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Cupcakes, scones, lemon bars: High tea is taking over the humble 'chai' with biscuits

High tea also makes for Instagram-worthy pictures.

, ET Bureau|
Feb 11, 2019, 11.11 AM IST
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BENGALURU: Lawyer Shwetambari Rao recently caught up with her school friends. Eight of them came for a high tea. Goblets of white wine with pink candy floss garnish were served on a table that had jam sets from London, customised cupcakes, scones and lemon bars on a tiered cake stand; all this, to go with exotic blueberry and pomegranate teas in English teapots. The 39-year-old host said she even read up tutorials on table-setting for the get-together.

The simple evening chai with biscuits and sandwiches is giving way to high tea in many Bengaluru homes, perhaps because of the pretty images fit for social media that a colonial-themed chota-hazri offers.


Chef Veda Abraham, 31, recently attended a Great Gatsby-themed bachelorette high tea and a Halloween-themed one for young mothers. “High tea makes an Instagram-worthy party. The dessert and savoury miniatures like pumpkin-designed cake pops and mini beetroot crepes in shocking pink make for a better image than a bowl of pasta,” she said.

Bakers are catering to this trend with miniature desserts and savories. Shisham Hinduja of Happy Belly Bakes introduced a dedicated menu with bite-sized apple pies, lemon meringue and spinach crepe after receiving weekly bookings for catering to high tea. “High tea has become popular due to calorie-consciousness in Bengaluru. Mini food gives people variety and makes an interesting table. Most hosts are women who organise it over poker or children’s playdates,” says Hinduja.

Afshan Rubb Oskam of The Petite Bakery has curated high tea menu with frozen scones, grapefruit olive oil tea cake, lemon, almond and date bars. “Millennials are experimenting with entertaining people at home. Traditional homemade snacks have been replaced by customised mini snacks and desserts on pretty cutlery, usually from bakers,” she says.

Kanchan Achpal, chief marketing officer of Bliss Chocolates, notes that high tea is replacing the popular kitty party with interesting menus comprising homemade lavender or blackberry jams, macarones and lavash. “Women are travelling extensively these days and want to replicate stylish western offerings and offbeat culture back home and post it on social media,” said Achpal. Quite a few corporates are holding high tea to celebrate occasions such as an employee’s milestone or achievement.”

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If you are living in a small home or are planning to shift to a studio apartment, make the most out of the space by choosing the right colour schemes, décor and furniture. Surabhi Mittal, founder, RevivedbySurabhi, and Purba Kalita, co-founder,, have some easy hacks to keep clutter at bay while jazzing up your house.

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