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

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Versace high tea re-run

A new year begins and I find myself sitting at the glamorous Versace Hotel at Main Beach QLD a year later. I don’t plan to make this an annual event, it was just a happy coincidence.

Couture High Tea (basic high tea with no alcohol) $48.00 pp. It was ok, better than your average high tea.It is mostly just novelty to sit on Versace chairs near the beautiful lobby, eat with Versace cutlery on Versace plates. The selection of sweets are definitely better than last year. $30 for valet parking if you just want to roll up and not worry about parking. See my previous experience here.

20140101-163712.jpgTop tier~

A selection of sweets including macarons, meringues, mysterious waffle cones, cake pops, mango (?) tart and a chocolate and passionfruit cake.20140101-163728.jpg

Middle tier~

Plain scones and fruit scones, double cream, savoury quiche, a jelly cream dessert, a variety of olives and a very indulgent salted caramel tart.

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Bottom tier~

A selection of sandwiches and crisp bread with a sun-dried tomato dip.20140101-163744.jpg

Each High Tea set comes with a tea or a coffee. I chose ‘Prince of Wales’ tea to be a bit different from the norm, Russian Caravan was also supposed to be good.

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I always end on savoury when I can help it, it doesn’t matter if I’m at an all you can eat restaurant, fine dining or high tea. It does get a little sweet towards the end and you might pass out due to a food coma with all the tea so I do suggest leaving a little sandwich or something for the end. Don’t be afraid to ask for more cream/jam/dip, the staff are friendly and are too willing to help.

Notes~

You don’t need to book if there are less than 6 people. 11am – 5pm daily.

 

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High tea @ the Hyatt

——02/06/2012——-

We were celebrating several occasions- birthdays and finishing courses but who doesn’t love catching up with wonderful friends in cute dresses while eating cake all afternoon? My friend booked well in advance to ensure we got a table for High tea at the Hyatt.

The table is set, let’s eat!

A big table of an ‘all of you can’ buffet with both sweets and savouries.

Each tea/coffee cup had a cute peppermint macaron for an ‘after dinner mint’. It was a very strong flavour and I didn’t think the shell was the best consistency.

Complimentary champagne or juice on arrival.

A close up for several plates- strawberry tart, jelly, tarts, cheesecakes, bread and butter puddings, pavlova and trifle.

Mmmm savouries!

My vegan friend was given a savoury platter with char-grilled vegetables and anti-pasto elements.

Even though we had specifically mentioned that there was a vegan while booking, we weren’t sure how they were going to cater for her. We were all amazed that there was a sweet vegan platter to follow. I asked to see the chef to explain the plate (and to double check that it was vegan). There were a lot of delicious elements but it got a wee bit sweet towards the end and unlike me, my friend couldn’t swap back to savoury afterwards.

Vegan option: Chocolate panna cotta, hazelnut crumble, orange polenta cake, biscuits, fruit loaf and sweet jellies. My friend’s favourites included the crumble and orange cake but found the jellies a bit too much.

A close of up the cold hazelnut crumble with apples.

I have eaten at a lot of local venues who have high tea and I think this is definitely one of the better ones. Something things were too sweet for me but that didn’t matter because they were constantly re-filling the hot savouries (as well as everything else). My favourites of the afternoon- spinach and cheese pastries, bread and butter pudding with berries and the trifle.

We have been to several high teas where my vegan has had to pay full price and was basically given vegetables sticks in 3 ways, so to see such a wonderful variety was a double plus! The icing on the (vegan) cupcake was that the price was only $28.00 in comparison to the full price $47.00.

Venue: The Tea Lounge @ the Hyatt

Address: 120 Commonwealth Avenue, Canberra

High Tea: From 2:30pm- 5pm daily (Yes we were there for the whole duration and then some) $47.00

Phone: (02) 6269 8815

Vegan friendly

Hyatt Hotel Canberra on Urbanspoon

3 states in 3 days- Melbourne: Hopetoun Tea Rooms

——-09/03/2012——-

I walk past Hopetoun Tea Rooms every time I visit Melbourne, I’m like a kid staring into a candy store but I can’t help it, it is sooooo beautiful. I figured with my pasta eating record at Spontini, I deserved to stop by one last time before I flew out but this time actually buy something.

