a day of busy sightseeing, nothing is more romantic than to slow
the pace. While there's always happy hour, another choice--and
a more nutritious one--is High
started in the 1840s and it is mainly found in England,"
explains Gavin Webster, Food and Beverage Manager of The
Montague on the Gardens, a romantic London property directly
across from the British Museum. "It's not just what you're
serving -- it's what it's all about that makes high tea special."
all about for lovers is the opportunity to unwind and reflect
on the day -- and the coming evening-- in a civilized way. The
event begins with tea, served in a pot that's preheated to stay
warm. Varieties may range from Ceylon to jasmine tea.
Tea is typically
served with sugar cubes; both tea and sugar were once the mark
of wealth. "They said that sugar and tea were two riches
that were savored because they were so expensive," explains
The Montague's food and beverage manager as he serves high tea
in a small solarium just off the lobby.
tea comes a tea stand, a silver multi-tiered tray which holds
finger sandwiches, pastries, and scones. Traditionally the lower
level holds the small cucumber or salmon sandwiches. "Sandwiches
are kept simply and rarely layered," notes Webster. "The
idea of the high tea is not really to fill yourself up; it's to
Rising a level
in the elegant tea stand, guests can partake of delicate sweet
breads and pastries before reaching the crowning glory: scones.
Served tucked beneath a protective scone warmer, the fresh breads
are served with clotted cream and raspberry jam.
high tea began as a little afternoon sustenance because of late
night dining, today's high tea has evolved into a elegant interlude.
cup of steaming tea as a slow drizzle looms over London, Webster
sums it up: "During winter, people like to get away from
the cold and have tea."