Food and Drink, The DC 100, The Features

DC Omnivore 100: #37, Cream Tea

Scones, The Jefferson

"Scones, The Jefferson" by Jenn Larsen on Flickr

It’s time for another item from the DC Omnivore 100 list of the top one hundred foods every good omnivore should try at least once in their lives.

Cream tea, high tea, afternoon tea… what’s it all about? And why does the Omnivore 100 list have “cream tea” instead of one of the other terms? I just remembered seeing little signs for “cream tea” while wandering around cute villages in the Cotswolds, but have never seen it used around here. Then there’s the constant “high tea vs. afternoon tea” debates that erupt on food forums, everytime someone asks where to get “a proper high tea” in this town.

As luck would have it, last night at the Women’s Chef & Restaurateurs Awards gala, I had the pleasure of meeting an actual tea sommelier! Cynthia Gold explained the difference between these three terms, with some history to boot. Like so much food lore, the actual reasons were not at all what I expected.

It all comes down to table heights.

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