Thursday, March 11, 2010

"High Tea" Disaster

From the same part of the world where people live who thought this monstrosity was a good idea, we now have...

Ta-Daaaaa! The Candleabra Teacup Dustcatcher Thingummy!

I won't mention the magazine this appeared in, because I generally love their sense of style, but...Seriously, people? Like, where are you going to store that eyesore when you come down from your caffeine-induced, too-many-pots-of-tea high?

And exactly what demographic do you think this is going to appeal to? Post-menopausal ladies with too many cats? Old maids (of both sexes) who gush over All Things Useless? Thirty-something mommy bloggers with waaaaay too many glue guns in their crafts closet?

Not to mention, people, that "High Tea" is NOT, I repeat, NOT the phrase to describe a lovely afternoon meal with dainty things to eat. That is properly called "Afternoon Tea."

"High Tea" is a British working-class, hearty, last meal of the day traditionally eaten by farm and factory workers and other blue-collar laborers after work, about 5 or 6 o'clock. It features hearty, lowbrow fare, including eggs, meat, and cold fish.

"Afternoon Tea" is a midafternoon, light meal, created in the 17th century by the British aristocracy, featuring delicate sandwiches and sweets. It was designed to help hungry, high-class tummies suffer the long wait between luncheon and dinner.

But don't take my word for it. Look it up.

Or, go ahead and take my word for it! I got it from the horse's mouth, so to speak, in 1983, when I took a weekend U.C.L.A. Extension course, "The English Way of Tea." No less an authority than Samuel Twining--as in Twining's of London tea purveyors--served as our guest lecturer and lay this high-vs.-afternoon distinction before us.

Man, that was a tea-soaked, wonderful day! For some reason, I kept the program:

Anyhow, folks, for the sake of humanity, wise up: Don't create ugly crafts from teacups. Drink some Lapsang Souchong from them instead.

And if you add some crustless sandwiches and itty-bitty cookies or scones, don't make the mistake of calling it High Tea.

'Cuz it ain't.


  1. That's tellin' it like it is! The only thing I've ever seen that begins to compare with THIS thingamajig was being sold in a local wild bird/garden store: an assortment of individual tea cups stuck on a slim piece of metal that was meant to "plant" in one's garden with birdseed in the cup to attract birds. Strange.

  2. Okay, I feel a little argumentative saying this but whilst I do totally agree that things should be called by their right name (and also that that particular eyesore is definitely an ugly mistake) I'm currently holding an afternoon tea as a raffle prize that I've been forced to refer to as a high tea due to the fact that I live in a small, uninformed rural town who identify better with the brain bleeds sometimes in this place : )

    1. Ha ha! No need to apologize. As an English Literature major, one thing I've learned is that language flows. It changes. I still cringe slightly when I hear "high tea," "I couldn't care less," "ECKS-etera, and other garblings of English language, but, oh well. Thanks for reading my post. Let me know how the tea turned out? (P.S. Your blog is adorable.)



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