Tag Archives: high tea


I’d never been to the Torrens shops before, but my friend booked us in for their first high tea and I will certainly be back. We were greeted with a glass of sparkling on arrival, and then the food began to flow. One of the highlights of this high tea was the fresh serving of each savoury piece, rather than all being lumped together to go stale/cold on a tray. Classy. First up were two mini sausage rolls, pork and lamb, served with a tomato relish. The pastry was crisp and buttery, and both had great flavour. This was followed up by the ‘Caesar salad in a pastry shell’ (refreshing) and finger sandwiches, which were perfectly fresh (no stale bread here!). The savoury highlight was a haloumi, preserved lemon and mint pastry roll – I could have eaten fifty of them! So good. There was a nice break between servings, and then came dessert. The tiered tray held 3 different goodies – scones with jam and cream already applied, mini raspberry and Oreo cheesecakes and mini chocolate brownies. Small portions turned out to be essential, as both mini desserts were super tasty and rich! The scones were also lovely, and went nicely with the tea, coffee or hot chocolates we picked. For $40, this is certainly one of the best value, high quality (although casual) high teas in town.

Smogue, 2/24 Torrens Pl, Torrens ACT


Buvette Canberra 2

After a fabulous savoury course, it was time for the sweets. We had tried to pace ourselves, but ended up only trying the least portable desserts, and getting the rest takeaway (thank you Buvette!). I started with the lemon meringue tart, as the lightest of all the flavours. The meringue was so glossy and soft, it just melted away into the sweet pastry and delicious lemon curd base. Yum. Next up was the profiterole – now usually I’m not a huge fan of these, as they can be bland compared to other sweets, but this one had such great quality chocolate and a caramel-flavoured filling, that it has change my mind about what a good profiterole can be. The tiramisu was a highlight, although by then I had reached dairy saturation, so only tried the coffee-and-liqueur-soaked cake – it was stronger on the coffee than the liqueur, which was probably good to counteract the sleepiness from so much eating. Of the sweets I took home, I particularly liked the strawberry friand – it had great flavour and actually smelt really great too – and the salted caramel square was also divine. Highly recommended for a special occasion, or just to celebrate the weekend!

Buvette, Hotel Realm, 18 National Circuit, Barton ACT, http://buvette.com.au/

Buvette Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


A platter of French savoury foods, including quiche, gruyere cheese, a bowl of olives, salami, jmon, finger sandwiches and beef pies.

Buvette’s Petit Feast has become the hottest new thing for Canberra foodies to indulge in – and what a treat! My friend and I booked a few weeks in advance and were delighted by the whole experience ($65pp). I’ll post about the sweets separately, but on arrival you start with the savoury course, served with a glass of rose and a separate plate with your oyster. The oysters were huge, although they had probably the strongest oceanic flavour of any oyster I’ve ever had, so it might not be to everyone’s tastes. We started with the finger sandwiches – the top two were salmon, the bottom two tomato and cheese – which had been made fresh and were both light and tasty. Next up was the spinach and zucchini quiche, which had very short, sweet pastry and a luxurious, silky-smooth filling. Yum. The tiny beef pies were elegant and flavoursome, but I was particularly excited for the cold meats. The jamon definitely stole the show (my friend’s pick of the whole feast) and was closely followed by the guyere cheese, which was so tasty we kept our leftovers for the doggie bag. The manager came to check on each table (very classy) and told us it was imported from France. The olives were also a nice respite from the richer items. Stay tuned for the sweet course…

Buvette, Hotel Realm, 18 National Circuit, Barton ACT, http://buvette.com.au/

Buvette Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Madame Hanoi

Madame Hanoi Adelaide

Part One is here. Next was the rare beef with white anchovies served on toast with anchovy paste. I love anchovies and found the strong fish and salt flavour delightful, although the beef was left as nothing but texture with the strength of the anchovy taste. Tier two was our unanimous favourite – the soft shell crab buns, packed with deep-fried crab and dressed with coriander a very spicy mayonnaise that was one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten. Seriously, go and eat this now. Amazing. The final tier was dessert, with more French influence – pistachio, salted caramel and vanilla macarons, all with perfect feet and true flavours. We all liked the pistachio best, although the salted caramel was a close second. We saved the best until last, although again the experience wasn’t top notch as there was no cutlery provided to eat the hazelnut cake covered in gooey chocolate glaze – we had to steal the cutlery bucket from a vacant table to be able to eat it (after having to ask for a water refill, we felt a bit neglected). But oh my, it was fabulous, with a rich dark chocolate mousse and a crispy hazelnut base – super rich, but utterly divine. Food perfection, but the experience didn’t have the same degree of class as other high tea venues.

Madame Hanoi, Adelaide Casino, North Terrace, Adelaide SA, http://www.adelaidecasino.com.au/restaurants/madame-hanoi/

Madame Hanoi

Madame Hanoi Adelaide 2

Adelaide has a couple of exotic high tea offerings, and Madame Hanoi’s is to a Vietnamese food theme – how could I resist? We were shown to our table and I was quite gobsmacked by the decor – even the coffee machine has cherry blossoms painted on it! Very stylish. The high tea included a pot of Hendrick’s gin-spiked tea, which I loved but Mum didn’t really enjoy. The tea has a strong cucumber flavour, and paired with honey it was certainly an unusual brew, true to Hendrick’s brand claim. It took a while to persuade the staff to substitute coffee for the tea for Dad, something that you would expect to be standard at any high tea offering. On to the food. Savoury tier one started with the most delicious croque monsieur I’ve ever had – seriously, there was so much cheesy, hammy, buttery goodness in that wedge that I was in foodie heaven. Yum. In comparison, the cold roll was a bit plain – I felt it could have used some dipping sauce, but with advanced notice the staff happily substituted beef for duck due to an allergy in our party. Part Two to follow.

