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.