The American writer Henry James said, "There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea." Indeed, I have to agree with him. Because I don't believe there is anything more elegant and pleasurable than a high tea!
For those of you who haven't experienced a high tea yet and would love to, a high tea is essentially a meal where you sip tea from porcelain cups and feast on dainty pastries and cakes and tiny sandwiches arranged ever so delicately on three-tiered platters. High teas are usually served in a hotel, but they are now being served in many other places such as cocktail lounges, restaurants, cafes, museums and galleries.
Here in Canberra, we now have a wide variety of high tea venues and high tea experiences. But my favourite is the high tea at the Canberra Hyatt.
Afternoon tea at the Hyatt is something of a Canberra tradition. Located within Canberra's only heritage-listed five-star hotel, high tea is served in the Tea Lounge with its sumptuous 1920s art deco furniture and plush sofas.
However, high tea isn't served here on the traditional three-tiered platters. This is high tea buffet style. On arrival, you receive a glass of sparkling, and tea or coffee. Then when you are ready to eat, you head off to the buffet with its delicious array of sweets and savouries. For those with special dietary requirements, gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan alternatives are available.
The high tea menu changes every season. I've been to the Hyatt for many high teas now, and my favourite is the Christmas high tea menu offered during December. With pavlova, gingerbread, White Christmas slices, Christmas fruit cake, Christmas pudding, and mince pies on the menu, and a gorgeous sparkling Christmas tree in the main foyer, it's a most wonderful time of the year to celebrate!
The Hyatt's high tea buffet is available on Friday: 2:30-5:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 am to 1:30 pm (1st session) and 2:30-5:00 pm (2nd session).
High tea costs $65 per person (which includes a glass of sparkling on arrival, and unlimited tea and coffee). Children aged 4-16 $45, and children under 4 are FREE. Split billing is not allowed and bookings are essential.