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Canberra Today 6°/6° | Friday, July 1, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

High tea should look good and taste good, too

Dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON says high teas are visual extravaganzas, but it’s not all about the look, it’s also about the taste.

WHEN a lovely friend has a very special birthday (age not declared, but birthdays will be every five years from now on), it’s time to head to the historic Hyatt Hotel for a traditional high tea, starting with a glass of beautiful bubbles.

Wendy Johnson.

The Hyatt’s pastry chefs spend hours and hours perfecting perfect, pretty savoury bites, finger sandwiches, luscious cakes, tempting tartlets and more, to be enjoyed with the finest tea leaves, quality coffee and wines.

High teas are visual extravaganzas, but it’s not all about the look, it’s also about the taste. Our high tea stands featured savoury items on the bottom tier, sweets on the middle tier and buttermilk scones and panna cotta on the top tier.

It would be a sin to have a high tea without scones and the Hyatt’s come with double cream and berry jam (the debate was on – does the cream go beneath the jam or on top?). The fruit panna cotta was set just so… not too jiggly but jiggly enough. 

From the extensive range of savoury delights, my top three were the cauliflower, sweet potato and caramelised onion on macaroon, the eggplant caponata with Persian feta and crispy onion and the spiced chicken, chipotle garlic salsa and roasted capsicum tartlet.

Just as scones and high tea go together, so too does high tea and cool cucumber, cream cheese finger sandwiches. Nice and light. 

It was almost impossible to decide what to select from the middle tier, but I applaud the Hyatt for offering slices and tartlets that were stunningly beautiful but not soooo sweet you couldn’t indulge in one or two (or, in my case, several).

The Tea Lounge specialises in traditional black and herbal specialty teas with 28 varieties on the menu. The range includes soothing chamomile and sophisticated French Earl Grey, Queen Mary, and Rose Garden. Decadent options include rainforest magic, sticky date pudding (yes, sticky date pudding), Turkish Delight and chilli chocolate. If that’s not enough, health-related teas cover off “cold and allergy” and “energy” specialty teas.

The musician behind the piano made the afternoon even more special, playing “Happy Birthday”.

The Tea Lounge High Tea at the Hyatt is $70 (adult) and $50 (child).

The Hyatt is far from the only place to indulge in high tea in the capital. Buvette at the Burbury Hotel focuses on French pastries, cakes and tarts, including decadent buttery croissants, ranging from $50 to $105 for free-flowing high tea with Piper-Heidsieck champagne. QT offers a Sky High Tea, with mouth-watering treats oozing with elegance, from $70, and White Rabbit Cocktail Room has a “Tipsy Tea” from $70 with two cocktails.

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Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson

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