Tea has become a popular drink of choice whether it be hot or cold, day or night, but the British have a distinct way with their tea and treats.
While the combinations all include a pot of tea, the variations are derived by the accompanying cuisine.
The most widely known of these variations is, without a doubt, the "Afternoon" Tea. Changing the offerings of savories or sweets, this tradition turns into a variety of different meals from different regions of Great Britain such as High Tea, Cream Tea, and Elevenses.
Afternoon Tea: This essentially British tradition is a light meal served during the mid-afternoon hours consists of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and cakes. Dating back to the early nineteenth century, this custom has proved it is here to stay and can be enjoyed not only in Great Britain but also in many parts of the world.
High Tea: Although often confused with Afternoon Tea, especially by Americans, this Tea is traditionally different than the famous light and sweet mid-afternoon meal. High Tea gets its name from the high tables it was originally served upon to the working class at the conclusion of the long and laborious workday. This meal is more closely related to supper than Afternoon Tea, consisting of heavier, hot, and savory dishes such as meat pies or fish with sides of vegetables and breads.
Cream Tea: Primarily focused on tea and scones with clotted cream and jam, the Cream Tea is a much simpler yet no less satisfying version of Afternoon Tea. Less formal, less expensive, and faster than the three-course traditional fare of Afternoon Tea, it can be enjoyed on a more regular basis and can be found in many cafés and coffee shops throughout Great Britain.
Elevenses: This late morning snack gets its name from the time it is usually enjoyed, around 11:00 a.m. It typically consists of a cup of tea accompanied by a piece of cake or a few biscuits.
As you can see, tea has steeped its way into many different occasions, crossing social classes, counties, and countries. Whichever time of day you decide to take your tea and whatever fare you choose to accompany it, you can derive a sense of pride from taking part in and carrying on a tradition that is sure to persist for centuries more to come.
Here at MaryAnn's, we pride ourselves in serving Afternoon (or the American-version, High Tea) in a traditionally British way with a modern flair. Using Dilmah® and Tea Forté brand teas insure that your tea experience is of the highest quality. Our chef is always seeking a twist on the traditional for the menu selections.
We serve Afternoon (High) Tea every day of the week with a 48-hour advance reservation. We have four different selections each season. Please see our menu for full descriptions of our seasonal selections.
material shared from http://www.smittenbybritain.com/the-difference-between-afternoon-tea-high-tea-cream-tea-and-elevenses/