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Tea at 4pm. Is this a meal or a scone and cuppa?

(74 Posts)
Grammaretto Wed 22-Mar-23 18:44:35

Even after more than half a lifetime in Scotland I am unclear what I have been invited to.
A buffet tea at 4 o clock
Do I expect a meal? Is this high tea?
Or a sandwich and cake? Or canapes and booze?
It seems pedantic to check with the hostess.

JaneJudge Wed 22-Mar-23 18:47:16

put a bottle of wine in you bag but expect tea and cake wink

Riverwalk Wed 22-Mar-23 18:52:57

I'm not in Scotland but would expect sandwiches, cakes and tea at that time.

SueDonim Wed 22-Mar-23 18:56:44

What Riverwalk says. Maybe with a sausage roll or vol au vent as well. smile

crazyH Wed 22-Mar-23 18:58:04

‘High Tea’ I guess …

Riverwalk Wed 22-Mar-23 18:59:09

Isn't 4 a bit early for High Tea?

Harris27 Wed 22-Mar-23 19:06:44

Cake sandwiches and tea. I think.

Norah Wed 22-Mar-23 19:08:27

Tea, cake, sandwiches, or canapes and drinks. Either is fine, I'd guess.

SueDonim Wed 22-Mar-23 19:09:00

High tea includes a hot dish, like fish and chips.

Aveline Wed 22-Mar-23 19:16:52

If it's some sort of party then I'd expect a substantial buffer of savoury and sweet things. Tea/coffee and probably alcohol too. Should be fun. Enjoy.

Hetty58 Wed 22-Mar-23 19:17:25

Riverwalk, yes, too early. We never had 'high tea' - only afternoon tea - growing up. It caused endless problems if we took friends home after school for 'tea'.

To us, it was/still is a snack between lunch and dinner (dinner - or supper - served around 7 - 7.30 pm). To other families, though, it was the main evening meal!

Fleurpepper Wed 22-Mar-23 19:29:49


Isn't 4 a bit early for High Tea?

Exactly, anytime after 5, I would hesitate, but at 4?

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 22-Mar-23 19:33:59

A bit early for alcohol?

Grammaretto Wed 22-Mar-23 19:47:59

Thanks everyone . A bottle in my bag won't go amiss.
I'll let you know grin

Callistemon21 Wed 22-Mar-23 20:02:24


A bit early for alcohol?

Fizzy alcohol perhaps eg Prosecco?

Or champagne if it's very posh 🥂🍾

welbeck Wed 22-Mar-23 20:08:58

well you know what a buffet is, somewhere you can graze along picking up nibbles.
so you'll get something to eat.
why do you need to know more than that.
i'd just be grateful to be eating. and cup of tea.
what does it matter. seems churlish to enquire further, as if making some kind of judgement.

Patsy70 Wed 22-Mar-23 20:12:54

4pm is tea & cake. However, go prepared with a bottle and olives, as it may extend to 6pm. 😉

Patsy70 Wed 22-Mar-23 20:14:56


A bit early for alcohol?

For some, maybe.

Aveline Wed 22-Mar-23 20:33:26

Buffet was specially mentioned. I think that implies more than just tea and cake. Is it a particular celebration?

Mogsmaw Wed 22-Mar-23 20:44:24

4pm, “you’ll have had your tea”

Patsy70 Wed 22-Mar-23 20:55:07

Well, I’m a ‘Southener’ so sorry about that, but I’d still ‘have had my tea’ by 6pm and be ready for a tipple or two ……… 😳

foxie48 Wed 22-Mar-23 21:05:16

Tea and cake.

Grammaretto Wed 22-Mar-23 21:48:31

Why do I want to know? Welbeck I think it's the ambiguity. Should I be prepared to leave by 6 so they can prepare their evening meal?
Or, as many suggest, it's a party as a buffet suggests

Hetty58 Wed 22-Mar-23 22:19:29

A buffet can be light or heavy though. Having a big family of big eaters - we always had 'extras' in the minibus. Once, we were caught at a 'buffet style' wedding tucking into huge sandwiches and brewing tea with a camping stove - although we had parked as far away as possible!

I'd never worry about what time to leave, just follow the herd.

Aveline Thu 23-Mar-23 06:31:19

Gosh. A camper van parked nearby with back up grub? Great idea. I've noticed that our youngsters often have what they call a 'safety meal' before going out just in case the promised catering isn't substantial enough. An idea for you Grammaretto