Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Observatory Hotel, Sydney

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.


Dharm said...

I'd heard about the Observatory before but never had the chance to go there since was but a poor student in my days in Oz! Also, I was in Melbourne... :)
The spread sounds and looks lovely!

SSS said...

I agree, the jam was too runny. Not so sure I agree about the overkill!

All in all it was a delightful way to spend an afternoon.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Dharm - if you ever get back to Oz, there are definitely worse places to have tea!

SSS - it was excellent! And my calendar is on the study wall.

Heather said...

wow. that looks just lovely and decadent!

Sam said...

It all sounds wonderful, Looks like a great place!

Selba said...

What a nice place for having a tea time :)

Esi said...

Wow! This is quite the spread. I have never been to tea at a restaurant, but my parents (who lived in London) used to make time for tea on weekends and I loved it.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Heather - it was lovely!

Sam - I have to say I have had better. But it was still brilliant!

Selba - thanks for visiting my blog. It was a very pretty room!

Esi - afternoon tea is such a great way to catch up with people. SSS and I have been to a few different ones in Sydney and even when they are bad they are pretty good.


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