Burbury Hotel high tea

My wonderful foodie friend, fellow 101localhuman and blogger (see her fabulous blogs here and here, I barely have time to write one blog, how does she write two!?) had arranged for a few of us to meet and exchange foodie news over high tea that the Burbury Hotel now hosts. I’ve always been on the hunt to try all the high teas in and around Canberra and am close to finishing the list. I was surprised to hear that the Burbury hotel now does high tea considering they have only used the Terrace area for functions and hotel breakfast but it is a good use of the space as it has gorgeous views of the city.

Taken from the website, their description is: “Perched on the rooftop of the award winning Burbury Hotel, the rooftop terrace overlooking the city, lake and leafy Barton will host Canberra’s most exclusive high tea. With a selection of finely made French cakes & tarts, delicate savouries and traditional scones, accompanied with TWG fine teas and freshly brewed coffee.”

Arriving at the 7th (top) floor, I was told my friends were already waiting. As I sat down to take in the beautiful views, the incredible amount of natural light this space has and quickly admiring other people’s sweets, I was promptly asked if I would like champagne to start to which I declined.

My friend’s bubbles.IMG_4403.JPGA very spacious area and I wasn’t surprised that it was filled with lots of girlfriends and young families catching up over some cake.IMG_4406.JPGThe tea menu was varied which meant something to suit everyone. I went with the ‘Napoleon‘ which had fragrant vanilla notes and I had it black with no added sugar (I figured I would get a huge sugar hit from the food anyway).IMG_4409.JPGMatching tea pots and tea cups. IMG_4423.JPGFinally, the main event arrives! A high tea platter for three people. I did notice that we were short a pistachio cake and I wasn’t afraid to ask for another one to which they came back with two more of the little cakes.IMG_4420.JPGA break down of each tier:

Bottom tier~ I am a huge fan of catching up over cakes, TWG teas but I mainly went to catch up with my foodie friends. I miss how we all whip out all cameras and start clicking as soon as food arrives.

A close up of our brioche buns with salmon and crustless cucumber sandwiches. I was a little disheartened to find that there were no hot savouries on the platter and there was nothing interesting about the savouries choices either but they were a necessity to balance out the inevitable sugar high I would be on later that day. I carefully rationed out my savoury bites between all the sugary sweets.IMG_4412.JPGMiddle tier~

Plain and cranberry scones with what looked like a fruit compote and cream. There was no way that those cute little pots contained enough ‘jam’ and cream for 6 sconesso I asked for more as soon as we ran out. I was hoping that the plain scone was really a cheese scone because it had a weird dark glaze to it, but alas it wasn’t. Not the most ‘fluffiest’ scones and they weren’t warmed either but the condiments did the trick of hiding all the flaws.IMG_4426.JPGTop tier~

As cute as these selection of cakes were, I was lead to believe based on their photos and promos that there would be mini eclairs, macarons and profiteroles on this tier. 😦

The top of the lemon tart (which was crazy tart btw) was like a weird marshmallow, the opera cake packed a big coffee punch, the chocolate tart was really sweet but I did love the popcorn and the mini friands were moist and okay.IMG_4419.JPGGluten free option~

It looked like a last minute creation when the two halves of a macaron was split into two and decorated with chocolate filling and berries on top.IMG_4424.JPGAn odd shaped gluten free roll served with ‘jam’ and cream.IMG_4425.JPGI don’t know if you’ve ever had untoasted gluten free thick sliced bread, but it’s not good.IMG_4427.JPGIt was a cloudy wet day, but I could imagine on a gorgeous clear sunny day, this place would have beautiful views.IMG_4435.JPGOne of the last tables to leave as well as leaving all our mess.IMG_4436.JPGA mediore high tea at best but the views and the natural lighting is amazing. I would come again more for the atmosphere rather than the food, I do hope it improves though.

Venue: Hotel Burbury  (7th floor)

Address: 1 Burbury Close, Barton ACT 2600

Phone:  (02) 6173 2700

High tea: Friday – Sunday 1pm to 4pm

Traditional $39.00 per person $20.00 per person (kids under 12)

Champagne $49.00 per person

Portuguese tarts Lord Stow’s bakery – Macau

I sat there with a sweat dripping out of every pore. My feet were sore from excessive running in inappropriate shoes. My face was red and flushed and I might have annoyed a few people along the way. Yet I felt deeply satisfied with the resulting box that laid in my hands.

How did it all come to this?

60 minutes earlier

We were heading out for the morning after a night of R ‘n R staying at the luxurious Lisboa hotel. The plan was simple – buy our ferry tickets for our return trip to Hong Kong, hunt down Lord Stow’s bakery and then head back to the hotel just in time for our 1pm late check out, allowing time to wildly throwing everything back in our suitcase.

Me being as stubborn as I am, wanted to go to the original Lord Stow bakery hidden somewhere amongst the not so main streets of Macau but when Google, phone reception and the taxi drivers were not helpful in finding the store, we had no choice but to run wildly towards the Venetian hotel (I knew there was a store there), which seemed very far away and time was ticking.

Inside the Venetian was an awesome canal with gondolas paddling up and down between all the fabulous stores, there are gorgeous paintings everywhere all over the ceiling and there were human statues, magicians walking around performing tricks but there was no time for any of that, we were here for one thing – PORTUGUESE TARTS!

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It would have looked like four crazy tourists running in multiple directions and there might have been a bit of running around in circles but we finally found it!20131123-002057.jpg

Warm Portuguese tarts from Lord Stow’s bakery ($8.00 HKD per tart).20131123-002206.jpg

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The pastry is so flaky looking with beautiful imperfect brown spots.20131123-002617.jpg

The custard was so delicate and silky smooth, which a great contrast to the crispy flaky pastry. Oh my goodness, there is a party in my mouth.20131123-002659.jpg

You can see the pastry is swirled at the bottom and you can really feel that in the texture when you bite into it.

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Even the next day when the tarts were all cold, they were still amazing and while sitting in a five-star hotel looking over Macau just made the experience just even better.

While you’re in Macau, you have to make this as one of your ‘absolutely have to do’ things on your list. I would suggest going straight to the Venetian hotel and take time to browse around the mall and float down the canal in a gondola and not frantically scramble to check out of your hotel room.

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This is not farewell, just a good bye for now Macau

Chilling out eating a freakin’ amazing Portuguese tart over looking the city of Macau in a 5 star hotel just before heading back to Hong Kong. Thanks for all the food memories Macau, I will definitely be coming back! #macauisamazing #SofitelMacau #food #foodie #foodblog #tart #macau #amazing #yummy

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