Saturday, December 11, 2010

Voyager Estate, Margaret River, Western Australia

When you desire more than wine, try the devonshire tea!

On a recent trip to our wonderful south west of Western Australia, we called into the outstanding Voyager Estate. Not for the excellent wines, the morning tea.

This was my third visit to Voyager (all for dining) and each time my party have been impressed.

My intention this visit was the devonshire tea with a green sencha tea and my guest chose the gluten free orange and syrup cake with a flat white.

The scones were warm, soft and very tasty with the strawberry jam and generous amount of cream. The green sencha tea was served in a good sized, lovely pot. Booyah- all most enjoyable. As for the orange cake feedback; "tasty, moist and couldn't get any better"- so a great choice all round.

The restaurant is in a wonderful relaxing room where you can enjoy the very fine dining of the Voyager Estate. Recommend a visit.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

High Tea at the Maj, His Majestys Theatre, Perth, Western Australia

"Sold out!" with high expectations from the many lovers of fine afternoon tea.

It has been some weeks since my last high tea outing and finally the much anticipated afternoon arrived. His Majestys Theatre had organised and advertised "High Tea at the Maj" and the tea lovers arrived in droves all looking splendid and in happy spirits to the welcoming music by the excellent trio "Sweethearts".

The two tiered savoury and sweet selections were already on the tables and all that was needed was to order our choices of hot drinks. The staff were extremely busy attending to all the requests, but handled them efficiently and with a very friendly manner. Hot drink choices were coffee, black, green or herbal teas. My choice was a very nice jasmine china imperial tea. From the savoury selections my favourites were the smoked salmon tartlet and the chicken waldorf finger sandwiches. And from the sweet selection the french petit four and the large strawberry dipped in chocolate.

As you might expect from our lovely old theatre the string trio was a lovely accompaniment. A lot of thought went into this event, including the tea selection and a pleasant balance of sweet and savoury treats.

Recommendations for future events would be perhaps to have a staggered start from 1pm onwards, but most certainly this was a good performance and one that calls for an encore.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cape Lavender, Swan Valley, Western Australia

The Swan Valley is a lovely place to visit in the spring, so the High Tea Inspectors made a booking at Cape Lavender for their "Cape Lavender High Tea".

Situated in Cranleigh Street, I found it quiet and relaxing. The friendly staff offered a selection of hot savouries, sandwiches, baby cakes, mini scones with a generous amount of strawberry jam and cream, all with tea or coffee. My selection was a lovely pot of green tea.

This is just the place to get off the main roads and enjoy some excellent value. At $20 per person you can't go wrong.

They also have a lavender gift shop with everything lavender. I bought some lavender arthritic balm for my husband. I will let you know how it goes.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Baroque Bistro Patisserie, The Rocks, Sydney, N.S.W.

What a find, we struck gold in them "Rocks"!

We just stumbled upon this divine patisserie in the Rocks. Looking for a quick coffee turned into a wonderful hour savouring the best cake I have ever had (and that's a big call).

The choice was too great, and after much thought and consternation decided on the raspberry and passionfruit gateau with a flat white. My fellow cake lover chose the vanilla cheese cake with her long black coffee.

The service was friendly and most efficient and they didn't mind me wandering to look into the cabinet displaying the wonderful array of cakes or to take a photo or two.

The cake presentation is delightful and the taste was equal if not sublime. We will return.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hadley's Hotel, Hobart, Tasmania

Salamanca markets and afternoon tea at Hadley's, the perfect saturday in Hobart!

After spending a long and enjoyable morning at the Salamanca markets the afternoon tea at Hadley's Hotel was the perfect wind down. The staff offered a wide choice of teas and coffee with a three tiered selection of scones, jam and cream, sandwiches and cakes.

We spent a leisurely hour in one of the very fine rooms of the National Trust classified Hadley's Hotel that was built by convicts in 1834.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Observatory Hotel, Sydney, N.S.W.

For something a little different, have your tea leaves read!

After visiting most shops at The Rocks, we arrived early in desperate need to sit back and relax with our favourite pastime, partaking in afternoon tea. I had previously made reservations for the "Mystic Afternoon Tea" and the friendly staff made us very welcome.

We were offered a wonderful and generous array of sandwiches, pastries, scones with jam and cream as well as lovely tea cakes all with a excellent selection of teas. My selection was darjeeling as I hoped to get some lovely tea leaves for my reading.

I found the 20 minute tea reading with Lindel most enlightening and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We had fun comparing our readings. Part of mine was a strong desire to speak out and express myself and the letter T. At the time I had no idea what it all meant, later it dawned on me, ha! my tea blog.

The tea service was well patronized and everyone appeared to be relishing the very fine surrounds and the Observatory afternoon tea.

This is an outstanding idea to combine the best of refreshments and a tea leaf reading by a very intuitive and professional reader. I do recommend that if you want something special, try the Mystic Afternoon Tea at The Observatory.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Tea Room, QVB, Sydney, N.S.W.

Shopping in the famous QVB and high tea - the ultimate indulgence!

Well we had the works, Royal Albert Tea set, starched white table cloth and excellent and attentive service - all the makings of a wonderful morning tea.

Our choice was The Morning Tea - an array of cakes, pastries and finger sandwiches served with tea or coffee. My tea selection was the aptly named "Splendid Earl Grey".

The food and tea were the perfect compliment to the wonderful room, a beautiful and fitting environment to celebrate a sister's birthday (the big 60!). Even the lift to the third floor puts you in the right frame of mind for a bit of Olde Worlde charm.

We spent a relaxing time indulging in one a life's truly great pleasures, conversation over a stylish pot of tea.

