What is High Tea?

Spinnaker Tower has a range of experiences on offer, all set against our amazing views. One of the most indulgent is our delicious High Tea experience, served in The Clouds. Though what actually is High Tea?

What is High Tea and how is it different from Afternoon Tea?

While people often use the terms interchangeably, their origins are actually different.

Afternoon Tea was originally a social event for the upper classes. It was to bridge the gap between lunch and their evening meal. It was introduced by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in 1840. She always became hungry around four in the afternoon and couldn’t wait until dinner was served around eight (or later during the summer). She started asking for tea, bread, butter and cake be brought to her. This became a social event when she begun inviting friends to join her. In the 1880s it became a fashionable event with upper-class women changing into long gowns, gloves and hats. Afternoon Tea’s traditionally served finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, cakes, pastries and, of course, tea. A number of hotels have also become famous for their Afternoon Tea’s.

High Tea tray with scones, jam and clotted cream.
High Tea at Spinnaker Tower

However, High Tea was a necessary meal for lower classes. They returned hungry from long hours working in factories and similar physically exhausting work environments. It traditionally included more savoury items, such as pies and omelettes.

A Royal Daily Ritual

Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, was a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria. When the Queen learnt of the Duchesses new social event, she loved the idea. She would be served a light cake with buttercream and fresh raspberries (which has become known as Victoria cake). Queen Victoria had a residence on the nearby Isle of Wight, called Osborne House. The fantastic 23 mile radius view from Spinnaker Tower includes an astonishing look at the Isle of Wight, so you can try to spot Osborne House on your next visit.

Afternoon Tea is still a part of the Royal’s daily routine. The Prince of Wales even has a brand of teatime favourites, called “Duchy Originals”. The range, that includes teas and scones, focuses on promoting sustainability through the use of organic British ingredients.

Why High Tea at Spinnaker Tower?

With The Clouds cafe being 105 metres above the sea level, Spinnaker Tower’s tempting experience is quite literally in the clouds! This unique setting offers views like no other, whilst you indulge in this quintessentially British treat!

High Tea trays with the view from Spinnaker Tower in the background. Bottom tray: sandwiches. Middle tray: cakes. Top tray: scones.
Spinnaker Tower’s High Tea Epxerience

There is also a Brunch experience available for anyone who is more of a breakfast person. Both experiences must be booked in advance and include a delicious range of treats to be enjoyed, with the option to add a bottle of prosecco or champagne.

Sound delicious? Book yours at Spinnaker Tower now: https://www.spinnakertower.co.uk/high-tea/