With so many stunning cakes, which one should I choose?

I ordered a raspberry tart and a Portuguese tart (total $12.50) to go and although the I was in a bit of a rush, I couldn’t get angry as they packed the sweets so lovingly and even decorated the box with leaves and rose petals on a cute doily. He asked me if I wanted my Portugese tart warmed but I figured a warmed tart might not survive the ‘Home Alone running through the airport’ scene so I declined. As I was waiting, gorgeous cakes were being plated with creams and assorted sauces adorning the plate with just as much love and care that went into making and decorating the cake itself.

He packed me a serviette and a fork and I was ready to go! 

At the airport I open the box finding my tarts still in tact bar some raspberries that tumbled off. First I tried the raspberry tart. The subtle tartness of the generous portion of plump fresh berries was complimented by the sweetness of the custard filling. It was so good! Maybe the best raspberry tart I’ve had!

The Portugese tart was much sweeter in comparison, it had a wonderful texture but it’s not the nicest tart I’ve had. It would have been amazing if it was warmed.

I’m still excited to try many more sweets from Hopetoun Tea Rooms, I hear the Pavlova is rather nice! I will next time however visit without having to rush off somewhere after or with a full-ish tummy.   

Venue: Hopetoun Tea Rooms

Address: The Block Arcade,  282 Collins St, Melbourne

Opening hours: Mon – Sat: 8am – 5pm

                                 Sunday: 9pm – 5pm 

Hopetoun Tea Rooms on Urbanspoon

Sydney Series- Wentworth Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel hotel

Saturday afternoon

I couldn’t go to Sydney and not go to a high tea! I had arranged to meet up with a dear friend of mine who told me about the whole festival to begin with. There were many venues to choose from but after reading the website about the ‘Wentworth Afternoon tea’ and its convenient location I decided on the Softel Hotel.

From the website:

Wentworth Afternoon Tea

Sofitel Sydney Wentworth is thrilled to continue the tradition of our “Wentworth High Tea”.

The Legendary Wentworth Cheesecake is the finale to this revered ritual.

Our selection is inspired by the art of French cuisine’s contemporary style, while invoking the classic heritage and history of the Wentworth Hotel.

The Wentworth Afternoon Tea experience is heightened through the attention to every detail, from the freshly prepared delicate cakes and pastries down to the personalised service.

Afternoon Tea is served in the Sofitel Lounge daily. Garden Court Restaurant caters for large group bookings, with minimum of 12 persons.

The new Wentworth Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel is a return to a high tea tradition, featuring a full range of deluxe Ronnefeldt tea, sweet and savoury treats. And the Wentworth hotel’s very own signature cheesecake – resurrected from an original recipe created around the time the Wentworth opened as Sydney’s very first five star hotel in 1966.

After walking the wrong way for a bit because I wasn’t paying attention to the blue dot I was supposed to follow, we finally arrived to a nicely decorated foyer where we went into the lounge area for high tea. When we were seated we were given an extensive ‘tea menu’ and it took me a while to decide what tea to have.

Getting ready for high tea

Golden Assam (black tea) an excellent, large-leafed tea with bright golden tips. With a delicate note of cocoa accentuated by a malty sweetness. A very lovely tea which wasn’t overly strong and was great on its own without milk or sugar.

Wentworth Afternoon tea tier for two– they have gluten free options available.

A break down of each tier:

Chocolate eclair was pretty tasty, peach meringue tart (to our surprise as we thought it would be lemon meringue) not particularly peachy, pistachio macaron gorgeous colour but no taste what so ever (cafe Cre Asion had spoilt us), raspberry opera cake tasted like a ‘cherry ripe’ cake (extremely sweet) but I loved staring at all the layers and the white chocolate “Wentworth cheesecake” I wish they went out of the way to tell us in particular that this was THE CHEESECAKE, after tasting the tier I was convinced that they were yet to give us the Wentworth cheesecake based on their description on their website. It tasted like a white chocolate mousse and sponge cake and not really a cheese cake, nice though, but not as great as they made it out to be.

