I love afternoon tea. Even if it is just a cup of tea at 4pm, I think it is a lovely little break in the day. And if it is a 3-tier cake stand with all manner of delectable goodies and a glass of champagne as well, then so much the better.
Sydney's Observatory Hotel is known for their decadent tea, but for some reason I had never been there before. Well OK, the reason is that the last 3 times it has been planned I have been responsible for booking it and left it too late.
This time, it wasn't my responsibility to book, so we got the table without a hitch.
The only real service issue was that they didn't want to bring our pots of tea until we'd finished our pink champagne. But we both wanted to savour our champagne and alternate it with sips of tea (which isn't as disgusting as it sounds). But a word in the ear of the waitress got that sorted out.
The food was a lavish array.
From the bottom of the cake stand we had smoked salmon, egg, cucumber and ham, cheese and mustard sandwiches, and miniature quiche lorraine. I got extra cucumber and ham, cheese and mustard due to the allergies and non-pork-eating of my friend SSS.
In the middle were minature cupcakes, tiny squares of tiramisu, fruit tartlets, creme brulees, cheesecake and glasses of pannacotta. The cupcakes were a bit nothing, and I did think it was overkill to have creme brulee AND pannacotta, even though they were both fabulous. The tiramisu was my favourite - more like an opera gateau really - layers of cake, chocolate and coffee, topped with gold leaf.
On the top layer were scones with jam and cream. It wasn't clotted cream - you don't often get clotted cream in Australia - and I think it should have been whipped slightly thicker to stick to the scone better. The jam was a bit too runny too. Normally I can eat a scone fairly daintily, but this time I had to lick off the jam dribbles. Only from my fingers - I draw the line at licking the tablecloth.