The sweets are pretty but the savouries are to die for
High tea is the perfect meal for people who can't make up their mind. It's also perfect for gluttons who want everything they see before them. When faced with delightfully stacked tiers of buttery and creamy morsels, I tend to be both.
My friends and family know this, which is why I was taken to High Tea at Bites by D in Mount Hawthorn for my recent birthday.
Bites By D is a charming little patisserie, unassuming on the outside and elegant on the inside with crystal chandeliers, golden cutlery, and fresh flowers on the table. You can drop by any time for their full menu of stunning cakes, cupcakes and macarons or try a little bit of everything with their High Tea menu.
There were many things I loved about the High Tea at Bites by D – one was that at $45 it is priced very reasonably especially when compared to the majority of High Tea in Perth. Secondly, I was able to finish everything and didn't have to sneak out with a little box full of goodies destined to get squished in the car and stale in the fridge.
For those of us who come for the sweet things but stay for the savouries, I found the balance spot on with first course being a beautiful tiered platter of four savouries, followed later by a crystal stand of four sweets.
There may be only 8 items, but they are not one-bite stands if you know what I mean. Each perfectly proportioned piece is a tiny meal in itself, big enough to warrant the use of the shiny gold knife and forks.
The High Tea menu changes constantly – owner Diana Beeck makes sure of that, so regulars are able to return and still try something new.
When I visited our savoury treats included a warm pumpkin scone with fresh salted butter, a housemade butter croissant with ham, cheese, rocket and pesto, a tart with a creamy beetroot filling and an incredible choux eclair with mushroom and crème fraiche filling.
All High Tea sittings are two hours, which is plenty of time to enjoy your meal at leisure, and if you choose to bring your own bottle of champagne (corkage $5 per bottle) you will definitely enjoy the chance to dawdle over your desserts.
Diana explained what each of the four little masterpieces were, considerately telling us that the opera cake with coffee buttercream was probably best left to last. Following her advice, we started with the summer cake – with picture perfect layers of raspberry and strawberry jelly and pistachio mousse. There was also mango mousse on a shortbread topped with freeze-dried mandarin and a French tea cake with lemon curd and Italian meringue.
Did you notice I didn't mention the scone with jam and cream? It's because there wasn't one, and I didn't miss it at all – even though I am a huge fan of scones with jam and cream. Everything was just perfect without them.
Accompanying your array of treats you can choose between coffee (5 Senses) or T2 loose leaf tea.
While the weekday High Tea sessions are priced at $45pp, the price does get higher for weekend sessions ($55pp) and twilight sessions ($59pp). There are a few other conditions such as starting times, minimum and maximum numbers and there are a certain amount of dietary considerations that will be taken into account, but all you need to do is ask.
For those with young people in tow, Bites By D even offer a children's High Tea (suitable for the over 8s) for $34pp.
High Tea at Bites By D is available afternoons between Tuesday and Sunday, and mornings Tuesday to Thursday.