Sydney Tea Festival – Sunday 17 August 2014

August 14th, 2014
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The Sydney Tea Festival is an opportunity to connect with some of your favourite tea brands, discover new favourites and explore beautiful tea wares. You can also taste an amazing assortment of treats to inspire your next high tea party. 

Sydney Tea Festival

Sydney Tea Festival

The inaugural Sydney Tea Festival takes place on Sunday the 17th of August 2014 at the Blacksmith’s Workshop at Carriageworks in Eveleigh.

Wander through the free tea market and discover some of the best artisanal teas around, grab a bite to eat from a food truck, indulge in a sweet treat or sit down and enjoy a cup of tea at the brew lounge.

There are workshops hosted by leading specialists where you can participate in a tea cupping or blending class, learn about tea cocktails, iced teas, food pairing or just discover more about the history and health benefits of tea.

Sydney Tea Festival

Sydney Tea Festival

Corinne Smith from The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar in Sydney shares her tips for making the perfect cup of tea.

First, select a few loose leaf teas to offer that will complement your food and delight your guests! There are so many speciality tea flavours to enjoy these days so find something adventurous (like Lapsang Souchong tea) or indulgent (like Choc Orange Fudge tea) that they might not have tried before.

Next, it’s all about the teapot. Use a pot you love that won’t drip all over your beautiful table setting. A pot with a removable infuser basket so you don’t over-brew the leaves is key. The amount of tea to use is generally one heaped teaspoon per person.

Sydney Tea Festival

Sydney Tea Festival

Use spring or filtered water if you have some on hand, as clean water will enhance the flavours in the tea.

Water temperature for your tea will have a big impact on your final brew so make sure you follow the individual brewing instructions so as not to burn the leaves and ruin their flavour.

When the recommended steeping time is up, remove the leaves from the hot water and then you’re ready to serve.

Lastly, savour the flavours and aromas of your perfectly brewed cup.


Sydney Tea Festival – Sunday 17 August 2014

Time: 9am – 4pm
Market – Blacksmith’s Workshop at Carriageworks
245 Wilson Street Eveleigh, Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Review: High Tea at the Shangri La Hotel Sydney

August 6th, 2014
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Review by Melanie Pike, photography by Joshua Pike from Pike’s Palate

High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

We first reviewed the Shangri La about a year ago, when its new Executive Pastry Chef, Anna Polyviou had only just joined the team. She had big plans for her pastry kitchen, so we went along to see if she’s achieved what she set out to do.

While the high tea is still served in the Lobby Lounge, and still features the same delicious scones we wrote about in our last review, that’s where the similarities end.

I know I probably shouldn’t admit it, being a High Tea Society contributor and all, but I’m a savoury girl at heart, so was ultra excited to see Anna has given the savoury tier just as big a rework as the sweet tier.

If you think that éclairs are solely the domain of chocolate and custard, you’d be wrong. These tiny choux éclairs are filled with a delicious chicken mix. Teeny tiny cubes coated in a rich and creamy mayonnaise base. Wow. Completely moreish.

High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

In another nod to the traditional flavours of high tea, there’s also a mini smoked salmon bagel. That’s where tradition ends. Next up was a salad of dried apricots, figs, and radicchio. Anna believes in involving you with your food, so there was also a tiny pipette of balsamic dressing stuck in top so you can dress the salad with as little or much as you’d like. There was talk of swapping this salad out for a brioche of roast beef and mustard, so by the time you visit things may have changed. I trust the brioche will be just as delectable.

The final savoury element was a tiny waffle cone filled with whipped goats curd and tomato salsa. It was so light and fresh it came a close second to those chicken éclairs.

Then we moved on to why we were really here – the sweet tier. What had this award wining pastry chef come up with? As you can see from the photos, Anna and her team take presentation just as seriously as flavour.

The chai tea and apple marshmallow was as good as any weird and wonderful flavour creation that Zumbo can come up with (they’re actually quite good friends).

