The Windsor is Australia’s oldest standing grand-style hotel, built in 1883, and still holds much of it’s Victorian charm today. High Tea at The Windsor is a must for any petit-fours-loving guest, though you don’t have to be staying at The Windsor to take tea there.
While we were staying at the hotel we were invited down to experience their high tea, and being avid fans of eating tiny foods and drinking
champagne tea at any time during the day, we were happy to oblige.
As we walked into The Windsor’s restaurant One Eleven Spring Street, we were met with the same high quality of service and grand decor we found around the rest of the hotel. Wait staff at the door greeted us happily and guided us to our seats around a white, clothed table bathed in sunlight from the tall window next to our table. Large chandeliers hung from the high ceilings and rich, wooden furnishings soaked up the sunlight pouring through the windows and warmed the room. All around us well-dressed people clinked their teacups and daintily began to nibble on the first tier of food.
Our friendly waiter came over to take our tea order and we decided to go with a pot of the Enchanted Heart Blooming Tea, a delicate white tea that opens up into a beautiful flower as it infuses in the pot. We were surprised to see so many other exotic blends of tea available too, like Peony White with Rose and Mint Lavender Tisane, as well at The Windsor’s own blend of Afternoon Tea.
Getting down to business, it was time to start eating the first tier of food. An éclair of porcini mushroom and marscapone cheese caught our attention first and we tried not to inhale it all in one mouthful. Both the pastry and the filling were airy and light, and the subtle mushroom flavour was enhanced by the sweet freshness of the cream. Next was a Pyengana cheddar cheese scone with pear and fennel chutney and pork crackling. You could put pork crackling on a McDonald’s chicken nugget and we’ll sing it’s praises and cry about how incredible it is, so this scone was an easy winner for us. Not to mention the fact the pork crackling was perched upon a delicious cheese scone with sweet chutney and not a chicken nugget, so we were obviously left wanting seconds and thirds of this one.
Moving down to the third tier, we were met with three varieties of dainty ribbon sandwiches: chicken, celery, apple and lemon thyme; egg mayonnaise, cornichons, dijon and dill; smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese. All of these sandwiches were light, fresh and the filling generous. We plowed through these pretty quickly too, however our waiter was quick to refill our sandwich plate at our request when we ran out. Who doesn’t love a gourmet sandwich that hails back to those sweet days when our mothers used to cut the crusts off our sandwiches?
We were left with only one tier left to devour, the divine dessert selection. If you have a strong sweet tooth then you will love both the Chocolate, Orange and Peach and the Mango and Lime. The first was an exorbitant mousse cake consisting of orange pannacotta, chocolate jaffa créme, milk chocolate mousse, peach jelly and almond, while the second was a crispy choux puff of mango custard and lime cream. Our favourite dessert though was the Something Nuts, which was a little layered cake made up of caramel mousseline, vanilla bavarois, walnut crispy, pistachio sponge, coconut jelly and garnished with a teeny tiny macaron on top. It was the perfect balance of sweet and savoury, and though the macaron was small it did not lack in flavour and texture!
Once your tea tower has been cleared, fresh scones straight out the oven are served. Our waiter informed us they aren’t served until the end as they’re best eaten warm! A mixture of plain and fruit scones were presented, with clotted cream, lemon curd and Windsor jam to spread all over.
Though petit fours are small, they’re deceptively filling and we wandered out of the restaurant warm and full of tea, scones and champagne! High Tea at the Windsor is served daily from 12pm, with additional times Wednesday – Sunday afternoons.