You know your friends and family best, what they love and what they would want to enjoy for afternoon tea. With this in mind, here are some expert tips on how to host and prepare a high tea with a difference that will leave a lasting memory with your guest.
While scones are regular treats at a high tea, the head pastry chef at the Palazzo Hotel at Montecasino, Marco Gaspar, says they were not a common feature of early high teas.
“Scones were introduced as a staple only in the late 20th century,” he says. “High tea has come a long way since then with the modernisation of certain items while keeping the old world charm of a classic high tea alive by way of the reinventing of certain foods or items.
“Today high tea is usually enjoyed as an occasional indulgence or to celebrate a special event such as a birthday, kitchen tea or baby shower, or as a get-together with a group of friends.”
In terms of trends, Gaspar says high teas have become a lot more creative because of the variety of teas available.
“Flavoured teas now range from organic herbal teas to teas in an espresso format (for example caffeine-free red espresso or rooibos espresso), and with the ever-growing popularity of health and well-being, more and more people are turning to tea as a healthy alternative for a hot beverage.”
Gaspar says what is important to consider when hosting your own high tea is the location, your guests’ diary requirements, the time of day and the season.
“Once that has been established, you can start preparing all your items so that they are ready for the tea party. Start with the cakes and sweet items, as they usually take longer to prepare.
“Then decide how you are going to present all the items, how you will be finishing and garnishing them, assembling and cutting your delicate sandwiches and, most importantly, having a wide range of teas consisting of a rooibos, black tea, flavoured teas, a green tea and chamomile.
“Once that has all been done, you are ready to plate and serve your delicious creations.”