High Tea at Riviera on Vaal


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Do you know where high tea originated from? Not in South Africa, that’s for sure, and definitely not at the Riviera on Vaal Hotel, even though it is enjoyed at the hotel quite often.

The story of high tea starts way back to the 18th century in Britain. Anna Russel, the Duchess of Bedford and lifelong friend of Queen Victoria, started the original afternoon teadue to noon meals that became skimpier and dinners that were served fashionably late. She would have her servants sneak in a pot of tea with a few breadstuffs at around four in the afternoon. Later she started inviting friends over for an additional afternoon meal which consisted of small cakes, bread and butter sandwiches, assorted sweets, and tea off course. This became so popular that she later named it “Tea and a Walking the Fields.” During the Industrial Revolution, families would come home from work exhausted and find the table set with all kinds of meat, breads, butter, pickles, cheese and tea. This meal was mainly for the working men of that time and they mostly enjoyed the meal while standing or sitting on high chairs. Due to the fact that the tea was not served at the lower tea tables anymore, but rather on higher ones, this late afternoon meal became known as the high tea as we know it today.

High tea snacks then evolved into a larger selection including not only the traditional breadstuffs and small cakes, but also meats, pickles, cheese and relishes.

Riviera on Vaal surely knows how to cater for high teas in South Africa. With a lovely venue beside the Vaal River, it is easy to fit into the “Tea and Walking the Fields” scenario. Book a high tea at Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club on Saturdays and indulge in their wide variety of tea time snacks.

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