What’s the difference between low tea and high tea, you ask? Basically, the difference comes from the height of the table and the time it is served. Back in the Victorian period, “low tea” was served on low tables near chairs or sofas, where people ate light fare such as finger foods to tide them over before dinner. Think of it as an afternoon snack. High tea, on the other hand, was served during dinner where a substantial meal was eaten and served along with tea. This “high tea” was consumed at the dining table, where the table was higher.
If you’re on Maui, locals know that nothing beats the cool treat called guri guri, especially on hot, sunny days. The name “guri guri” is really synonymous with Tasaka Guri Guri, which has been selling this ice cream-sherbert-ish sweet treat for more than 90 years. Its founder, Jokichi Tasaka shared the dessert with Japanese plantation workers in the early 1900’s. Story has it that he initially called it “goodie-goodie,” but because some could not pronounce it, the name eventually evolved into “guri guri.”
With temperatures dipping into the 60’s during our little holiday getaway to Lanai, afternoon tea seemed like a good way to warm up. Besides, I’m always looking for places to have tea and dainty sandwiches and desserts.
After having driven to and from Hana to take Sheryl to do the Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls, I knew I wouldn’t be up for driving at 3 in the morning the next day to go up Haleakala to view the sunrise. I browsed Hawaii’s official tourism site and decided to pay for a “Spectacular Haleakala Sunrise Tour.”
Chocolate Cafe? Say no more, you had me at chocolate.
This inaugural pop-up event by Hawaii’s culinary power couple, Chefs Wade Ueoka and Michelle Karr-Ueoka, attracted a crowd of chocolate lovers who started lining up about half an hour before their opening. The featured ingredient of the month was presented in sweet and savory dishes, in different stages of its life cycle, from pulp to pudding.
MW Restaurant debuted their afternoon tea service in August 2014. I remember calling in early fall last year and being told that they were booked. And from pictures I’ve seen on Instagram and websites, I can see why. We haven’t made it to afternoon tea there until this month.
I was first introduced to afternoon tea several years ago by one of my friends, Lorie. Along with some of our female co-workers, we would get together to celebrate her birthday with afternoon tea at the Veranda at the Kahala Hotel and Resort.
Earlier this year, Lorie and I had gone for afternoon tea during the hotel’s Golden Jubilee celebration, marking 50 years since the hotel’s opening in 1964. At that time, we noticed that the furniture at the Veranda had changed to furnishings from the Tommy Bahamas line. Gone were the delicate Oriental-inspired dresses worn by the female staff as well.