High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

The team makes their own puff pastry in house, and in this instance it was caramelised to the brink of over done (I swear an extra 30 seconds would have seen it go from fabulous to failure, true skill in that one), filled with a vanilla pastry crème, fresh raspberries and topped with fresh rose petals. Pretty? Tick. Delicious? You bet!

Next was a coconut disc topped with sou vide pineapple and baby coriander leaves. It was so chewy in the middle it reminded me of a fluffier version of a coconut macaroon.

Finally, we saved the best until last. Anna calls it her Bananarama, and this tiny glass packs the biggest banana punch, it’s quite unbelievable. It’s layers are caramelised white chocolate, passionfruit jelly, banana jam, vanilla bavarois, banana bread crumbs and a white chocolate dome on top that you have to crack into using the tiniest spoon attached to the side of the glass. I love fresh bananas, I eat one every day, but if I could one of these instead, well… maybe I’ll just have to put in a standard order with the kitchen!

In all, the original Shangri La high tea was a good example of a classic hotel’s high tea. With Anna now at the helm, tradition gets the occasional nod, just with an extra larger than life dollop of colour, flavour and fun. We can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

THE TEAS:
Brilliant Breakfast
The Original Early Grey
Natural Seylon Tea
Rose and French Vanilla
Single Estate Darjeeling
Single Estate Assam
Peach
Blueberry and Pomegranate
Lychee with Rose and Almond
Italian Almond
Green Tea with Jasmine Flowers
Seylon young hyson green tea
Sencha Green Extra Special
Sencha with peppermint and cinnamon
Pure peppermint leave
Pure camomile flowers
Rosemary with peppermint leaves
Single estate oolong tea

High Tea at The Shangri La Hotel Sydney
Address: 179 Cumberland St, The Rocks, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Price: Standard high tea is $42 or $52 with a glass of sparkling wine (Chandon NV Brut) and $65 with a glass of champagne (Tattinger Reserve Brut).
Prices are correct at the time of publishing, but are subject to change. Please contact the venue for further details.
When: Available daily from 1 – 5pm.
Bookings: (02) 9250 6144
Bookings through the Shangri La Hotel Sydney website 

Subscribe to the High Tea Society Newsletter

Subscribe to the High Tea Society Newsletter

Have you been to the Shangri La Hotel Sydney for high tea recently?
We would love to hear your review, please add as a comments below. 

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Review: Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

April 30th, 2014
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Review by Melanie Pike, photography by Joshua Pike from Pike’s Palate

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

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.

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

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.

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

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 Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

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

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Subscribe to the High Tea Society Newsletter

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Mother’s Day High Tea Sunday 11th of May 2014

April 23rd, 2014
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Mother's Day High Tea 11th of May 2014

Mother's Day High Tea 11th of May 2014

If you want to spoil your mum this Mother’s Day how about taking her out for an elegant high tea (afternoon tea). This year Mother’s Day in Australia and New Zealand is Sunday the 11th of May 2014.

With so many high tea venues to choose from we’ve done the hard work and searched far and wide and created a comprehensive list of high tea venues.

The High Tea Society High Tea Venue Directory can help you find the perfect high tea.

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Subscribe to the High Tea Society Newsletter

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Interview: Kelly Holcroft, That Vintage Caravan Sydney

February 2nd, 2014
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Photos JR Interactive & Ben Shepherd Photography

That Vintage Caravan

That Vintage Caravan

We met Kelly Holcroft the creator of That Vintage Caravan, a mobile high tea service that runs from a pretty pink caravan in the Sydney area.

That Vintage Caravan serves high tea for weddings, hen’s days, engagements, kitchen teas and birthdays. Kelly has even ran a high tea for a hundredth birthday party.

That Vintage Caravan

That Vintage Caravan

That Vintage Caravan Sydney

That Vintage Caravan

That Vintage Caravan Sydney

That Vintage Caravan

That Vintage Caravan

That Vintage Caravan

Why did you start The Vintage Caravan?

