg salad with chives and English mustard
- Smoked salmon with cream cheese
- Baby English cucumbers and cream cheese
- Tandoori chicken
While salmon, egg and cucumber sandwiches are staples of high tea, they have incorporated more modern choices into the tradition of high tea that are delicious. It is a perfect blend of the old with the new.
Pastries are of course a staple of high tea and the Wedgewood won’t disappoint. The pastries are light and flaky and the fresh scones will crumble in your mouth. They do serve tarts with seasonal fruit, mini chocolate eclairs, cakes and of course macarons.
Bear in mind that high tea used to be a tradition of the English nobility so this is not going to be a $2 cup of tea with a $3 muffin that you get at Starbucks. High tea will run you about $50 per person. If you want to spoil your mother for her birthday or another special occasion then it is perfect.