Among the many attractions that this city has to offer, one experience stands out as particularly luxurious: high tea.
High tea is a beloved tradition that involves savouring an array of delectable sweets and savoury bites, accompanied by a steaming pot of tea.
In this guide, we’ll explore the best high tea spots in Amsterdam, each offering a unique atmosphere and menu.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveller, you’re sure to find a high tea experience that suits your taste and style. So sit back, relax, and let’s explore the best high tea in Amsterdam!
The Evolution of High Tea Amsterdam: From Traditional to Modern
High tea is a classic British tradition that has become popular around the world, including in Amsterdam.
It is typically a late afternoon meal that consists of a pot of tea served alongside a selection of sweet and savoury snacks.
Afternoon tea and high tea are two classic British traditions that are often sometimes interchangeably, but they are actually quite distinct.
The main difference between the two is their origins, as well as the time of day they are typically served.
Afternoon tea originated in the early 19th century as a way for the wealthy elite to ward off hunger pangs between lunch and dinner.
It typically consists of a pot of tea served with finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a selection of cakes and pastries.
Afternoon tea is typically served in elegant surroundings, such as a grand hotel or a high-end room, and is often accompanied by live music.
It is a leisurely, indulgent experience meant to be enjoyed over the course of a few hours, and is typically reserved for special occasions or as a treat for oneself or a loved one.
In contrast, high tea was traditionally a meal enjoyed by the working class in the late afternoon or early evening.
It was a more substantial meal than afternoon tea, meant to fill up hungry bellies before dinner.
High tea typically consists of hearty dishes such as meat pies, baked beans, eggs, and toast, along with tea and sometimes beer or other alcoholic beverages.
High tea got its name from the fact that it was typically served at a high table, such as a dining table, rather than a low coffee table.
In modern times, high tea has become a more upscale and refined experience, with venues in Amsterdam offering a wide variety of blends and delicious snacks.
High tea Amsterdam has taken on a unique twist, with venues offering a range of local specialities and international flavours to complement the classic tea experience.
Today, it has become a popular social activity in Amsterdam, enjoyed by locals and visitors alike as a way to relax and indulge in a delectable treat.
Best High Tea Amsterdam Venues
The Grand Amsterdam: Starting off with a top-notch one, located in the heart of Amsterdam, The Grand Amsterdam is a luxurious 5-star hotel that offers a classic experience in a sophisticated and elegant setting. Their high tea Amsterdam menu includes a selection of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a range of delectable pastries and cakes.
Mama Kelly Amsterdam: This is a trendy restaurant that offers a unique twist on the traditional experience. Their high tea Amsterdam menu features savoury bites like lobster croquettes and mini burgers, as well as sweet treats like macarons and cupcakes, all served on beautiful vintage-inspired crockery.
The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam High Tea: Housed in a beautiful 17th-century canal house, this is a luxurious hotel that offers a grand and opulent experience. Their high tea Amsterdam menu features a selection of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a range of delectable pastries and cakes, all served on beautiful tiered stands.
The Grand Café: The Grand Cafe is a beautiful and historic venue located in the Central Station of Amsterdam that offers a classic and elegant experience. Their high tea Amsterdam menu includes a selection of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a range of delectable pastries and cakes, all served on beautiful vintage-inspired crockery.
Het Kleinste Huis: Embark on a unique and delightful High Tea experience at Het Kleinste Huis, Amsterdam’s smallest house. Steeped in history, this charming, 17th-century gem offers a cosy atmosphere to savour a scrumptious variety of teas, paired with exquisite finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and to top it off, freshly baked apple pie! As you indulge in the meticulously crafted menu, allow the enchanting surroundings to transport you to a bygone era. Het Kleinste Huis’ High Tea Tasting promises an intimate and unforgettable gastronomic journey that will leave you yearning for more.
High Tea Me Amsterdam: High Tea Me is a boutique catering service that offers personalised experiences in the comfort of your own home or preferred location. Their high tea Amsterdam menus can be customised to suit your preferences and dietary requirements, and include a range of sweet and savoury bites, as well as a selection of premium loose-leaf teas.
The Conservatorium Hotel: Housed in a former music conservatory, The Conservatorium is a stunning 5-star hotel that offers a high tea experience in a grand and opulent setting. Their high tea Amsterdam menu features a selection of sweet and savoury bites, including smoked salmon sandwiches and miniature eclairs, all served on beautiful tiered stands.
Café Americain: Cafe Americain is a historic restaurant and bar located in the heart of Amsterdam. Their high tea Amsterdam menu features a selection of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a range of delectable pastries and cakes, all served on beautiful tiered stands.
These are just a few of the many venues that Amsterdam has to offer. Each venue offers its own unique twist on the classic experience, so be sure to do some research and find the one that suits your taste and preferences.
High Tea in Amsterdam Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts
High tea Amsterdam is a refined and sophisticated experience that requires a certain level of etiquette. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind to ensure that you have a proper and enjoyable afternoon experience:
DO: Dress appropriately. High-tea is a formal occasion, so dress accordingly. Opt for smart casual or semi-formal attire. Avoid wearing sportswear, flip-flops, or other casual clothing.
DON’T: Be late. Arrive on time or a few minutes early to show respect for the venue and other guests.
DO: Wait for the host or hostess to start eating. High-tea is a social occasion, so it’s important to wait until everyone is seated, and the tea is poured before starting to eat.
DON’T: Put your pinky finger up when holding your teacup. Contrary to popular belief, this is not proper etiquette and can actually be seen as a sign of pretentiousness.
DO: Hold your teacup correctly. Use your thumb and index finger to hold the handle of the teacup, while supporting the bottom with your other fingers.
DON’T: Stir your tea in a circular motion. Rather, gently stir back and forth from 12 to 6 o’clock to avoid making too much noise or splashing hot tea.
DO: Use a napkin. Place the napkin on your lap and use it to dab your mouth or fingers as needed.
DON’T: Talk with your mouth full. This is considered impolite in any formal setting.
DO: Offer to pour tea for others. If you are closest to the teapot, offer to pour tea for your fellow guests before pouring for yourself.
By following these simple dos and don’ts, you can ensure that you have a proper and enjoyable high tea Amsterdam experience.
If you are looking for something with a lot less dos and don’ts, check out the Amsterdam prosecco bike . Pedal away while sipping endlessly on glasses of prosecco.
A Blend of Flavours and Ambiance
Amsterdam is a city that offers a wide variety of high tea experiences for locals and tourists alike. From traditional and classic venues to modern and trendy restaurants, there is an experience for everyone to enjoy.
High tea Amsterdam is not just about the food and tea, but also about the ambiance and setting in which it is served. Whether you are looking for a glamorous and sophisticated high tea experience or a casual and relaxed setting, Amsterdam has it all. So next time you find yourself in Amsterdam, be sure to indulge in a delightful high tea experience at one of the city’s many high tea Amsterdam venues.