Kelly Holcroft

Kelly Holcroft

The idea of for That Vintage Caravan came to me after my hubby and I had a vintage High Tea for our reception. It was a DIY extravaganza. I am an event planner by trade so pulling it all together was so much fun. After the big day, I found it hard to part with the special treasures my mum, nan and I had picked up at markets, second-hand shops and garage sales. Together we had sourced many beautiful pieces – so old and so precious. My collection in fact continued to grow and expand (and grow some more).

With our little house bursting at the seams we (my hubby) decided I needed more space. We agreed a caravan would be a good idea. Yorkie as she was formerly known was purchased from a lovely couple in the Southern Highlands of Sydney. As we towed her home I knew that there was no chance of her ‘ever’ being used for storage – she was way too cute and had loads potential.

That Vintage Caravan Sydney

That Vintage Caravan

Her makeover started almost immediately. It took about 7 months for me to make Sweet Jane all pink and FABULOUS! … and I suppose the rest is history! In October 2012 my Travelling Teahouse was ready to bring her vintage style and delicious high tea to the beautiful people of Sydney.

I recently added Spencer, a handsome vintage mobile bar to the fleet and have another baby on the way. Kitty is an old stunning 1949 bondwood van. She’s currently being renovated. Stay tuned to see what’s in store.

Having high tea is a bit spesh. I love that it is something that you can share with your mum, friends and the kids. High Tea is for EVERYONE!


Do you have a favourite high tea menu item?

I must say… I am fond of a good scone. I don’t have a fave (they’re all good).

That Vintage Caravan adds a bit of a twist to the ‘tradition’ of High Tea. Because we’re on wheels we’re able to create a different vibe at each event. The caravan is a real talking point and lawn games add an element of fun. Our giant Jenga is a HIT!

That Vintage Caravan Sydney

That Vintage Caravan

From our Travelling Teahouse we have served high tea at weddings, engagements, hen’s parties, kitchen teas, christenings, baby showers, birthdays and public events. We also specialise in post wedding ceremony celebrations where we generally do a Devonshire tea for guests while the bride and groom are off having their photos taken.

That Vintage Caravan
Where: Around Sydney
Packages start from $750
Prices are correct at the time of publishing, but are subject to change. Please contact the venue for further details.
Contact email: [email protected]
Website: www.thatvintagecaravan.com.au

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Review: High Tea at Sheraton on the Park Sydney

February 1st, 2014
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Review by Melanie Pike, photography by Joshua Pike from Pike’s Palate

High Tea at Sheraton on the Park Sydney

High Tea at Sheraton on the Park Sydney

High Tea at the Sheraton on the Park is tucked away in the lobby of the 5-star hotel and overlooking beautiful Hyde Park, you could be forgiven for forgetting you’re actually in the middle of Sydney’s bustling CBD.

Served in the Gallery Tea Lounge, the Royal High Tea stand is modeled on the tiny morsels Queen Elizabeth herself likes to eat – or at least that’s what we were told by our lovely waitress. When we visited, the buffet menu was also available, so yes, dear reader, as you can see in the photos… we got to sample both!

Let’s start with the Royal High Tea stand. The sandwich fillings were all very traditional flavours, although the smoked salmon had the addition of finely diced prawns, which was an unexpected surprise. There was also a mini ham croissant, which sounds a bit heavy, but it was the most light and delicate filled croissant I think I’ve ever eaten.

The theme of this stand must be ‘dainty’, because the scones were smaller than on most other stands we’ve sampled. Their size is by no means a negative thing, they match the rest of the tiers perfectly, and you’ll be able to eat all of what’s served without wasting any of the treats. It was nice to have the choice of jam, cream and butter too. Sometimes you just don’t feel like lashings of jam and cream (crazy, I know, but it happens!), so having the option of butter was appreciated.

