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Nailing High Tea Etiquette

Apr 4, 2023  ·  2 min read

In the mid-1800s, it is believed that the Duchess of Bedford, one of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting, first began the social ritual of afternoon tea. A cup of tea served with a light refreshment of bread & butter with cake kept her appetite at bay between lunch and dinner. As this ritual was taken at a dining table or high table rather than a coffee or low tea table, it began to be called the ‘high tea’ we know today. 

So, let’s take lessons from high tea darling Christina Re, on the ritual and how to nail high tea etiquette. Here are Christina’s top six pointers (and they don’t include lifting your little finger). 

  1. Firstly, always pick up your cup and saucer together – holding the saucer in one hand and cup in the other.
  2. Contrary to popular belief, the ring and little finger should not be extended but should rest by curving gently back towards your wrist.
  3. After stirring, place your spoon quietly on the saucer, behind the cup, on the right-hand side under the handle. Never sip your tea from the spoon or place your finger in your mouth to taste your dessert.
  4. Never dip a scone in jam or cream. Pretend it is a dinner roll. Break off bite-size pieces and add the jam or cream on your own. Scones are not to be eaten with a fork or cut with a knife.
  5. Take small bites. Never stuff the whole sandwich or dessert in your mouth even if it appears small enough or terribly delicious and irresistible!
  6. Make sure you have fun, create stylish memories and nurture yourself with the things that make you feel good. 

“It’s the little things, the finishing touches that turn ordinary into extraordinary.” Christina Re 

Now you’re set to round up the crew and put these top tips into action at QT Perth. We have three-tiers of mouth-watering treats ready to be devoured (in small bites of course). Oozing with elegance in the sophisticated Sorrento setting of Santini and for the month of April – this is no regular High Tea. We’re serving a Chocolate High Tea to hit every sweet spot imaginable!  


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