Afternoon Tea has evolved in modern times. A tradition started by the British to bridge the gap between lunch and a late dinner, it is now more synonymous with a special outing or occasion than an every day indulgence.
Afternoon Tea is labeled as High Tea in many instances, a moniker that purists stamp their feet at due to, from what I can gather, the nature of the seating arrangement more than anything else.
In the simplest of terms however there is tea, there are sandwiches, there are scones and cakes, there are often bubbles. No mater what you call it, Afternoon High Tea is a terribly civilized event that should be lingered over and enjoyed to the fullest.
With this in mind I met up with a girlfriend a few weeks ago to indulge in the Afternoon High Tea at Soiree in the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Hotel.
Up until the end of April the Sofitel was promoting its ‘Addams Family High Tea’ so the lounge was done up in suitably ghoulish black and red decor for our visit. However it has no doubt now been returned to the swish sophistication of its recent 60’s era referb.
Soiree fills up with the after-work suited-set each evening but during the day it is both cosmopolitan and refined, perfect for taking tea. As the Addams Family theme was coming to an end we instead enjoyed a more traditional version, the recently reintroduced ‘Wentworth High Tea’.
Inspired by contemporary French cuisine, there are plenty of sweet and savoury treats to keep you busy, including the hotel’s signature cheesecake which has been resurrected from an original recipe created around the time the Wentworth opened in 1966.
Light as air cheesecake filling is layered between fluffy sponge cake, the fact that it is not at all what you would expect from cheesecake makes it no less luscious. The savory treats were filling and varied, and while the scones were a bit on the dry side, the dainty and classic top tier will satiate any sweet-tooth.
It is #TeaTimeTuesday so I must mention the tea. All the teas on the Soiree lounge menu and the High Tea menu are from Ronnefeldt. I chose the Pai Mu Tan Silver and it was quite possibly the most delicate White Tea I’ve ever experienced, simply sublime. I did try the Jasmine Pearls Green Tea too but found it a bit too fragrant. Jen mentioned that her Splendid Earl Grey was lovely.
I always forget what a treat it is to sip from a delicate china cup. I must get one for my daily
Wentworth High Tea Menu
- Roast beef on whole wheat bread with horseradish butter
- Smoked salmon on ciabatta bread, cream cheese, cherry tomato, capers
- Cucumber dill on white bread
- Spinach and pumpkin muffins
- Quiche Lorraine
- Scones, regular and sultana, with cream and jam
Top Tier Sweet
- Mini Eclair
- Fruit and creme patisserie tartlets
- Opera Cake
- The Wentworth Cheese Cake
- Ronnefeldt Teas
- Ninth Island Sparkling, Tasmania
Note: I requested a vegetarian option when booking and this was accommodated without issue.
With its convenient CBD location, proper service and towers of treats, the Soiree lounge at the Sofitel Wentworth is certainly a lovely location for a lazy afternoon.
- Where: Soiree lounge, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Hotel, 61-101 Phillip St, Sydney NSW, Australia
- When: from 2pm – 5pm weekends only
- How much: $49 per person, or $59 per person with a glass of sparkling
- Bookings essential on 02 9228 9188
JJ and guest attended The Wentworth High Tea as a guest of the Sofitel in accordance with the 84th & 3rd editorial policy. All opinions, as always, are my own.