Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
I love Jane Austen's tenacity, her staying power. Here we are on the other side of the world, two hundred years since she penned Pride and Prejudice and she still has the power to sway us.
Okay, so we don't always read her novels (although some of us had to for school) but we have watched modern remakes such as Bridget Jones' Diaries and Clueless and we all know who Mr Darcy is and why he is infuriating but a good catch.
His prototype still dominates chick lit everywhere.
But whether we have read Jane or not she still makes us want to be clever, witty and charming and partake of afternoon tea.
The Austen Tea Room is in a lovely old house in a swank part of Essendon, where there are wide tree-line streets and lots of lovely old dwellings. A bit like the Gables in Malvern, which is another brilliant place for afternoon tea, although far more sartorial than these quaint, plain Jane tearooms.
The old house has lovely polished floorboards and each of the rooms off the long hall has been turned into little private rooms where you can get together with family or a group of friends and indulge in tea and a tete a tete.
The ribbon sandwiches were delightful. Sometimes high tea places, in a bid to have everything ready on time, make the sandwiches too early and they are dry on the edges. But these were moist with fabulous fillings such as herbs, egg and smoked salmon. Then there were dainty quiches, and various little sausage rolls and a sundry of other savouries.
Scones, which are always the test of a good high tea, were startling. They were colossal and round and some had dried fruit, including baubles of bright red cherries, poking out.
The beautiful three tiered stand of cakes was greatly admired but I am afraid we could not do it justice. We were simply "stuffed" - or should I say "fully satiated". Jane doesn't like it when you don't speak properly.
Oh, and we were served by a Mr Darcy in the making who had a flop of black hair coming down over his forehead. Or should I say a Master Darcy as he was about the age of my teenage son, so definitely needed more time in the water.
As well as high teas you can visit the Austen Tea Room for breakfasts and light lunches. They make dishes such as creamy porridge and pancakes or serve coffee with various cakes and slices.
But somehow having High Tea in a Jane Austen themed house just seems a little more decorous.