High Tea is the Dutch version of Afternoon Tea. I admit that the name raises other Dutch innuendos but High Tea is as legal across the Dutch borders as within. The traditional British Afternoon Tea dates back to the 1840s when British folks needed a little sweet treat inbetween their only two meals of the day, which were breakfast and dinner. The Netherlands are equally obsessed with tea (and coffee) and unsurprisingly many restaurants, cafes, and hotels offer their version of High Tea. Like with the British Afternoon Tea, the Dutch High Tea is served with savoury food such as sandwiches but also sweets that typically include scones with jam and other sorts of cake. And then tea of course, loads of tea.
Even though the experience seems to be quite gendered since many women love the idea of meeting up over tea, sweets, and endless talks, the ways of serving High Tea have fairly evolved. More and more places offer vegetarian and vegan High Teas, replacing the archaic ham and cheese sandwiches with more creative alternatives. Since my semester has ended, my friend and I thought that it was the perfect opportunity to book one of these slightly different High Teas and find out if the hype is really worth the trouble.
We booked a table for two at a place called ‘Yoghurt Barn’, close to Neude in the city centre of town. The place is hip as most places in Utrecht are, with fair wooden benches and different sorts of green plants. As the name reveals, there place is really about yoghurt- dairy as well as vegan. Not long after we arrived, our high tea was served- and after such a long day of work, the smiles on our faces became almost frightening. If you think that the appeal of the High Tea was lost because it did not include any meat- then your assumption is entirely wrong. From savoury to sweet to yoghurty, everything was there.
The savoury part included a variety of bread (hey, it’s Dutch afterall) with two very delicious dips: one with yoghurt-cucumber and the other with yogurt-dried tomatoes. Our High Tea also included four little glass variations of yoghurt, one with maracuja-brownie, the second one with kiwi-cookie, the third one coconut-dark chocolate and the last one strawberry-white chocolate-walnuts. Besides, our meal included two tiny pieces of vegan, glutenfree and sugarfree cake that was absolutely amazing as well as a brownie that was one of the best I’ve ever tasted. And then- my ultimate favourite was the carrot cake. I believe that it was the first time ever that I tried carrot cake and I’m struggling to find my words… heaven! For our pot of tea we could choose from a cute and unusual selection, and fill the tea bags ourselves with the herbs and flowers. Lastly, the meal included two jars of home-made juice. I know, you must be starving by now.
The food that we were served with our High Tea was outstanding but at the same time very unconventional. Who would have thought that yoghurt can be so versatile? Also, we were given two cups with our High Tea to fill with frozen yoghurt at the counter… but unfortunately, we were way too full to do so. We definitely got a lot for our money and I believe that High Tea is less an afternoon snack but more of a proper meal. And yes, it really leaves you high- lost somewhere in a culinary paradise… I have become a fan of High Tea and I can’t wait to go back to Yoghurt Barn or even to try out other vegetarian/vegan places that offer High Tea. High Tea is very much approved and I guarantee it’s not the last time that you read about it here.