Saturday, July 18, 2009

High Teas at The Loft, King St Wharf

Can you overdose on high teas? Lisa & I didn't think so, visiting the Loft twice in the space of one week for their high tea with a couple groups of fellow food bloggers. First up was their regular high tea served every weekend followed by a Christmas in July-themed high tea this weekend.

For the regular high tea we were always going to go for the High Tea with a Twist. The 'twist' being that for an extra 10 dollars they serve a selection of tea-infused cocktails in adorable teapots. Isn't that a fantastically girly idea? Myself, Lisa, Jen, Betty, Lili and Karen went to check it out.

We selected three different cocktails, since each teapot is a two person serve. There's lots of oohing and aahing at all the different teapots.

Strawberry Pash - Zubrowka bison grass vodka, crème de fraise shaken with homemade apple purée, strawberries, basil and T2 "Mardi Gras" tea.

Sencha Quince Fizz - Lillet shaken with a hint of vanilla, fresh passionfruit pulp, pink grapefruit and chilled T2 "Sencha Quince" tea.

Turkish Delight - Plymouth gin, a dash of Tuaca shaken with homemade rhubarb purée, pear cheek, fresh lemon and T2 "Turkish Apple" tea.
My choice was the Sencha Quince Fizz and I didn't regret it one tiny bit. The combination of flavours was lovely & citrus-filled, with the strong taste of fresh passionfruit. The quince was very subtle, since it was only in the tea. This was my favourite of the cocktails, I didn't get to try the Strawberry Pash though the Turkish Delight was nice and thoroughly enjoyed by those who ordered it.

We had quite a long wait for our order to be delivered since there was a HUGE group of people having a baby shower at the table next to us, and the waitress was careful to warn us that it might be a bit delayed. So we were very excited when the food finally came out and we tucked in quickly

Savouries - Finger sandwiches (Chicken & mushroom, cucumber & cream cheese, salmon & dill) and a roasted vegetable frittata
The sandwiches, while nice and light were a bit pedestrian in terms of filling choices. The frittata was very odd indeed, having a very shiny, gelatinous look to it. It smelt and tasted incredibly eggy.

Scones and chocolate truffles
The scones didn't look too flash, quite small and dense looking but were surprisingly okay. They were buttery and not too dense or floury. Nowhere near as good as the Tea Room at the QVB, but those are some of the best in town. My one complaint is that they could get some better quality jam, it's very very sweet and quite artificial tasting. The truffles are creamy and rich and I want another one.

Petit Fours - Caramelised pear tarts and pistachio tart, chocolate brownies and lemon meringue tarts
I missed out on half the sweets since they had nuts but they replaced the pear tart and brownie with another meringue tart and a mini eclair. It was very difficult to arrange my two meringues in a photo that didn't look like boobs and adding the eclair to the equation made it look like something else...Anyway I think there's been more than enough talk about me & boobs recently, haha!

Custard-filled mini eclair
The eclair was quite nice, if a tiny bit on the stale side. I don't really understand why they order in the food rather than making it in house, but the food at the regular high tea is not really what you come to the Loft for.

After we are done with the cocktails we get to order our hot teas. Soon the table is full to the brim with cute individual glass tea sets, which are so visually appealing but totally impractical, proven by the fact that Lili's teacup is broken and her replacement teacup is broken too!

Lili's chai tea - "A well-known Indian blend. Complex, spicy and incredibly tasty. Traditionally brewed with milk (or soy) and honey"

Betty's Gorgeous Geisha tea - "Smooth, sweet and so delicious. Green Tea with the lush flavours of strawberries and cream"

My Blue Mountain tea - "Vanilla scented with pretty cornflowers and floral overtones. Fragrant and velvety"
The Blue Mountain tea is awesome. It's so lovely with that heady scent of vanilla, sweet and not bitter. I drink this totally on its own, no milk or sugar and love it so much that I drink the entire pot without hesistation.

The aftermath
High Tea #2 - Christmas in July

So the reason we couldn't resist going back to the loft in the space of one week was this fantastic Christmas in July high tea they are offering this month. Karen & Lisa returned with me, along with Betty, Suze, Helen and Lorraine. There was quite an interesting selection of Christmas-themed cocktails and yummies on the menu.

Santa's Little Helper - ""Fresh berries crushed with cranberry juice, bourbon and fruit liqueurs balanced with a hint of citrus topped off with red fruits tea"

Rudolph's nose - "Homemade rhubarb purée and fresh cherry shaken with bison grass vodka and a hint of citrus finished with turkish apple tea"

Silent night - "Chocolate liqueur combined with Martel VS and a touch of expresso, rounded off with peppermint tea"

We get all the special new cocktails on the Christmas menu and there are some hits and misses. I taste Santa's little helper first and BLEURGH it is so strong and quite medicinal in flavour. The bourbon is just far too overpowering for the rest of the cocktail. No one is a fan of that one. Love Rudolph's nose though, it's light and sweet and it's pleasant to get little pieces of rhubarb in your mouth every now and then. The Silent night cocktail sounds a little weird but in the end it's not very strong and tastes mostly of the espresso. I don't mind it but I still prefer the sencha quince fizz.

Another Sencha Quince Fizz
I had to get a photo of it because how adorable is the teapot? I love it and want to take it home with me. I'm finding the service very relaxed, almost to the point of being slow and they don't have a baby shower to blame it on this time. The food comes out and looks a lot better and more interesting than last time.

