Deciding to take tea may come in many different forms. Besides all of the different kinds of tea, there are several different types of tea times.
“Elevenses”-Some tea rooms Elevenses, which is the English equivalent of our America Coffee Break. A nice little snack and a pot of hot tea help to get you through the morning.
"Cream Tea"- This is a simple tea. It contains a menu of scones with clotted cream, lemon curd and jam, as well as lots of wonderful tea to drink. What a wonderful way to make an afternoon special! Scones are delicious and not too difficult to prepare. It’s a quiet respite to have alone, or with a friend.
Most Americans call them scones, which rhymes with “stones”. The English pronounce them to rhyme with “lawns”. However you chose to say it is fine. They are still delicious! We Americans often slice the scone in half horizontally and spread the cream and jam across the entire scone. Most English people eat them as they do toast: they cut of a bite-size portion at a time to spread the cream and jam on to eat. It is a more delicate way to eat them, but may take more time!
"Afternoon Tea" or "Low Tea"- This is what most of us think of when we think of having a tea. Dainty sandwiches and savories are served, usually on the bottom tier of a three-tier server. Next come scones and breads with cream and jam. The top tier is usually reserved for desserts: lots of little delicious sweets like petit fours, lemon bars, and tartlets, and don’t forget the chocolates!
While it may be tempting to eat from the top down with dessert first, proper etiquette would start with the savories and sandwiches- and yes, the crusts are cut off. The order may be altered if a serving tier is equipped with a dome to keep the scones covered and warm.
"High Tea"- This is not a fancier tea, as is often mistaken. High tea is usually what we would consider supper. It’s a heartier meal than the snacks of an afternoon tea.
One way to keep them separate is to remember that Afternoon Teas would often served in parlors and living rooms off of low serving tables, like our coffee tables. High teas would be a meal served at the high table, or dinner table.
"Royal Tea"- This is usually the same menu as an Afternoon Tea with the lovely addition of a glass of sherry or champagne. Maybe it would be good with a glass of Raspberry Cordial, or Currant Wine...