I've been wanting to do a Christmas in July high tea for ages! But I always seemed to miss it for one reason or another. Anyways, finally got around to booking in a date, was so excited, expected the place to have a real "Christmasy" feel to it..... there was a live piano man playing Christmas carols and groups of women chattering away enjoying their Saturday afternoon. We were seated in the outdoor section, which was lovely as the weather was absolutely beautiful, the sun was nice and bright dancing on the water accompanied by panoramic views of the wharf with its big luxurious boats.
Naturally we choose to have High Tea with a twist (who doesn't love cocktails on a lazy afternoon!). We tried all 3 special cocktails; Rudolph's nose, Silent Night and Santa's Little Helper.
Rudolph's Nose was my favourite (rhubarb purée with vodka, a hint of citrus & Turkish apple Tea). Santa’s Little Helper was very similar to Rudolph's Nose, instead of the rhubarb it had fresh berries crushed with cranberry juice, bourbon and fruit liqueurs, a hint of citrus topped off with a red fruit tea. Initially, we were very enticed by the idea of Silent Night, a combination of chocolate liqueur combined with Martel VS and a touch of espresso, rounded off with peppermint tea... however, it was too heavy on the espresso side and quite "watery" tasting if I must say so.
Next, the infamous tiered platters, distinct of high tea arrive.
The top tier had a combination of sweeties; (anticlockwise from the left: a caramel tart with cherry compote, chocolate brownie, mince tart, truffle covered with white chocolate).
The second tier served plain scones, baby red bell peppers stuffed with goats cheese, frittata of leeks & ham & a chicken and pistachio galantine.
The last tier had an assortment of sandwiches. Damage inflicted - $45 pp
I must say, I was thoroughly disappointed with the food. The chicken was very dry, the sandwiches plain, the mince tart was very coles bought, chocolate brownie was very flavourless.. not rich and chocolatey like you'd expect a brownie to be. The caramel tart was the worst of the lot; the pastry was chewy and slightly soggy, the custard was grainy & the compote was too tart. The only redeeming feature was probably their scones with jam & cream. To top it all off... there was nothing else Christmasy about it all except for the fact that a mince tart was put in the combo... We didn't even get Christmas candy canes, dangling off the handle like everyone else! :(
To finish, coffee & tea was served. Hitsu & I had the Gorgeous Geisha, a Green Tea infused with a hint of strawberries & cream. Winnie & Jieni were boring, ordering a chai tea & flat white.
All in all, it was a nice experience with very lovely views. However, if asked "Would I go again?", the answer would probably be, "no". The cocktails were a nice "twist" but it was not enough to redeem them of the mediocre food that was served and once the novelty of "Christmas in July" wore off (quickly too mind you), it was nothing ...special. So, if your looking for a great place to go to traditional high tea, I would much rather recommend the Tea Room,, QVB and if you'd like cocktails with your high tea, The Victoria Room, Darlinghurst would be a much better option.