Tag Archive for: High Tea

Luke Mangan creates the Highest High Tea for Virgin Australia

14 Oct
October 14, 2013

Attending a high tea isn’t something new.  I do like the occasional high tea, quite fond of them actually.  But how can you say  no Virgin Australia when they ask you to attend a high tea at 40,000 feet?  To be part of something that no other airline in Australia has attempted before, the highest of all high teas.

Virgin Australia High TeaThe high tea, served on today’s (14/10/13) Sydney-Perth route, was to mark Luke Mangan’s third anniversary of working with Virgin and to celebrate the arrival of the seventh wide-bodied Airbus A330 aircraft to the Virgin fleet.  The A330 will be flying the Sydney-Perth route from this month for weekday services.

More than 300 scones baked, 580 ribbons sandwiches prepared, and 270 cups of tea brewed for the high tea. Read more →

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High Tea – Stamford Plaza Sydney Airport

12 Feb
February 12, 2012

I am  pants girl by nature, I tend to feel a little uncomfortable in a dress.  I think I have never really grown out of my tomboy phase.  My youth, when not in Sydney, consisted of running around paddocks, trying to ride cows when horses weren’t available, climbing trees, going bush, chasing kangaroos and swimming in the local river.   My comfort zone really is Jeans and a tee.  There are a couple of exceptions where I will make an effort to wear a dress and get a bit more girly. One of those occasions is high tea.  I love high tea and I am really surprised I haven’t shared more of my high tea adventures with you

I find it the perfect way to catch up with girl friends.  It is a little bit more special than just catching up for a lunch.  It is also something I enjoy doing with Josh, a “mummy & me” date.  Read more →

Suzanne Gibbs, Margaret Fulton & Me, Do Afternoon Tea!

04 Nov
November 4, 2011

I turned to Sandra (The $120 Food Challenge) and whispered, “If the Queen had just walked in I wouldn’t have given a bras razoo, but that’s Margaret Fulton”.

Let’s rewind and start at the beginning shall we. I was invited to Suzanne Gibbs’ home to cook with her and some other bloggers, that is an invitation you don’t pass up. We were invited to cook alongside Suzanne and have a little cooking challenge with mystery ingredients and Philadelphia’s dessert cream.

Suzanne has an amazing culinary background. She studied at Le Cordon Bleu in London and then was appointed as Head Pastry and Sweet Chef at the Le Cordon Bleu Restaurant. On her return to Oz she was commissioned to write ‘The French Cookbook’. Worked alongside Margaret Fulton to produce a 30 part cookery course published weekly, and has written for the Woman’s Day, Sunday Telegraph and Australian Home Beautiful. Was New Idea’s Food Editor for 20 years, and Food Director of Australian Table and BBC Australia Good Food Guide. Suzanne was also responsible for the updated version of ‘The Margaret Fulton Cookbook’ and contributed to the new edition of ‘Margaret Fulton’s Encyclopaedia of Food & Cookery’. Read more →

High tea with Stephen Twining a new Aussie blend

13 Sep
September 13, 2011

Exciting news, Australia finally has its own tea blend, Australian Afternoon Tea,  thanks to Twinings.

Earlier this year Twinings set a challenge for 40 Australian celebrities to create their own perfect Australian Afternoon Tea blend.  Blending packs were sent out and our Aussie celebrities blended away.  The final results were sent over to London for assessment by a Twinings expert panel.

The top five celebrity blenders were; Radio Broadcaster Alan Jones, TV Personality Kerri-Anne Kennerley and her husband John, Singer John Williamson, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Champion Surfer Layne Beachley.  It was then up to the public to vote for the winning blend, around 85,000 Australians ended up voting.

Stephen Twining

A high tea at the Observatory Hotel was the perfect setting to announce the winning blend, and Stephen Twining, 10th generation Twining Ambassador was in Australia to make that announcement.  It was for this reason I found myself sitting down for a friendly tête â tête with Stephen over a cup of Russian Caravan before the event.  The drawing room of The Observatory Hotel is absolutely stunning, very much the parlour for having tea. 

Stephen is the perfect example of an immaculately groomed English gentleman, with a manicure that puts my fingernails to shame.  Actually the manicure makes perfect sense, I am sure that every time he picks up a cup of tea people would be focusing on his hands. Read more →

The Teahouse – Camellia Gardens

16 Jan
January 16, 2011

The first time I went to Camellia Gardens would have been 15 years ago with a 3 year old Josh.  The gardens are magical for kids.  Running water, ducks, turtles, flowers and of course camellias.  You can spend hours exploring the different paths that lead to “secret” gardens.  Well not really, but the way it is planned out it is awesome, you don’t know what is around every turn.

I hadn’t actually eaten at the Teahouse when Josh was younger and then as he got older we stopped going.  I thought it would be the perfect location to take Ms Shelly and the Princess (age 4) to celebrate their combined belated birthdays.

The Teahouse now does high tea and as Ms Shelly hadn’t been to a high tea before I thought it would be perfect with some duck feeding for the Princess to follow.

On the website they recommend that you make a booking.  Please note, for high tea you HAVE to make a booking and stipulate to them that it is for high tea.  This isn’t clear and I made the mistake.  I rang up and booked for the four of us and when we turned up I realised something was wrong when our table wasn’t set with china and linen like others having high tea.  They hadn’t accommodated the booking as high tea.

Only if you look at the menu on the website does it state you need to pay a deposit and book in advance stating high tea.  In my own defence too, they didn’t double check either when I made the booking.

I was crushed as quite honestly the website is not clear.  We were prepared to order from the kiosk menu for lunch, but they came back and advised that they could accommodate us.  Lunch sadly started off on the wrong foot and was slightly made to feel that they were doing us the favour.  Example was the way they threw the table together.  High tea is about grace and style, our china, cutlery and napkins were placed down without much elegance at all.

We ordered high tea for Ms Shelly, Josh and I with the idea that the Princess would nibble on the things she liked from what we had.

There is a medium assortment of teas available, with iced tea, hot chocolate, coffee or soft drink as an alternative.  I decided on the girly grey and Ms Shelly had the lemongrass & ginger tea.  Josh went for a hot chocolate.

You are presented in the typical fashion of a three tier serving platter.

The bottom tier consisted of sandwiches cut in quarters with their crusts off.  These consisted of chicken avocado mayonnaise & lettuce, salmon red onion lettuce & mayonnaise and the third sandwich option was ham chutney & lettuce.  The chicken and salmon sandwiches were very enjoyable, sadly the ham ones were very soggy.

The middle tier was the savoury pastry tier.  There were vegetable quiches, caramelised onion & feta tarts and spring rolls.  I thought the quiches were a little on the large size and weren’t all that appetising.  Not sure what place a spring roll has at a high tea, unless it is that way themed.  I did enjoy the caramelised tarts.

The top tier was full of sweet pastries.  Frosted cup cakes, lemon tarts, coconut macaroons and chocolate “rum??” balls.  The Princess really enjoyed the cup cakes and so did Josh, Ms Shelly and I left them to it.  Lemon tarts were nice.  Josh ate my chocolate ball and macaroon, both okay according to him.

I just noticed when I was going through their on line menu when writing this post that we should of received their “famous teahouse scones” which we didn’t.

The high tea is $30 per head and you have the option to byo your own champagne.

The Teahouse is in a lovely setting which is great for kids to explore afterwards (or before).  Lots of duck feeding to be had and turtle spotting.  The Camellia Gardens is a bit of an oasis in Caringbah.  In regard to the high tea, not bad value for $30, even better if you get scones.

Sara xxx



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