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  • Writer's pictureThe Zubeida

Sample English High Tea History and Flavour on the Swahili Coast

High tea is widely considered an important and distinguished light, or heavy meal, depending on how you prefer, served on an elegant elevated spread, and enjoyed leisurely whenever the occasion demands. While associated with the United Kingdom and Ireland, and a handful of other Commonwealth countries, high tea has since transcended geographies and cultures, further cementing itself as a desirable sharing meal.

The British culture of high tea, characteristic of tea, scones, cheese on toast and cake, can trace its roots to the 18th century, when the working class would sit on tall stools, thus giving the 3 to 4 o’clock meal its name. Over the years, the profile of high tea was raised in stature, thanks to the arts and culture, as Ladies and Gentlemen would partake of it right before cultural performances such as theatre, or social gatherings like playing cards. John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, then crafted the then groundbreaking idea of placing meat and other fillings in between two slices of bread, which birthed not just the sandwich, but the High Tea Sandwich.

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Tea had travelled the world for centuries, from the age of Dynasties in South East Asia, to European pioneers such as the Dutch. At the onset it was mostly for therapeutic purposes, but then transformed into a more exotic form when the nobility developed an affinity for it. It's only natural that a subculture of tea drinking would gain footing in Kenya (now the world's third largest producer of tea after China and India), since its introduction in the 1920s. Kenyans since drink tea several times a day, with preferred styles based on personal taste.

The signature look of High tea is a spread on a tiered tray, often featuring a host of delectable offerings such as finger sandwiches consisting of a broad array of vegetables, meats and desserts; cucumber, cheese, chicken, seafood such as smoked salmon, flavoured cake and pastries. Your choice of accompaniment would either be milk or black tea, in beautiful small cups, or your personal selection of a chilled drink.

The Zubeida offers some of the most indulgent of luxury high tea available on Kenya’s coast. What’s not to love in scones, cake and miniature finger-licking good sandwiches, all with a local touch? You can have your meal served at your dining table in your private villa, or outside on the terrace or by the pool.

Come and experience the your slice of high tea heaven at the Zubeida, complimentary with your stay. Book now.

Call - +254 725 229 022

Email - info(at)

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