The resident boyfriend and I have an ongoing disagreement. He thinks that your evening meal is called ‘tea’, where as I think that tea is a hot drink and that the evening meal is ‘dinner’ (which is why you dine!). And whenever someone mentions having tea or dinner we argue against each other that so and so says ‘tea’ so I must be right.
Now… ladies and gentlemen… I have the answer which I came across randomly whilst reading someone else’s blog giving away vouchers to a tea room, I clicked on the website and read (and I believe this is verbatim!):
“Two distinct forms of tea services evolved: ‘low’ and ‘high’ tea. Low tea, enjoyed in the low or early part of the afternoon, was served in aristocratic homes and featured gourmet titbits with emphasis being on the presentation and conversation. The working class originated high tea. Not having the means of two main meals each day they combined afternoon tea with the evening meal, serving meats, breads and cakes with hot tea at the end of the day.”
And so he wasn’t wrong at all, he’s just common and I’m clearly aristocracy! It all makes sense now. Musn’t tease the peasant, bless him.