Delicate macarons glittering with sugar crystals, white chocolate mousse glistening with glaze, eclairs stuffed with chocolate ganache, truffles dusted with cocoa powder, fresh clotted cream served alongside gently warmed scones, artisan chocolates decorated with slivers of rose petal - these are some of the many pleasures that await at Passiontree Velvet. Better still, all these goodies are delivered in a sunny, flower-filled space with brisk yet friendly service.
While outlets at Carindale, Robina and Coolangatta have been open for some time, the sister store located in Indooroopilly Shopping Centre opened in mid-2015 with remarkably little fanfare. However, Passiontree Velvet, an exotic beast which bills itself as part English tea house, part Parisian patisserie and part Belgian chocolatier, has attracted plenty of interest from people seeking to indulge their senses - not to mention footsore shoppers seeking some time out.
High teas form the centrepiece of the Passiontree Velvet experience and there are plenty to suit all tastes and budgets. There is the Devonshire Cream Tea (delivering traditional scones, cream and strawberry jam), the Duchess full high tea (offering ribbon finger sandwiches, scone, and a selection of patisserie items), the Chocolatiers high tea (featuring a hand-picked selection of bonbons, truffles, macarons and chocolates in addition to sandwiches), the macaron high tea (including all 12 macaron flavours) and, for kids, the teddy bears picnic (with ham sandwiches, diamante biscuits and a macaron).
All high teas include a choice of tea or coffee, while other drinks on the menu include hot chocolate, iced chocolate or iced tea. Oh, and champagne. Let's not forget the Louis Roederer champagne. I selected the peach iced tea which arrived, as per the menu description, unsweetened and with a slice of lemon. While those accustomed to sweetened iced teas a la Lipton might find this something of a shock, it was the perfect counterpoint to all the sweetness spread before us.
Light meals may better suit those with savoury heads on. Options include traditional favourites such as Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame, smashed avocado on toast, baked stuffed avocado and crusty white baguettes with choice of fillings (brie, basil, pesto and tomato; tuna and cucumber; ham and cheese; and smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onion and cucumber).
Do note that you will need to book in advance for a high tea. My daughter and I enjoyed the Chocolatier's High Tea - it was scrumptious! The staff are happy to box up leftovers for you to take away with you.