My mother and I have a tradition of catching up over high tea that started when I was in university. Since then, going to high tea has become a much loved ritual I share with my friends too. There is something quite wonderful and special about sitting down with a glass of champagne and tiers of delicate cakes and sandwiches, while you swap stories with your closest of friends. However, since this has become one of my favourite ways to catch up with my girl friends, it has meant that I have experienced high tea at almost every hotel in Sydney, as well as Gunners Barracks, The Tea Room at QVB and The Langham in Melbourne. So, as you can imagine, the high tea snob in me was very excited when the Burbury Hotel in Canberra announced they were introducing high tea.
Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend the launch of their high tea on the terrace. I spent several hours, child free, indulging sweet treats and petite sandwiches.
My favourite was easily the passionfruit profiterole. It had a delicate flavour and the choux was light. Absolutely perfect. A close second on the sweet tray were the milk chocolate mousse cups with caramel popcorn. The mousse wasn’t sweet, it was almost closer to a dark chocolate mouse, which was a nice change to the other sweets on the tray. The chocolate cups that contained the mouse were fine enough that they easily broke in your mouth, yet were firm enough to not collapse when you picked them up.
Scones are always my favourite non-sweet thing to eat at a high tea… even though it could be argued that, with the addition of jam, they are still quite sweet. Whilst scones might seem simple to get right, I cannot tell you how many hotels get them so wrong and the scones often end up dense or overly dry. Safe to say, you couldn’t fault either of the scones sat the Burbury.
The sandwiches are the only place I could find fault… but it’s not really a fault on their behalf – it’s more that I’m a fussy eater! I’m not a fan of seafood, so I was rather disappointed that both the sandwiches on offer contained seafood. One had smoked salmon, the other had prawns. My friend who I shared high tea with had no fussy dispositions and eagerly ate my share of the sandwiches. Apparently they were delicious! You’ve probably gathered by now that I’m grasping at straws to find fault with the Burbury Hotel’s high tea.
However, we cannot discuss high tea, without mentioning the quality tea selection at the Burbury Hotel high tea. It should also be noted that this is proper, loose leaf tea. Something that seems to be quite forgotten in many establishments. I chose the Napoleon, “a high quality black tea with a sophisticated TWG blend of sweet French spices and a hint of vanilla.” If you like black tea varieties such as English Breakfast, you will love this tea. In addition to a wide selection of teas, you are also given the option of adding champagne. I highly recommend it, especially if this is a special catch up. And isn’t any time you manage to get several hours, child-free, special?
If you do make it to attend high tea on the terrace, make sure you take a moment to appreciate the view over the rooftops to Parliament House.
You can experience high tea at the Burbury Hotel every Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-4pm. Please note that bookings are essential. More information can be found on their website.
The menu we had is pictured below, but please check their website in case it changes.