Sandwiches (Turkey & cranberry, baby prawn & mayo with sprouts, honey roasted leg ham with mustard pickle), chicken & pistachio galantine, ham & roast onion frittata, baby red peppers stuffed with goat's cheese
The savouries are a huge improvement on the previous week, the frittata is a hundred times better; light rather than the dense eggy jelly brick we had the last time. The stuffed peppers are lovely too, a bit oily but the goat's cheese is surprisingly good and not too strong (super strong goat's cheese sometimes puts me off but I'm starting to enjoy it more). The sandwich fillings are better too, my favourite being the prawn and mayo sandwiches with the crunchy green snow pea sprouts.

Raisin scones and White Christmas rum ball truffles
I was a bit nervous looking at the menu for this high tea since there was no mention of scones, and high tea is not high tea without scones! So I'm happy when I spot the raisin scones sitting in the middle tier. They're pretty much the same as the plain ones, not very appealing to look at but surprisingly pretty good. The truffles are really nice again, with a slightly crunchy white shell with a creamy chocolate filling that has a hint of rum. We had an extra serve of cocktail and food to go around because Leona couldn't make it so I managed to get my hands on an extra half scone and a truffle. Hehe thanks Leona!

Traditional mince pies, baked custard tarts with cherry compote and macadamia nut brownies
The sweet treats are equally improved on last week's efforts. The fruit mince pies were my favourite, with just the right balance between the spiced fruit mince fruit mince filling and shortcrust pastry.

My brownie replacement - White chocolate dipped strawberries
We get more interesting random tea pots with out hot teas including a super cute cupcake teapot for the Turkish apple tea chosen by me & Suze. I chose the turkish apple tea because I was loving the hints of it that were coming through in the Rudolph's nose cocktail. I was surprised by how sour it was, it smelt great and had a strong sour apple taste.

Chai, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Buddha's Tears & Turkish Apple teas

What's better than spending an afternoon with some good company, relaxing on a couch with a hot cup of tea and a scone? I had a great time both times here though I really liked the Christmas in July theme, it added something special. The loft is a great space with a great atmosphere and it was easy to spend hours lazing around on the couches on their balcony. Obviously if you're all about the quality of food in your high tea then choose a different place, the highlight of the loft high tea is the cute teapot cocktails and the gorgeous room. It was awesome spending girly time with everyone who came along, many thanks to Lisa for being so awesome with organising both the high teas, where shall we go for high tea next? ;)

I couldn't stop staring at these lights...

The Christmas in July High Tea is available on Sun 19th, Sat 25th and Sun 26th July. Bookings essential.

The Loft
3 Lime St,
King St Wharf
Sydney 2000
(02) 9299 4770

High Tea: Sat - Sun, 12-3pm

High Tea with a Twist ($45)

Traditional High Tea ($35)

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  1. I'm sorry I didn't get to go to this now. You can certainly never overdose on tea in my books, and I could've done with a girly day out :D

  2. What a beautiful place for high tea! And your boobies lol!!!

  3. i've been seeing that pink polka dotted teapot so many times now that i think i should go get it :P saw it on sale during my lunch break last week and now i see it in this post!

    i love, love high tea - looks like you girls had a great time!

  4. ahh pretty pretty teapots and nommy eats! great to catch up with ya dude!

  5. lol @ the boobs! I see what you mean!

    enjoyed high tea thoroughly yesterday. was great to get the chance to talk and sip tea and cocktails whilst we nibbled on all things delicious.

  6. OOoh I haven't High Tea'd in wayyy tooo long! And I am loving the fact that it is high tea with a twist hee hee XD and hheeyy you girls keep having outings?!
    Us guys better do something too! :P

  7. It was great cacthing up with you yesterday! I thought the food was pretty good and I liked the whole Christmas in July theme (I'm such a sucker for Christmas!). Looking forward to the Greek adventure! :)

  8. I agree with you, a high tea just isn't a high tea without scones! The frittata from the previous week does look a bit odd - glad they improved for my turn ;) hehe. It was lovely to spend the arvo with you! I vote for Sir STamford for the next high tea!

  9. I've been reading everyone's posts on this high tea and am extremely jealous and disappointed I couldn't make it. And two times in as many weeks - you must be keen! Might have to drag the bf for a girly afternoon out.

  10. Y - I wish you could have been there! It's weird that we still haven't met, you'll have to join us next time :)

    Ellie - hehe me & my bewbs :D It's a lovely spot!

    panda - hehe yep I have it in blue :D high tea is my fav, I will never get sick of it!

    chocolatesuze - Great catching up with you too! But so sad I missed out on that Zumbo visit :(

    Helen - haha they totally looks like them right?? I agree, it was great way to spend an afternoon chatting :)

    FFichiban - See we just stupidly assumed that all you guys would roll your eyes at the idea of high tea! Come for our next outing :)

    Lorraine - Was great catching up with you too! Glad you enjoyed it :) Yay bring on Perama!!!

    Betty - Yeah it was so gross the first time around, so even with the blue onions it was an improvement haha! YES to sir stamford for sure!!!!! It's always lovely spending time with you :D

    Belle - Aww it's too bad you couldn't make it. Hopefully you can come next time! Yeahh I have a real soft spot for high teas


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