High Tea at Sheraton on the Park Sydney

High Tea at Sheraton on the Park Sydney

On the sweet tier, the crown shortbreads and jam ring cookies were nice and buttery with the right amount of crumble. The chocolate biscuit cake was quite rich, probably better matched with coffee rather than tea. The Victoria sponge was presented as two discs of sponge which were sandwiching fresh whipped cream with strawberries on top. It looked amazing, although a little tricky to eat. I love a good Battenberg cake, so was hoping that when I bit into the petit four version I’d see the traditional checkerboard pattern. To my surprise, while it wasn’t full checkerboard in something so small, it was still two tone, with the cake inside deliciously moist.

With the Royal High Tea stand finished, it was time to move onto the buffet.

Walking around the spread trying to decide what to sample out of the cornucopia of goodies on offer was tricky. There were macarons, chocolate truffles, cheese platters, fresh fruits, sandwiches galore, several whole cakes, chocolate mousse cups, scones, slices and even an ice-cream station.

It was a much bigger selection than what is included on the Royal High Tea stand, and all of it looked like it was to the same high standard. The morsels we sampled certainly were.

Out of the two options available, we’d recommend the buffet if you like to have lots of choice, or if you have guests who are on the picky side. If they can’t find something to enjoy on the buffet, you’d have to wonder if they even like food at all!

High Tea at Sheraton on the Park Sydney

High Tea at Sheraton on the Park Sydney

High Tea at Sheraton on the Park Sydney

High Tea at Sheraton on the Park Sydney

High Tea at Sheraton on the Park Sydney

High Tea at Sheraton on the Park Sydney

High Tea at Sheraton on the Park Sydney

High Tea at Sheraton on the Park Sydney

High Tea at Sheraton on the Park Sydney

High Tea at Sheraton on the Park Sydney

High Tea at Sheraton on the Park Sydney

High Tea at Sheraton on the Park Sydney

The Royal High Tea stand is for those who prefer the traditional element of an English High Tea where a tiered stand of goodies is brought straight to your table for you.

Both options offered at the Sheraton are well worth a visit.

Royal High Tea Menu
- Scones with strawberry jam, cream and butter
- Sandwiches: smoked salmon, prawns, sour cream & coriander on rye; cucumber, cream cheese, chives on white; egg, mayonnaise & cress on multigrain; smoked ham, swiss cheese, grainy mustard & alfalfa on mini croissant
- Sweets: Crown shortbreads; mini Victoria sponge cake; Battenburg petit fours; chocolate biscuit cake slice; jam ring cookies & Bendicks bittermints.

Buffet Menu
Chef selection of sandwiches, cheese, fresh fruit, scones, range of desserts and cakes.

Tea Selection
La Maison Du The: French handcrafted tea; Penelope Sach organic herbal tea; Vittoria coffee; Lindt hot chocolate.

Sheraton on the Park Sydney

Sheraton on the Park Sydney

Sheraton on the Park Sydney
The Gallery Tea Lounge
Lobby Level, Sheraton on the Park
161 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, Australia, NSW 2000
When to go: The stand is served Monday to Friday 11.30am – 5pm; and weekends 11.30am – 2.30pm and 3 – 5pm.
The buffet is served weekends 12 – 2.30pm and 3 – 5pm.
Stand pricing (serves two)
The Gallery High Tea stand $79; Sparkling Tea stand (incl. 2 glasses of Domain Chandon Brut) $99; The Royal Tea stand (incl. 2 glasses of Taittinger) $129.
Buffet pricing (per person)
The Gallery Afternoon Tea buffet $49; Sparkling Afternoon Tea buffet (incl. glass of Domain Chandon Brut) $59; The Royal Afternoon Tea buffet (incl. glass of Taittinger) $69.
Prices are correct at the time of publishing, but are subject to change. Please contact the venue for further details.
Bookings advised
T: 02 9286 6000
Website: www.sheratonontheparksydney.com

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Review: Tiffin Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

September 3rd, 2013
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Review by Melanie Pike, photography by Joshua Pike from Pike’s Palate

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

When entering The Langham Hotel Sydney there is a real sense of tradition. You would expect that though, being strongly linked to The Langham Hotel London – one of the oldest, purpose-built hotels harking back to 1865.

