Friday, June 6, 2014

High tea at The Loft - fit for a Queen

With the Queen's birthday coming up, celebrating with a high tea in Her Royal Majesty's honour surely wouldn't be inappropriate.

The Loft on King Street Wharf is well known for its weekend girly Traditional High Tea by the water in the gorgeous daytime bar setting, while for those not tea inclined there's also High Tea with a Twist; an alcoholic one, that is.

High Tea platters at The Loft, Lime Street, Sydney
While I've lost count of how many times I've been to The Loft for cocktails and functions (including a great night on Saturday just passed), this was my first high tea experience there.

The Loft bar
Being more of a savoury than sweets person, my high tea strategy is to go hard on the first savoury plate and ease off as I get to scones and sweets, washing down the latter with lots of hot tea.

Breakfast at Tiffany's cocktail (front) and Chandon Rose (back, flute)
The Loft's High Tea with a Twist includes either a Breakfast at Tiffany's cocktail or a glass of Chandon sparkling wine.

The bright fizz cocktail is based on Zubrowka vodka, peach liqueur, apple and passionfruit, finished with a light tea and topped with real Maraschino cherries.

Ovvio Black Rose Boudoir organic tea
The Loft uses the all-organic Ovvio range of tea for High Tea, having recently changed from using a better known brand which isn't completely organic.

The Black Rose Boudoir was a black tea fragant with rose petals and vanilla, served with milk on the side.

Ovvio Chai High Spice organic tea
I had the Chai High Spice made on water (rather than milk, which is an option with the Chai). Unlike a lot of commercial chai teas or chai lattes which aren't really chai, this black tea released the real flavours of ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom in smell and taste.

Ovvio Summer Pineapple organic tea
For warmer days there are also sweetened iced tea options using Ovvio tea. The Summer Pineapple was beautiful with pineapple and lemongrass flavours at the fore, and peppermint, lemon myrtle and licorice root as part of the tea, served on crushed ice with a pineapple wedge garnish.

Ovvio Sencha Green organic tea
It's probably here I should mention that High Tea at The Loft includes endless tea. For a tea lover like me, the opportunity to try a whole range of the Ovvio tea range was such a delight.

The Sencha Green tea was beautifully clean without bitterness, and would be my choice as an all-day, everyday tea.

Savoury platter
To the food, we started at the bottom of the three-tiered platter with a fabulous savoury selection. There were the customary crustless finger sandwiches on white bread, filled with devilled curry egg.

From the others, I couldn't actually pick a favourite as they were all exemplary morsels. From the tiny rectangular tarts filled with smoked salmon and caramelised red onion jam; the juicily roasted button mushrooms filled with ricotta and pesto; the creamy chicken salad served on red witlof leaf boats; or the miniature leek and gruyere quiches with beetroot relish.

It was probably the chicken salad that I liked best for being quite the unusual high tea item but overall, I was quite impressed with the savoury options (which at some venues seem to be an afterthought).

Plain and raisin scones
To the scones there was a plain or raisin-studded variety, both looking very professional and without the often rustic surfaces of home-made versions.

Both scones were light and fluffy inside but I was more taken by the whipped Chantilly cream which was infused with a stunning flavour - perhaps a tea variety.

There was also a house-made strawberry jam which was more a liquid than a jelly, but so intensely strawberry flavoured it was almost a better embodiment of the flavour than the fruit itself.

Sweets (and strawberry jam, centre)
I think the petite sweets platter is the highlight for most people. The sweets included a slightly-too-crunchy macaron (the green one anyway), mini red velvet cupcakes with a lovely crumb and texture within, and a miniature chocolate and salted caramel tart with gold leaf that was the perfect ending, and just the right size too for something so rich.

The view from The Loft balcony
With comfy lounge seats on the balcony, we lounged with pots of hot tea and satisfied bellies. The service during our high tea experience was impeccable and I probably would have lounged until beyond sunset if I hadn't made evening plans.

The Loft morphs into its night time persona around about 5.00pm so an elongated high tea could indeed turn into sunset cocktails, both quite fit for a Queen.

High Tea at The Loft is available every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3.00pm. Bookings are essential - see here for more details.

Food, Booze & Shoes dined at The Loft as a guest.

The Loft on Urbanspoon


Cindy (a foodie's joy) said...

I haven't been to The Loft before, let alone high tea. It's going on my high tea list! :)

Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

Love high tea - mostly for the scones and cream! lol. Cocktails are a very welcome touch though!

Tina said...

Hi Cindy - It's best known as a cocktail bar / night venue, but the high tea is decent.

Hi Helen - I think I like it for the crustless finger sandwiches (and of course the cocktails). I mean, when else do you ever have crustless white bread sandwiches anymore...? :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...