Review by Melanie Pike, photography by Joshua Pike from Pike’s Palate
Tucked away in the Soiree lounge at the Sofitel, ‘Afternoon tea at the Wentworth’ is a great way to spend a few hours relaxing with a traditional high tea.
The friendly staff will greet you at the door and show you to your table. There’s quite a lot of room in the Soiree lounge, but the tables are arranged in a way that still make the setting feel quite intimate. Sink back into the high-backed booths and enjoy your high tea stand and a glass of French champagne.
The stand includes all of the delicious treats you’ve come to expect in a high tea. There is a point of difference though. There is a signature cheesecake that the chefs have resurrected from an original recipe first used when the Wentworth opened as Sydney’s first 5-star hotel back in 1966. In a word, this nod to the past is divine. A light jaconde cake layered with a creamy filling that’s quite rich without being overly cloying. I loved it.
The Opera slice had some of the thinnest, perfectly even layers I’ve seen. It packs a flavour punch too. No complaints here! The macarons are a link to the Sofitel’s French origins and are good examples, with flavours that change seasonally. The filling in the lemon meringue tart was lovely and buttery rather than eggy like a lemon curd. The scones were a dainty size with a nice texture, not too crumbly like some can be.
The sandwiches were all super fresh with great flavour combinations, we could gladly eat a whole one for lunch (if there wasn’t a raft of sweet treats to fit in!) There was also a light and fluffy pumpkin muffin, which was another favourite of the day, along with a mini quiche Lorraine.
The tea selection is from Ronnefeldt and there are 9 to choose from including: Darjeeling, English breakfast, Earl Grey, Jasmine, Chamomile, Rosehip, Peppermint and Chai.
The day we were there was a rainy Sydney afternoon and we found the room to be warm and inviting. We spent quite a while watching the hustle and bustle outside, glad we were warm and dry inside with a stand of treats to enjoy! There was also a small hen’s high tea in a private area of the lounge. If you have a larger group the Sofitel also offers high tea upstairs in their Garden Court restaurant.
Afternoon tea at the Wentworth menu:
- Sweets: Classic opera slice; macarons; Wentworth cheesecake; chocolate éclairs; lemon meringue tartlet; fruit tartlet.
- Scones: Plain and raisin scones, served with double cream and strawberry jam.
- Savouries: Roast beef on whole wheat with horseradish butter; smoked salmon on ciabatta, cream cheese, cherry tomato, capers; cucumber dill on white bread; spinach and pumpkin muffin; quiche Lorraine.
Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
Address: 61 Phillip Street, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Price: $49 per person served with traditional tea and $59 per person with French Champagne (Taittinger for our review)
Prices are correct at the time of publishing, but are subject to change. Please contact the venue for further details.
When: Daily 2.00 – 5.00pm
Bookings are essential.
Phone: 02 9228 9188
Sofitel Sydney Website