Tiffin at the Langham continues the long held traditions of high tea, serving ribbon sandwiches, scones and petit fours on a three-tiered stand. The tea service is all custom-made for the Langham by Wedgewood, and as you can see from the pictures, it’s quite pretty.

On our Saturday afternoon visit, the opulent wood-panelled room, complete with grandfather clock, baby grand piano, leather armchairs pulled up to fully set tables ready for high tea service, the place had a real feeling of a private club. It was busy, but not overly loud, the patrons all quietly enjoying each other’s company and the many delights on offer.

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

The staff were extremely attentive, and our glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé Champagne arrived shortly after we were seated. The menu and the teas were explained to us, then it was time to taste!

The tiered stand was placed on a smaller table off to the side. It’s a nice touch as we find we often run out of room on a regular table for two, and it was nice not to have to look through the stand to speak to each other.

We began with the sandwiches, all of which were lovely. Our favourite was the smoked salmon rolled crepe. It was an original way to present a traditional component of the menu.

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

Next were the scones. Light and fluffy, served with some of the tastiest house made strawberry jam we’ve had in a while, and of course double cream to slather on top of it all.

The sweet tier was full of ultra-rich treats and we were glad that they were all only two-bites each, we wouldn’t have had room to try them all otherwise! The favourite was the strawberry tart, I’m a sucker for fruit and custard held in a buttery pastry shell.

The tea selection has a few ‘signature blends’ gathered from all over the globe. The Langham Masala Chai that I had was a good example. Not overly spiced like chai can sometimes be, it was delicious from first pour to last.

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

The Menu
- Finger sandwiches: Cucumber, watercress, & ricotta on country white; Free range chicken breast & herb mayonnaise on wheat; Pastrami, asparagus, homemade tomato & mustard chutney on light rye and Tasmanian smoked salmon crepe, chive cream cheese.
- Freshly baked scones: Golden raisin & plain with homemade strawberry jam and double cream
- Homemade pastries and tea cakes
- Lime crème brulèe
- Strawberry tart with indulgent vanilla crème patissiere
- Rich Opera cake
- Light French macarons
- White chocolate cupcake with pink buttercream icing
- Traditional New York baked cheesecake.

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Sydney

Tea selection:
- ‘The Langham’ breakfast tea
- Assam long leaf, India
- Ceylon orange pekoe
- Lavender tea
-‘ The Langham’ earl grey tea
- Sencha, Otsuka estate, Shizuoka
- Dragon eyes jasmine
- Warm spice
- Peppermint
- ‘The Langham’ masala chai

We really enjoyed reviewing this venue. The opulence of the room really added that extra something to a traditional afternoon high tea. Highly recommended for small groups and large. There is also an option on the weekend to have your tea leaves read, just be sure to book in advance.

The Langham Sydney
Address: 89-113 Kent Street, Sydney, NSW, Australia
When: Monday to Sunday – Reservations are essential
Cost: $49 to $79 per person for full details contact the venue.
Prices are correct at the time of publishing, but are subject to change. Please contact the venue for further details.
Bookings telephone 02 8248 5252 or email: [email protected]
Website: www.sydney.langhamhotels.com.au

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High Tea Fashion from Shoes of Prey

April 29th, 2013
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Shoes of Prey

Shoes of Prey is a website we love. You can design your own shoes and the clever people at Shoes of Prey will have them made up and in the post to you. From ballet flats to stilettos, from snakeskin to Italian silk, you can create a unique pair of shoes to wear to your next high tea event. Available from www.shoesofprey.com or within David Jones, Elizabeth Street, Sydney.

