High tea is a classic in the U.K. and a great way to catch up with friends or to enjoy an afternoon with your mum. Since my mom could not make it over the pond to London to visit, I decided to bring the afternoon tea to the states. High tea is available at most classy hotels in London, but most can be upwards of 20 pounds! So instead you could replicate a high tea at home.
I started by heading to my local Publix where I was delighted to find a whole British food section where I found Yorkshire Tea and PG Tips (not specifically great tea, but a breakfast tea seemingly found in any household in Britain). A good supplement would be a Twinning's English Breakfast, Earl Gray or perhaps some kind of Harney & Sons (my favorite of theirs is Paris) fruity tea if you don't prefer black tea.
In this section, I also found British scones to make (add raisins to make it more authentic). American scones can be found in most baked goods sections, but they aren't as soft or delightful to taste in my opinion.
To go with the scones clotted creme and jam is a must. I would say strawberry or raspberry jam is easily found, but the clotted creme must be homemade. I made it with 1/3 cup sour creme, 1 cup of creme cheese and 1 tablespoon of confection sugar. I also would suggest layering clotted creme under the jam on the scone, but that's my opinion.
For the sandwiches, I made little egg salad (egg yoke, mayonisse) sandwiches and cut off the crust. Salmon and creme cheese is another suggestion, but a bit more difficult.
The desserts are the fun part and it's great to have a variety. Maybe a cupcake, a brownie, two macaroons, a petit four, a tart, chocolate covered strawberries - the options are endless. I would suggest incorporating a mixture of chocolates and fruity desserts. Most of these can be found at the grocery store, but I went to a local pastry shop for better quality.
Make sure everyone has a tea pot or a bowl in which to put their tea bags. Milk and sugar is a must on the table. Set the table with napkins, saucers and a small fork to eat the desserts. Also be ready with extra tea bags and eat slowly with small bites or else it will be over in ten minutes with the small portion size.
And that's it! Flowers make a nice final touch. Enjoy your high tea while discussing light conversations.