Sunday, December 9, 2012
It's Tea Time
"High Tea" is a term many have heard but do you know what it really stands for? High Tea is not the afternoon snack you may have been lead to believe. Instead High Tea is the evening supper; High as in high clock hours or high table to eat the evening meal. "Low Tea" as in the lower clock hours or low coffee table to hold service is served as the afternoon snack to tied one over until a formal dinner
I experienced Low Tea for the very first time this weekend to unofficially kick off the beginning of the holiday shopping season.
Low Tea includes small, light savory fare such as open faced sandwiches with a whisper of margarine and slivers of smoked salmon or cucumber sandwiches, lobster sandwiches, even egg salad on white bread with the crust removed. Sweets are more commonly included today with traditional creamy scones and fresh made fruit jams, colorful petit fours cakes, Devonshire cream, honey and lemon curd to spoon on to beautiful little cakes. Hot tea of your choice accompanies the treats served high on three tiered servers. The question frequently debated is does the milk get poured in your teacup first or tea first? If you are a true Anglophile, milk always follows your tea. Today, tea service is commonly available in luxury hotels and may be accompanied by sparkling wine (Champagne).
Neiman Marcus, San Francisco has a wonderful tea service served every day with the assortment of savory bite-sized smoked salmon, lobster and cucumber sandwiches, scones, carrot cake, chocolate cake, fresh raspberry mini pies and brightly colored petit fours. Christmas time is a wonderful experience in the circular Rotunda restaurant. The Christmas tree located in the center lobby of the store stands a thrilling five stories tall!! It is an awe inspiring display under a glorious stained glass ceiling and I dined at the top of the tree facing its gleaming star over looking Union Square and the holiday ice skating rink.
I guess this is a holiday tradition for many as there were other tables enjoying the same treat. The following day we encountered our friend Chelsea with her girlfriends on their way to Tea also at Neiman Marcus. My husband and I had such a wonderful experience we will likely try this again, perhaps in another city. I look forward to reporting back on my next tea service adventure, perhaps in New York City.
Posted by Miriam Kali-rai
Location: Left Coast Neiman Marcus, 150 stockton street , san francisco ca 94108