Elegantly combining high tea tradition and innovation
High tea is bit of elegant dining tradition that has not only survived for over a hundred years, but has grown in popularity in recent times, inspiring innovation. Eden's Table at Westin Hotel in the city offers a high tea that beautifully combines tradition and innovation, putting in firmly in a go to place for lunch on Saturdays in the city.
Part of the Marriott chain, the Westin Hotel is a new hotel on Mary Street in Brisbane City that fits nicely into the 4.5 star category, that is, rooms have a 5 star feel, while service is more understated giving you a laid back efficient style service which most people prefer these days. Key features of the hotel is a lobby cafe suitable for a casual cup of coffee or a meal, a swim up pool bar and the elegant Eden's Table restaurant.
Accessible through the hotel lobby or by its own entrance, this understated modern Australian restaurant provides breakfast, lunch and dinner. The atmosphere is a nice mix between casual and formal, meaning you will feel comfortable no matter how you dress. The planter boxes around the windows give the restaurant a garden feel enhances the relaxed atmosphere.
Eden's Table at Westin Hotel is open for breakfast lunch and dinner 7 days a week
For dinner, expect to normally have an entree, main and dessert, though you can also get the shared seafood platters. Breakfast and weekday lunch specials provide a light option regular diners looking for a quick meal.
High tea actually has a working-class origin nearly 300 years ago where it also went by the name of meat tea. This was a combination of meat dishes followed by sweet cakes with the "high" in the name coming from the fact people ate it sitting on high seats.
In the 19th century, high tea as a combination of savoury and sweet cold foods served together became a high-class meal experience, often popularly eaten during the day. This was of course at a time when the meal called lunch was not really a thing yet.
These days high tea can be found around the world in 5 star hotels and is designed to be a relaxed eating experience, where you enjoy multiple flavours. While you can get high tea in many different venues now, it is still a staple of top-end hotels around the country.
Eden's Table High Tea
Eden's Table serves high tea on Saturdays with the option of tea or coffee for $55 per person, Dal Zotto Prosecco for $60 and Laurent Perrier La Cuvee Champagne for $72 per person. From experience, a sparkling white makes the difference in the high tea experience. The wine we chose was the Prosecco, which is a mildly cheeky drop, that complements and enhances the savoury and scone options.
You can choose between the Prosecco or the Cuvee Champagne
Eden's Table manages to balance innovation and tradition in their high tea, with the savoury options all being some sort of sandwich or bread. The options include chicken and apple pinwheels, a prawn wrap, smoked salmon open sandwich, cucumber and cream cheese finger sandwiches, and roast beef brioches buns.
The savoury section contains a range of different sandwich offerrings
The scones are an example of just excellence in food, with buttermilk and date scones with lemon curd, clotted cream and strawberry, rose petal preserve. These light scones are by far the best I have had in a long time.
The scones come with lemon curd, clotted cream and strawberry rose petal preserve
The sweets are the most photogenic and provide a wide range of flavours and styles. When you get to the dessert it is a good time to ask for tea or coffee to complete the meal. Happily sticking with a bit of tradition one of the sweet treats is a lemon meringue tart, a delicious option from many people's youth that is sneaking back into menus. Of course, tradition is only a starting point for Eden's table with each treat bringing in its own special flavour.
The varied and beautiful sweets as part of Westin's high tea
Eden's Table has been able to successfully put together a high tea that uses tradition as the starting point, creates each item with care and perfection while introducing little flavour surprises and innovations throughout. This is definitely a place that fans of high tea will put on their list to try.
The author visited Eden's Table as a guest of the restaurant.