what is high tea etiquette

what is high tea etiquette

What is High Tea Etiquette?

High Tea etiquette is an essential part of having an enjoyable experience with family and friends. It involves guidelines to ensure the highest standard of conduct and hospitality. High Tea typically consists of a selection of afternoon tea finger foods designed to fill hunger urging. A cup of tea, usually with milk and sugar, is also served to enjoy.

Rules For High Tea Etiquette

When attending a High Tea, etiquette is key. The following are some of the rules of High Tea etiquette society:

  • Always be modest and courteous. High Tea is a social event, present yourself in a manner that is respectful and appropriate.
  • Be prepared for a wide array of dishes. Not all High Teas are created equal. Therefore, keeping an open palate and willingness to try new things is essential.
  • Use the proper cutlery. Utensils are ordered in a specific way from the outside-in. Using the wrong utensil can be avoided by keeping the silverware to the outside and progressing inwards with each course.
  • Asking for food or ingredients is frowned upon. If there is something you cannot eat due to allergies or religious reasons, ask politely but do not demand special treatment.
  • Wait to be offered more tea or food. Even if the host has more than one cup of tea or a generous selection of food available, wait to be offered before indulging in more.
  • Display a “No thank you” attitude. If no more food or drink is wanted, do not be afraid to turn the offer down politely and decently.
  • Be mindful of conversation. High Tea is a time for polite conversation, not heated arguments or negativity.
  • Know when to leave. Leaving at the right time is also important for a perfect high tea etiquette. Saying goodbye to your host and helping in cleaning up or packing is a nice way to show your gratitude for an enjoyable time.


Whether simply having a friendly gathering or attending a formal High Tea, proper etiquette never goes out of style. Making an effort to abide by the rules of High Tea etiquette ensures the experience is enjoyable for all. Keep in mind the rules and enjoy the gathering!


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