High Tea Etiquette

As society has evolved from the bygone era of corsets and parasols, etiquette has also undergone a renaissance.

Just as hand-written hand-delivered invitations have been largely replaced with the Facebook group invite, certain traditions have also been been replaced or modernised.

Here’s our top ten etiquette tips for a modern day high tea:

  1. Dress. High tea calls for a smart dress code. A nice dress with a string of pearls is a great combination. Jeans and thongs should be avoided.
  2. Timeliness. It may be acceptable to ‘rock up whenever’ to a party, however for a high tea it is important to arrive on time so the food service can begin. Being on time shows respect and courtesy to the host and other guests.
  3. Mobile phones. It is bad manners to force other guests to endure your Britney ringtone, or listen to your mum interrogating you about why you’re not married, so switch off your phone.
  4. Napkins. Once seated, drape the napkin over your lap and use it to catch crumbs or dab the corners of your mouth. When you are leaving, place the napkin on the left side of the plate.
  5. Manners. Leave the expletives at behind for the day and engage in some good old fashioned conversation. Use eye contact, don’t interrupt, and try to include those around you in the conversation.
  6. Food service. The host should always serve guests before themselves, and offer the last piece before devouring it.
  7. Tea drinking. Quietly stir the tea with your teaspoon, then place on the right side of the saucer. Hold your teacup daintily with your fingers at the handle, and sip (don’t slurp) your tea.
  8. Champagne. If champagne is served, hold the glass at the stem. Cradling the glass will cause the champagne to heat and lose it’s bubbles.
  9. Relax. High tea is about enjoying the finer things in life with those important to you.
  10. Gratitude. Always thank the host for inviting you to the event.