High Tea that was formerly served at the Four Seasons. Photo: Gauteng.net

The tradition of high tea in Britain can be traced back to the 1700s when the tea was served between 3 and 4 oçlock for working men. It was an afternoon meal, designed to be taken standing or sitting-hence the ''high''. The meal evolved gradually and became more for the upper classes of ladies and gentlemen and would serve as a meal to be taken before attending the theatre or even playing cards. 

The tea is usually taken with cakes, scones and even cheese on toast. While its exact origins in South Africa cannot be traced specifically, the biggest link is the country's colonial history with Britain. Today,High Teas are served by a number of South African hotels as a recreational activity and a treat, an event eating out. We bring you options of where in Johannesburg you can find your best high tea experience.  (In no particular order)

1. Crabtree and Evelyn,The Tea Room, Fourways

If you're looking for a lovely authentic afternoon tea experience, then the Tea Room is for you. The menue promises expertly blended black teas and herbal infusions. The store also offers baked treats such as hand-baked crunch biscuits and butter cookies, fresh scones and selected breakfast and lunch options are served with the tea. 

 2. Yswara Tea Room, Maboneng Precinct

While this deviates slightly from the tradition of High Tea, the Yswara tea store in downtown Johannesburg presents the ultimate trip for tea lovers. It's an opportunity to taste some of the most delicately blended teas that represent the best of Africa and it's rich history. Consuming some of the teas at Yswara is an experience. They do not unfortunately serve baked goods or sandwiches to go with the tea. 

3. Marion on Nicol 

This hotel provides a more classic tea experience that allows you to enjoy the tea with delights such as smoked salmon sandwiches, chocoloate truffles and strawberries and cream. Booking is however, strongly advised. 

4. JHB Culinary and Pastry School, Maboneng

The school has an onsite restaurant where students sell the products they produce. Savory treats and sweet treats are the order of the day at a cost of R160 per head. It will be a thrilling and tasty experience. 

5. 54 on Bath Hotel, Rosebank  

This promises to be the perfect tea experience with treat set up and service to match. You can expect treats such as traditional scones served with jam, smoked salmon finger sandwiches and precious pieces of culinary art, in the form of tiny deserts. 

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