Madame Hanoi, Adelaide Casino, North Terrace, Adelaide SA, http://www.adelaidecasino.com.au/restaurants/madame-hanoi/

Madame Hanoi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lotte Hotel

Lotte Hotel

Flashback post from where I would rather be… I do love a good high tea, and after the amazing one at Raffles in Singapore, I was keen to see what Seoul had to offer. Quite a few places have an afternoon tea, but the Lotte Hotel one sounded just right for us, so off we went on a weekday afternoon. We were pretty gobsmacked on arrival to see that our table was seated right by a window overlooking… a waterfall. Yep, it was a seriously beautiful view both outside and in, with high ceilings and chandeliers creating a classy setting in The Lounge itself too, which was only enhanced by the string quartet that played throughout the afternoon. I chose earl grey as my Ronnefeldt tea, but we were both surprised to see that the tiered tray only came with one of everything, so we had to slice things in half. The savoury sandwiches were rolls, including a quid ink one with salmon, a seed one with crab and a brioche with beef, and they were probably the best savouries I’ve had at a high tea anywhere. Other highlights included the opera cake, orange and poppyseed cake, and strawberry custard tart. Completely luxurious and decadent.

The Lounge, Lotte Hotel, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul          http://www.lottehotel.com/seoul/en/dining/dining.asp?type=BL&seq=8

The Homestead Cafe

Homestead Cafe Canberra

My team at work are a bunch of foodies, and when I suggested going out for high tea on a Sunday, quite a lot of them were keen. I booked us in to the Homestead Cafe, and we were given a private room. I was struck by the beautiful crockery – everyone had different teacup and saucer sets, so we spent the first few minutes comparing and admiring the china. First course was a choice of sparkling wine or orange juice – I opted for the juice, and it was freshly squeezed and sweet. The finger sandwiches were next – they were also fresh (no crispy bread) and my favourite was the smoked salmon. The hot savoury course was the highlight, with caramelised onion tarts topped with goat’s cheese and a delightful arancini ball served with homemade tomato relish. Next were the scones – one per person, served with mixed berry jam and clotted cream. The scone was huge, crumbly and matched the thin jam perfectly. We concluded with a selection of small desserts, including a white chocolate and raspberry panna cotta and carrot cake. It was nice to leave a high tea not feeling overly bloated, and having had a relaxed afternoon out of town.

The Homestead Cafe, 214 Gooromon Ponds Rd Hall, ACT  http://www.homesteadcafe.com.au/

Homestead Cafe on Urbanspoon

Old Parliament House

Old Parliament House Canberra

There’s not a lot on offer to eat in the Parliamentary Triangle, so when an opportunity to try something different arises, it ‘s pretty exciting. When my friend and I saw that the cafe at Old Parliament House was offering high tea, we booked in quick smart and prepared for an unusually indulgent lunch break. As with most high teas, we started with finger sandwiches – my friend is vegetarian and they happily provided cucumber and egg sandwiches for her, while I enjoyed the smoked salmon (always my favourite). We then progressed to the scones, where there were strangely three scones when we’d booked for two people. The scones were not as risen as some I’ve had but there was a good amount of jam and cream and they weren’t too heavy. The dessert tier at the top of the tray was the highlight, with five different pieces each! We sampled mini raspberry friands (beautifully buttery and tart), custard tarts, a nut brownie, a light, layered caramel slice and a handmade nougat. By then we’d had a bit of sweet overdose, but it was a fantastic selection with unusual choices, proving that it’s always worth trying something new.

Old Parliament House, 18 King George Terrace, Parkes, ACT     http://moadoph.gov.au/visiting/cafe/

Kitchen Cabinet on Urbanspoon

Tiffin Room

Tiffin Room, Raffles Singapore

As part of my Singapore food odyssey, I booked high tea at the Tiffin Room of the famous Raffles Hotel. I had pretty high expectations of this colonial institution, and I wasn’t disappointed. We were seated in a window booth, and for the first time in my life I was brought a small stool to put my handbag on, so it didn’t have to sit on the floor. Wow. Our tiered tray arrived promptly, with the traditional finger sandwiches in five different flavours (the salmon was particularly good), tarts and cakes. If that wasn’t enough food, there’s also a buffet to help yourself to, including a selection of dumplings, fresh tropical fruit and scones, as well as more cakes and sandwiches. Luckily, you aren’t rushed and can take the time to savour each of the tasty morsels included in the high tea. I had a pot of earl grey served in what I’m pretty sure was a real silver teapot (swoon), and the whole meal was accompanied by a live harpist. The service was impeccable, with our waiter offering to bring any drink we liked from the Long Bar. I can’t recommend this experience enough!

Tiffin Room, Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road Singapore            http://www.raffles.com/singapore/dining/tiffin-room/