Where can one find a casual, modern sanctuary nestled in the heart of Sydney City to catch up with old friends or to grab a quick morning coffee?
I was recently invited to high tea with a friend at The Gallery Tea Lounge which is located on the ground level of Sheraton On The Park, a classy and vibrant quality hotel situated on Elizabeth Street in Sydney. The lounge area itself covers a large open space with cushioned chairs and coffee tables which set the ambience for a relaxed afternoon catch-up with friends over cakes and scones as well as dining tables for a more formal meal with colleagues. Furthermore, the space offers magnificent views of Hyde Park and its interior designing all makes for a perfect place to meet and dine.
At The Gallery Tea Lounge, one can simply enjoy a traditional High Tea completed with freshly baked scones, petite sandwiches, macarons and pralines accompanied by your choice of Vittoria espresso coffees, fragrant Twinings, fine-leaf teas, or rich drinking chocolate. This is available Monday through to Sunday from 11.30 am for $58 for two people.
However, for a more deliciously worthwhile gustatory experience, I would recommend going for High Tea on a weekend as from 1 pm, The Gallery Tea Lounge offers what it calls a rich Afternoon Tea Buffet. Now don't be perturbed by the fact that it is only an "Afternoon Tea", this buffet offers an unlimited quantity of what you would receive in the traditional High Tea bundle as well as an assortment of cheesecakes and other homemade cakes, salads, fruits and sweets. They even have a pancake and waffle maker. As for beverages, each person is allowed one free pot of tea or cup of coffee or else more drinks can be purchased separately. At $49 per person, this buffet is sure to leave you bloated but wanting more.
I opted for the Afternoon Tea Buffet on a Saturday catch up with a friend. Just a note that booking is essential since this place is quite popular especially on a weekend and most people tend to stay for at least a good two hours. We were seated at one of the cushioned sofas with a coffee table between us and were allowed unlimited access to the buffet bar.
Here are some of what was available on the day:
The savoury bar offered a range of petite sandwiches
The wide variety offered was so immense that I really do not think it is possible to try every single cake slice or sweet dessert on the first visit. I have yet to taste the strawberry panna cotta or the sample dark chocolate range just to mention a few. And the pictures above nowhere near show all the mouth-watering delights available.
For those looking for a quicker, lighter meal, The Gallery Tea Lounge also has a Business Lunch menu for $25 per person where you can either order a salad or a sandwich with a drink. But if I were you, I would definitely go for the afternoon tea buffet as it is a once in a lifetime experience. Though you do end up going back more than once.