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High Tea at Padbury's

Home > Perth > Afternoon Tea | Cafes | Fine Dining | Food and Wine | High Tea
by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce (subscribe)
Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at:
Published November 13th 2014
Modern Australian cuisine, prepared by a master chef
High tea as a concept is making a huge resurgence from the leisured Edwardian days.

Padbury's, High Tea, Guildford, Pol Roger
High Tea at Padbury's (Photograph by Steve Blizzard)

High tea should not be confused with low tea. of course, which is tea drunk out of a mug sitting on the back porch steps after having spent the day working in the garden.

High tea is drunk out of fine china at a snowy white cloth-covered table with clean hands and best manners.

Padbury's, High Tea, Guildford, Pol Roger
High Tea at Padbury's (Photograph by Steve Blizzard)

Of course, High Tea in 2014 has developed and changed since 1914 and a number of proponents have made subtle but significant changes.

I was most forcibly reminded of this at a recent high tea at Padbury's. We were invited by friends to sample an experimental High Tea that Padbury's are trialling with a view to bringing it in as a regular thing.

Padbury's, High Tea, Guildford, Pol Roger
The author taking High Tea at Padbury's (Photograph by Steve Blizzard)

Padbury's has been through a few hands over the last few years and a few incarnations but it's under new management and a new vision.

The building, the beautifully restored emporium built by Walter Padbury in 1869, houses three businesses - Roxburgh Securities, Panache Living and Padbury's Cafe Restaurant.

Padbury's are doing the whole thing in style - teas, for example, on offer include green, white, herbal and black. The black tea options include English Breakfast, Earl Grey, French Earl Grey, Orange Pekoe (my favourite), Darjeeling, Créme Brulee, Monk Pear, Punjabi Chai, Mumbai Chai and Stockholm Blend.

Padbury's, High Tea, Guildford, Pol Roger
High Tea at Padbury's (Photograph by Steve Blizzard)

This high tea also differs from others in the fact that beside tea it also offers champagne - actual champagne, Pol Roger, although Rocco Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine is an alternative.

The tea is served in Royal Albert bone china cups or in a charming combination tea pot and cup.

We began, as with all good high teas, with a savoury selection of finger sandwiches, mini savoury bites, cheese scones and mini tarts.

This is traditionally followed by the sweeter morsels, but as they are all served at the same time, it is really a personal option.

Personally, I follow the savoury/sweet route, but as your fancy takes you, I say. The sweets here were absolutely delectable, imaginative and in some cases most unusual.

There were various shot glasses with strawberry and lime, creme brulée and orange, panacotta and sweet potato crisps and so on.

There were little cakes of three kinds of chocolate decorated with tiny chocolate macaroons, some spectacular large colourful macaroons and fresh strawberries dipped in white chocolate drizzled with milk chocolate and ... well, lots more.

Padbury's, High Tea, Guildford, Pol Roger
High Tea at Padbury's (Photograph by Steve Blizzard)

The standard of patisserie was exceptionally high and all were produced on the premises. I sincerely hope Padbury's follows this experiment by making it a permanent feature.

The proposed cost of this feast is $38, wine extra, of course. If you also want a cheese platter the price rises by $12.

Padbury's do vegetarian and gluten free options on request and will happily accomodate any number in a party. In fact, you could even book out the whole restaurant for a couple of hours for up to a hundred and ten people.

Padbury's, High Tea, Guildford, Pol Roger
High Tea at Padbury's (Photograph by Steve Blizzard)

All of which makes it perfect for smaller, formal, but highly relaxed, gatherings such as birthday parties, baby shower teas, hens' parties, corporate or team building events and the like.

The only caveat is that, because of the licensing laws, you may not take your own alcohol, but they have a excellent wine list, so it hardly matters.

If I was forced to find a fault I could say tongs are easier than spoons for sugar cubes, but that's it. If this is what afternoon tea is like at Padbury's, then I must dine here soon.

Very highly recommended indeed.
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Why? A sensational High Tea
When: Breakfast Sat - Sun 8:00am to 11:00am Lunch Tues - Sun 11:00am to 3:00pm Dinner Tues - Sun 6:00pm to 10.00pm
Phone: (08) 9378 4484
Where: 114 Terrace Road, Guildford
Cost: $38
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