Afternoon Tea and High Tea - whats the difference?

Tea consumption increased dramatically during the early nineteenth century and it is around this time that Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is said to have complained of "having that sinking feeling" during the late afternoon. At the time it was usual for people to take only two main meals a day, breakfast, and dinner at around 8 o'clock in the evening. The solution for the Duchess was a pot a tea and a light snack, taken privately in her boudoir during the afternoon.


Traditionally, the upper classes would serve a ‘low' or ‘afternoon' tea around four o'clock, just before the fashionable promenade in Hyde Park. The middle and lower classes would have a more substantial ‘high' tea later in the day, at five or six o'clock, in place of a late dinner. The names derive from the height of the tables on which the meals are served, high tea being served at the dinner table.  Cream Tea, on the other hand, is known to be a Cornish affair, served with warm scones, local jams and local cornish clotted cream.  


Nowadays and sadly, Aftenoon Tea is considered to be a tourist attraction.


However, we, the Haggerston Tearoom Community, are actively re-inventing it, here in Hackney, as a time to sit down, rewind, relax, chat with friends, over a pot of freshly brewed leaf tea, a toastie and a cake.  No pomp or ceremony, just a time to stop for tea, with friends.


So whatever the weather, make time for tea and friends, at the Haggerston Tearoom!

Contact us

Our normal opening hours are:


Monday to Friday 11am – 4pm
Saturday 11am – 4pm
Sunday 11am – 2pm


The Haggerston Tearoom

224 Haggerston Road
Hackney, London E8 4HT

 Tel: +442072492213



Latitude 16/07 to 22/07
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