Courtney is a freelance fashion, art and design writer and content creator for www.mrgift.com.au - an online boutique specialising in quality gifts for men. Read more of Courtney’s work at www.alittlepinkbook.blogspot.com.au
Published October 5th 2010
The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) may be a much-loved Melbourne attraction with world-class permanent and temporary collections, yet one of the most charming, tranquil places in the NGV building is not found within its galleries. The NGV Tea Room, located on the level 1 balcony is illuminated with golden light that gently highlights the exotic floral arrangements and mirrored walls. Secluded seating encourages visitors to linger over their steaming brew (and a scrumptious plate of warm scones). There is a choice of seating inside the Tea Room (for those partial to quiet conversations) or on the balcony overlooking the gallery's water-wall entrance.
The choice of teas available includes black teas from India as well as white, green and flower teas from China and herbal infusions. All are brewed in generously sized pots accompanied with matching cups and tea-making accessories. The menu describes each tea with the same level of care and detail that you would expect for a fine wine: "velvety and gentle on the palate with a sweet floral finish." It is a delight to see tea presented and appreciated in this way.
The persuasive menu consists of sweet treats, including cakes, éclairs, Macaroons and other pastry delights as well as savoury dishes such as Smoked Salmon & Leek Quiche, or Tomato, Goats Cheese and Basil Quiche with Mixed Leaf Salad. As a decadent option, there are sparkling wines such as Dominique Portet Rose and Taltarni T Series Sparkling. The later is combined with a selection of sweet and savoury treats and tea or coffee in the Sparkling Afternoon Tea - $60 for two people, providing a refreshing interlude between exhibitions.