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Review: High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms, Sydney

April 27th, 2013
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High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms, Sydney

High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

Review: Melanie Pike
Photos: Joshua Pike

The Vaucluse House Tearooms are located amongst the gardens of the historic Vaucluse House Estate. Vaucluse House itself is surrounded by 10 hectares of picturesque gardens and grounds stretching down to Sydney Harbour. The sandstone mansion was built in the 1830s and was the home of William Charles Wentworth and his family. The Tearooms were added later in the 1930’s.

It was a sunny day when we took high tea, so we were seated on the terrace (if it’s wet weather the indoor seating area is opened). The terrace is edged by a short flowering hedge and overlooks part of the estate’s gardens. Large café umbrellas offer shade over the tables and chairs. It’s a lovely area to sit and relax in, not too overcrowded, just make sure you take your sunglasses!

High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

The wrought iron three-tiered stand arrives chock full of delicious little treats. The beautiful blue and white Johnson Brothers crockery offers that extra touch of class.

Beginning with the savoury tier (which I must admit, is always my favourite tier) we found delightful little tarts, quiche and sandwiches. The chicken and tarragon sandwich was the standout this time. Lovely and moist, with a nice crunch courtesy of some diced cucumber. The mushroom tart was packed with flavour for something so little, and the quiche was a nice balance of cheese/ham/egg.

High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

Moving on to the sweet tier, we enjoyed beautiful chocolate mousse and strawberry cups shaped like a flower (we couldn’t decide between rose or tulip, check out the photo to see what you think). Next was a passionfruit and blueberry brulee tart, one perfect mouthful of silky custard with a crunchy top. The pistachio macaron had a juicy cherry bomb surprise in the middle. Lastly there was a champagne jelly shot. A word of warning with this one though. If it’s a sunny day and you’re seated outside break with tradition and eat it from the sweet tier first. By the time we got to it, it had melted!

High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

High Tea Menu
Savoury:
- Smoked Salmon, Gin Jelly & Chive Money Bag on Lavosh
- Chicken & Tarragon Harry’s Bar Sandwich
- Marinated Cucumber Finger
- Wild Mushroom Tart with Truffle Cream & Petit Herb
Sweet:
- Passionfruit Curd & Coconut Tart
- Strawberry & Basil Chocolate Truffle
- Scones, Berry Preserve & Clotted Cream
- Pistachio & Cherry Griottes Macarons
- Sparkling wine

We always save the scones until last, they usually all taste pretty similar and fill you up so you can’t fit the rest of the delicious treats in. This time though, we wished we would have started with them, yes, they were that good! A perfect amount of crunch on the outside and super fluffy in the middle. Even if you don’t have the full high tea experience, if the scones are on the regular café menu they are a must try. Do what we did and smother them with the King Island cream, then drizzle the house-made jam over the top. Devine!

High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

High Tea at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

Melanie Pike at the Vaucluse House Tearooms

Overall, visiting the Vaucluse House Tearooms is a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Make sure you leave time to take a wander through the grounds. Vaucluse House itself is open for tours if you’re a bit of a history buff too.

Vaucluse House Tearooms
Wentworth Road, Vaucluse, NSW, Australia
Free onsite parking is available
Open: Wednesday – Friday 10am – 4.30pm; Weekends 8am – 4.30pm
Bookings essential
Cost: $45 per person (includes sparkling wine) Prices are correct at the time of publish but are subject to change. Please contact the venue for further details.
Phone: 02 9388 8188
Website: www.vauclusehousetearooms.com.au
For more information about Vaucluse House Estate see the website.

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Review: High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

March 30th, 2013
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Anna Polyviou at the Shangri La Sydney

Anna Polyviou at the Shangri La Sydney

Review: Melanie Pike
Photos: Joshua Pike

One of the perks of writing for High Tea Society is that I sometimes get to meet the pastry chefs behind the tiers of wonderful treats. At the Shangri La in Sydney I recently had the pleasure of meeting its new executive pastry chef, Anna Polyviou, and let me tell you, this is one lady that’s passionate about her pastry!

