I’m pretty sure that there can be no arguments that high tea really is the best.
If you find yourself disagreeing with me, I refer you to the picture above. When else can you gorge on scones with lashings of jam and cream followed by petite desserts and artfully constructed finger sandwiches. When else can you pretend to really be from high society and sip fragrant tea with your pinkie in the air? Ok, so I don’t quite do that but I do love a good cup of tea. And scones. And cakes. And (some) sandwiches. So in January this year, to mark the end of the holidays, mum and I went to sample the afternoon tea of the Sydney Park Hyatt.
We went for the champagne afternoon tea for $65 because, well, bubbles.
Need I say more?
The layout of the Hyatt makes for an intimate setting as there are few tables quite well set out. This is refreshing considering the way some well known tea rooms cram their guests in which makes the room seem cluttered and loud. The glass wall also means that you have a stunning view of Sydney Harbour and the Opera House, particularly if you are lucky enough to be seated right beside it. Unfortunately for us, our view of the harbour was blocked by an ugly big cruise ship that was docked at the time. Boo. The only caveat I think is necessary is that the glass is two way which means that while you can gaze absent mindedly at the parade passing by on the boardwalk below, everyone outside can, quite pointedly, gaze right back! I spooked a student of mine who clearly wasn’t expecting me to be staring down at her while she walked along with her father!
The china is clean and the silverware is well polished. Something that you shouldn’t feel surprised by as surely they should be features of all good high teas. However, this doesn’t seem to be the norm so I was pleasantly surprised to find that all was as it should be at the Hyatt.
First up was actually the finger sandwiches but, I was too slow to snap a picture of them! They were delicious and delicate and very much enjoyed. So, with that out of the way, can we talk about how cute these scones are? They were quite small but crusted with sugar and delightfully crusty yet soft inside. The cream and jam were thick and rich but, clearly there was far too little cream. That’s something I seem to find at most high tea places though so we just asked for a little more. After all, you can never have too much cream.
Raspberry, Vanilla and Pistachio Tart and Macadamia Praline Cheesecake
Both of these sweets were delicious. The pastry of the tart was light and crumbly and the vanilla creme was smooth and sweet. The raspberries were also plump and juicy. Beautiful! I very much enjoyed the cheesecake too which was sweet and nutty (which seems self evident from the title).
Valhrona Chocolate Delice and ‘A la folie’ Macaron
I must confess, I have no idea what ‘a la folie’ means but the macaron was chocolate and thats all that really matters, right? These desserts were less consistent than the ones above but they were chocolatey and rich and were definitely enough. By the end I was full and content. The fragrant tea offset the richness of these final desserts and it felt nicely balanced. The staff were patient and attentive but also allowed you the privacy that you want when you are having a lovely catch up.
We thoroughly enjoyed this high tea and will be going again (and hopefully be able to see the harbour without a stupid great big cruise ship blocking the view!)
Where is your favourite high tea spot? Have you got any recommendations for me?
Park Hyatt, Sydney
Address: 7 Hickson Road, The Rocks
Phone: 9256 1234