Western Sydney writer, trier of new things and lover of food
Published August 26th 2015
Affordable and family-friendly High Tea experience
My boyfriend and I like Windsor and like to go there from time to time, so when we drove past the unassuming Illusions Lounge with a large sign outside saying "High Tea", we thought we'd give it a go. We were even more surprised that, upon inquiring, we were told that the High Tea was only $20 per person ($10 for children under 12). Bargain!
Illusions Lounge is actually a cocktail lounge and the high tea is served upstairs. It's not much to look at from the outside – nothing fancy, a quaint little country-looking pub just like the other pubs in the area, but upstairs it is quite nightclub-ish in appearance.
As you enter the Lounge upon alighting the stairs, you are greeted by a good-sized coffee table with various toys and games for kids, and a sign telling you to take what you like (for the duration of your stay of course, I assume it's not for taking home).
To the left is a closed-off, decent-sized function room, which was occupied by a group at the time we went. They also cater for parties. And to the right is the Lounge area where other High Tea party goers were enjoying their little fancy morsels. There was only one other (rather large) family there when we went (on a Sunday brunch), so we had a big lounge section to ourselves (my boyfriend and his two kids).
I liked how the chairs and furniture were arranged and decorated; it was understated elegance, simple and cozy. Although the area where the other family were sitting had more of an elaborate set-up with a throne-looking chair, palatial mural on the wall and more regal feel. I'm guessing that area is for birthday parties where the guest of honour gets to be "king" or "queen" for the day. We were happy with our high-backed red chairs that the kids took turns sitting in.
The kids loved the games and toys they had displayed at the entrance, and they took a couple of games over to our table where we enjoyed a game of 3D Snakes and Ladders and Connect 4 while we waited for our meal. The wait for the meal wasn't too long, and it came in a three-tier cake stand, with a slice of bread and toppings (one for each of us), some fresh fruit slices, three scones with jam and cream, two different types of cakes, and cheese and crackers. It was a good spread, each little morsel was nice, and the kids liked it too. They also liked the little mugs of hot chocolate that they got, while my boyfriend and I were given a choice of either coffee or tea, which came in the standard tea varieties such as English Breakfast and Earl Grey. I had coffee and he had tea.
If there was any down-side to the meal it would be that it wasn't very filling (but then again, that's what a High Tea is about, just morsels!) and that there wasn't a good balance of sweet and savoury. Whilst we loved the cakes and scones, we wished there were more savoury sandwiches as the boyfriend was not into smoked salmon (there was one ham sandwich morsel and one smoked salmon sandwich morsel for the adults; and the kids had a ham and cheese sandwich slice each). It was only at the end of our meal, when I went to the bathroom and saw a High Tea poster and had a proper read of it, that I realised that you can actually pre-order in advance what you'd like served at your High Tea. If I had known that at the time I booked, I would have asked for more sandwich variety. Oh well, I'll know for next time!
Overall, we had a good experience. The service was good, the food was good (though not very filling), the atmosphere and comfort factor were good, the price was excellent, and the lovely touch with the table full of games was good, as the kids really enjoyed going through the toys and games. If we come back here again, I will definitely call ahead and pick my menu. This place is highly recommended for a family breakfast or brunch, girly catch-up, kitchen tea, catch-up over coffee, party, or any other get-together, and that price point can't be beat!
High Tea is served on Sundays – 10am to 1pm.
They also have Father's Day High Tea Sunday 6th September 2015.