Anytime you're in Sydney and need to find the right ambience to just to sit and ponder I highly recommend The Tea Room - hard to fault!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dawson's Coffee House, Forrestfield, Western Australia

Something different with your vegetable seedlings!

Situated in the middle of Dawson's Garden World, Forrestfield, is the original old homestead now the home of the Dawson's Coffee  House.

You are greeted by friendly staff and on cold days, a blazing open fire.  Those in the know get a table close as possible to the fire.

Being regular visitors we usually order the trusty special, toasted ham, cheese and tomato sandwich with a flat white coffee.  The service is always efficient and the food and coffees hot.  Today I noticed a  group of ladies (sitting at the premium table) enjoying the devonshire teas.  So with camera in hand and a desire to partake I ordered the Devonshire tea.  I was not disappointed, the scones were warm and fresh, one plain and the other fruit with just enough jam and plenty of cream.

This is not a fancy tea house, but it is a great place to take mum or friends to enjoy a variety of food and drinks in a lovely garden setting and pick up a few seedlings.

The roses are spectacular in spring.  The high tea inspector is a regular visitor.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tealicious House, Dunsborough, Western Australia

Three girls were heading to Dunsborough for some R&R, so the high tea inspector checked the internet for tea experiences.  I came across Tealicious House in Dunsborough and the reviews seemed like a spot I would wish to check out.

High tea is $30 per person so I ordered the Devonshire tea and a green sencha tea, hoping the experience would inspire me to come again to partake in the $30 extravaganza.

Unfortunately, the ambience is not for high tea, it is however, fine for coffee and cake.  We sat on a bench seat at a table too large.  The china was uninspiring, a white thick cup and saucer.  As for the two scones they were average and there was only enough jam and cream to eat one.

My fellow travellers enjoyed their mars bar mudcake and coffees.  As I say, fine for coffee and cake.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Wayside Cafe, Widdecombe-in-the-Moor, England

What a treat after travelling through the Dartmoor National Park and seeing the beautiful rugged countryside and the wild little ponies to find - The Wayside Cafe!

The cafe was warm and inviting on the cold misty day, just the spot Mr Rochester would want to hang out (if he were in Devonshire) and get away from his first wife. We, on the other hand, didn't have a lot of time to spare - so the fast service was a plus. We both had Devonshire famous scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam, with a piping hot cup of tea. We felt most content heading back to our bus. Booyah!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Vines Resort, Swan Valley, Western Australia

A round of sandwiches with a round of golf.

I have now had the pleasure of experiencing high tea at the Vines twice.  Once in a party of four and recently in a gathering of 40 plus.

On both occasions the staff were attentive and friendly but I must say they were run off their feet with the large party.

The menu was similar and plentiful, however, the first remains a firm favourite.  For 4 people you are served a three tiered server with savoury open sandwiches on the top, scones with a generous amounts of jam and cream on the second and on the bottom a beautiful array of cakes. All this is served with a wide choice of teas or coffee.  My choice was serendipity on both occasions.  The champagne was an extra lovely touch for the party.

If you are ever planning a trip to the Swan Valley, I recommend high tea at the Vines.  Only problem is you must book as there is no "spur of the moment" high tea's available, and refusal will definitely disappoint.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sally Lunn's, Bath, England

Now for the tea of our host
Now for the rollicking bun,
Now for the muffin and toast,
Now for the gay Sally Lunn!
- The Sorcerer By W S Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

My daughter and I were only at Sally Lunn's for a short time but it has had a lasting impression on us both.

Where do you start when Sally Lunn's has been referred to by W S Gilbert, visited by Jane Austen and now the High Tea Inspectors?

We were extremely lucky to get a table as the place was packed. We followed the waitress to the third floor in what seemed like an endless maze of rooms and staircases. After ordering the Sally Lunn bun and house tea we enjoyed the memorabilia displayed on the walls. Not knowing what to expect, the famous bun was delightful. A dessert plate size delicious bun served with raspberry jam and clotted cream and eaten with a knife and fork.

For such a extremely busy establishment the service was prompt and pleasant. A most memorable time in wonderful Bath.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Crabtree & Evelyn Cafe, Stratford-upon-Avon, England

Fancy a cup of tea with your sonnets?

There is more to merit Stratford-upon-Avon than Shakespeare's old pad! In fact, Mum and I, being decidedly underwhelmed by the bard's interior design, headed straight for some afternoon refreshment at the delightful Crabtree and Evelyn Cafe (yes they make the powders and puffs too- but that's downstairs).

We had the cream tea - clotted cream, fair-sized scones and raspberry jam, washed down with English Afternoon tea. Perhaps one small improvement may be in the use of loose leaf as opposed to teabags, but we're all allowed a slight hiccup, easily forgiven in the olde worlde surrounds. The ceilings are low, and add to the wonderful ambience. The service was efficient and friendly.

We would recommend a visit anytime you're in the mood for a scone with your Shakespeare.

Betty's - York, England

Betty's is a High Tea experience to savour.

There is little in the world to rival the quintessential charm that is (Big) Betty's in York. From the stained glass, to the starchy waitress uniforms, its enough to make you check if Messrs Knightley, Darcy or Tilney might be nearby.

My Mum and I elected Earl Grey, from a pleasing variety of favourites, plus a vanilla slice and ginger tea cake for good measure. It was all perfectly delicious and nutritious, and exactly the portion required for rational happiness.

The place was very busy, on account of the place being so exceedingly good, but the staff were perfectly attentive- I really couldn't fault the place at all. Just the ticket after a spot of shopping at what appeared to be the Cath Kidston flagship store.

The experience, after a long bus ride, was the perfect finishing touch to our visit to York. Two thumbs up.