There are few things more pleasant than high tea on a beautiful spring day.
Fresh-baked treats, a gorgeous setting, and a hot cup of tea… are the makings of a perfect afternoon. When it comes to high tea, we are spoilt for choice, with many of the best hotels serving up a luxurious spread. Here are some of our favourites around the country.
Mount Nelson Gardens, Cape Town
The Mount Nelson has welcomed back legendary pastry chef Vicky Gurovich after an eight-year hiatus. Now, their afternoon tea menu has reached new levels of indulgence – think seasonal cakes and savoury classics like cucumber, fennel and cream cheese finger sandwiches. When it comes to tea, guests are treated with a choice of over 60 premium loose-leaf and flowering teas, as well as local infusions like buchu, rooibos and honeybush. The hotel’s signature tea is a sublime blend of Darjeeling, Kenya, Assam, Keemun, Yunnan and Ceylon, along with pink rose petals for a beautiful blush shade.
The Twelve Apostles Camps Bay, Cape Town
The Tea by the Sea at this iconic Cape Town hotel is a modern take on an old tradition. Tea is served at the table and comes with a three-tier stand of sweet and savoury treats – think finger sandwiches, macarons, cream puffs, and of course, classic scones. Guests are offered a bottomless selection of loose-leaf teas and speciality coffee, or they can indulge in the Moët & Chandon High Tea, served with a glass of Brut Imperial champagne.
Grande Roche Paarl, Cape Town
This gorgeous afternoon tea offers something a little different, as new-world cuisine meets old-world sophistication. The menu sees a delicious selection of eats, including cold-cut bruschetta, smoked salmon and sticky rice with cucumber rolls and pickled red onion. Sweet treats include vanilla custard slices, lemon meringue and chocolate cake.
The Oyster Box Umhlanga, Gurban
Hosted in the Umhlanga hotel’s stunning Palm Court, this high tea is served with a backdrop of crystal chandeliers and a resident pianist. A buffet table is laid with platters of sweet and savoury eats, many of which celebrate local culinary traditions. Don’t miss a chance to taste the crisp samosas, fragrant chilli bites, and the delicate buttermilk apple crumble.
Just Teddy Sandton, Johannesburg
High tea at this Sandton boulangerie and patisserie is nothing short of a luxurious experience. Tea is served with three tiers of treats, including buttermilk scones, Chantilly cream and preserves; Middle Eastern-inspired vegetarian mezze or a meat savoury quiches and pies platter; and the chef’s selection of fine French patisserie. The high tea is also available as vegan or gluten-free on request.
The Cellars-Hohenhort Constantia, Cape Town
This historic hotel is a beautiful spot to enjoy an indulgent high tea spread, and guests have a choice of locations from which to choose, including the greenhouse, terrace or charming Palm Arch. The four-course spread is designed by executive chef Tronette Dippenaar and is inspired by high teas at the best hotels around the world. Treats include finger sandwiches, quiches, scones and a selection of cakes.