Plain and raisin scones with strawberry jam– simple yet delicious

Chicken sandwiches a refreshing break from all the sweets, brie cranberry baguette the brie was very lovely, smoked salmon and capers on brioche (how cute is the salmon rosette!) this was very delicious and mushroom in choux pastry others thought it was weird but I really liked it (although it does help liking mushrooms).

     

I left feeling a bit disappointed, I did end up eating everything because I don’t particularly like to waste but nothing particularly “wow”ed me (although I did enjoy the savouries). I didn’t think it was worth the $49 and much rather have been at the Swissotel in the CBD at their all you can eat high tea.

Venue: Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Wentworth Afternoon Tea is available in The Sofitel Lounge from 2pm -5pm daily, @ $49 per person, or $59 per person with a glass of champagne. Bookings are essential on 02 9228 9179.

Address: 61-101 Phillip Street  2000 SYDNEY

Website: http://www.sofitelsydney.com.au/afternoon-tea.html

Sofitel Wentworth on Urbanspoon

21st b’day celebrations v2.0- Homestead Cafe

——-07/08/2011——-

You only turn 21 once! Or if you’re my friend, 2-6 times in a lifetime . We celebrated in style on the lovely veranda of the Homestead Cafe located @ Gooromon park just outside of Canberra.

Firstly the savouries came out- come to think of it, I was stuffing my face so fast that I didn’t actually note what was in the wraps or sandwiches! I’m surprised I even remembered to take a photo with all this food around!

Of course there was champagne flowing but I opted for an OJ, I just really wanted tea but they said that the tea would come out later.

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Risotto balls and caramalised onion tarts- YUM!

Note to the savoury eaters! They take away the plates and tiers (with no offerings for someone to take the last delicious morsel) just as quick as they came! Best to line your plate with some ‘extras for later’ if you want to end on a savoury note.

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Then came the sweets…

Chocolate panna cotta, lemon curd tarts, caramel slice and brownies- all very nice but the lemon curd was a little too tart for my liking.

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Scones with homemade jam served with double cream-  the scones were lovely and fresh but the jams weren’t very memorable, luckily there was cream there!

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Finally the pots of tea came out! Everyone had a different colour/patterned tea cup- very cute.

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My vegan friendly friend was given strawberries in balsamic vinegar, which she didn’t like very much but I enjoyed it! She also had crust-less sandwiches with beetroot filling (sorry didn’t get a photo).

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My vegan friendly friend was not a fan of stewed fruit but was very pleasantly surprised with her stewed pears with vanillla. Looks delicious!

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The view out there is spectacular, especially on that day when the sun had come out to play for the first time in several days. The road on the way there is a little worse for wear but if you drive carefully enough you could avoid all the pot holes (not ideal to drive during dusk/night). I’ve also been out here for breakfast and lunch, lovely presentation and delicious food (sorry no photos). They also have several private rooms available which are very cute but are catered for fewer people (4-6?). A highly recommended place for all those who want a country feel with a view but don’t want to drive too far out.

I’m going again in another week or two for another friend’s birthday (good excuse to go to Hall markets while I’m out in that direction too!). Hopefully the menu will vary a little as they change the savouries and petit fours to whatever they feel like making on the day, but I’m sure it’ll be wonderful either way.

Venue: Homestead Cafe

Address: 214 Gooromon Ponds Road – Hall – ACT 2618

Opening hours: Fri – 11am – 3pm (Lunch)
                                   Sat/Sun/Public Holidays – 9am – 4pm (Breakfast, Lunch, High Tea)

Phone: (02) 6230 2349

Website: http://www.homesteadcafe.com.au/