With time spent working at Claridge’s in London, then popping over to Paris to spend some time at Pierre Hermes, Anna definitely has the know-how to revamp the Shangri La’s high tea menu and in her first month there – that’s exactly what she’s done.

Everything is made in-house by Anna and her team, and the attention to detail is five star and fantastic. The buttermilk scones were light and fluffy, served with generous lashings of clotted cream and mixed berry jam. The ribbon sandwiches were your usual selection of cucumber, roast beef, chicken and smoked salmon.

High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

Having an award-winning pastry chef on board, we were expecting big things from the dessert tier, and we were definitely wowed! The macaron was perfect, with a fresh raspberry surprise in the centre. The chocolate brownie was more chocolate than cake, extra rich and velvety. So rich in fact, I could only eat half of mine! The tropical shot was a great balance of posset (set custard) with tiny juice-filled pearls that popped on your tongue. My favourite though was the toasted lemon meringue tart. A lovely buttery pastry, filled with lemon curd and topped with the softest meringue that had been lightly toasted to colour it, but it remained pillow soft to bite through.

The Shangri La chain has globally partnered with Dilmah, and there were 18 different teas to choose from, so we’d have to say all tastes are covered with that large range. I’m going through an oolong phase at the moment, so that was my choice on the day.

High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

The Shangri La Sydney

The Shangri La Sydney

Bookings are essential and the tea is available in the Lobby Lounge and Terrace where tables, armchairs and couches are arranged in intimate clusters so you can relax with friends without having to share your space. A word of warning though, if you’re short like me, stick to an armchair rather than the couch, it was a bit tricky to reach the goods on offer while still appearing lady-like and not dropping anything in my lap!

If you’re visiting Sydney and staying at the Shangri La, its high tea service is also available to your room. There’s definitely something indulgent about being able to take high tea while dressed in a fluffy white bathrobe and overlooking Sydney Harbour, that’s for sure!

THE MENU

Sweets:
Macaron – French vanilla and rose rosewater mousseline, raspberry
Tart – Lemon curd, toasted meringue
Chocolate – Chocolate brownie, chocolate anglaise, chocolate ganache
Tropical Shot – Passionfruit posset, mango jelly, tropical popping pearls

Scones:
Buttermilk and earl grey tea raisin scones served with homemade berry jam & clotted cream pots
Sandwiches: A selection varies on the day

High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

High Tea at the Shangri La Sydney

The Teas:
- Brilliant Breakfast
- The Original Early Grey
- Natural Seylon Tea
- Rose and French Vanilla
- Single Estate Darjeeling
- Single Estate Assam
- Peach
- Blueberry and Pomegranate
- Lychee with Rose and Almond
- Italian Almond
- Green Tea with Jasmine Flowers
- Seylon young hyson green tea
- Sencha Green Extra Special
- Sencha with peppermint and cinnamon
- Pure peppermint leave
- Pure camomile flowers
- Rosemary with peppermint leaves
- Single estate oolong tea


Shangri La Hotel Sydney

Address: 179 Cumberland St, The Rocks, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Price: The standard high tea is priced at $42 per person or $50 per person with a glass of sparkling wine (NV Brut Chandon) and $62 per person with a glass of champagne (Tattinger Reserve Brut). (Prices are correct on the date the article is published – the date is at the top of the page. Please contact the venue as prices are subject to change.)
When: Available daily from 1 – 5pm.
Bookings: (02) 9250 6144 or email [email protected]
Website: http://www.shangri-la.com

Also, while it’s not strictly a ‘high tea’ Anna hosts dessert degustation evenings where you sit in her kitchen while herself and her team serve up a selection of sweet treats. It definitely sounds like something a High Tea Society reader would love to do! Contact the hotel for more information or to book your place. Be quick though, they sell out!

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