I casually asked a friend to come over for morning tea as we had a few things we needed to chat about. She looked at me and smiled, “Do I have to wear a hat and a frock? And will the Queen be there?”
It had happened again – I thought I’d worked out all the little language differences, but morning and afternoon tea must have tiptoed past me while I was shoveling the snowy driveway.
In Australia, morning and afternoon tea are terms that pretty much cover any food you eat between breakfast and lunch (morning tea) and lunch and dinner (afternoon tea). At 10am you might have fruit or cookies (we call them biscuits) and tea/coffee – that’s morning tea. Morning tea is most definitely not to be confused with brunch, which is more of a substantial meal between breakfast and lunch.
“Well what do you call the food that the kids have when they come home from school?” I asked my still laughing friend. “A snack,” she answered very matter-a-factly!
“And what about at work when you have a cake or something yummy – what do you call it then?” I asked, determined to catch her out. “We just call it cake and coffee; der brain.” OK she didn’t actually say ‘der brain’; she’s much too nice to say it, but I could tell she was thinking it!!!
On reflection, I can sorta, kinda see where she was coming from, but I think I’ll stick to saying morning and afternoon tea. I will however keep my fine china in the cupboard until Will and Kate accept my morning tea invitation.