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Woodman Estate High Tea

Home > Melbourne > Afternoon Tea | Day Trips | Food and Wine | High Tea | Restaurants
by H. Clare Callow (subscribe)
A die-hard Melburnian who keeps being drawn away by luscious food and drinks. Be a pal and click the 'like' link below if you enjoy my article.
Published October 6th 2014
Something about this tea makes it worth the hour's drive
high tea melbourne, high tea morning ton peninsula
An impressive high tea for one.

For a random Sunday in September, Woodman Estate's restaurant is busy. I mean busy: there's barely a table free for this high tea session. My server, Rachel, introduces herself as soon as I walk in the door and directs me to the front lounge where I am able to relax and read before entering the dining room.

 
high tea melbourne, high tea mornington peninsula
A table for one overlooking the lake.
The menu offers up a history of the place and the area surrounding. It's surprising to find that the place was a family home built in the 1950s. Edwardian elegance graces every feature. Really the only giveaway is the quality of wood on the balustrades and doors – they have that slightly too brownish look to them that was distinctive of the 1950 to 1970s.

The menu is a nice mix of savoury and sweet, hot and cold. Finger sandwiches accompany a sausage roll and a pie . The sweets on top are freshly prepared, presumably in the kitchen behind, and the manager is keen to make sure the one person sitting alone is enjoying herself.

 

high tea melbourne, high tea morning ton peninsula
The sitting room, where you may wait peacefully for refreshment.
Hot beverages are complimentary and plentiful: a full range of coffees, served at exactly the right temperature for me (cool enough to start drinking immediately; milk creamy with a decent cap of foam for my latte), T2 teas (a long list of herbal, green and black) and chocolates (allegedly the house blend, which looks like an ordinary hot chocolate despite the flowery language). Even with the place busy the service is swift.

To the food: Rachel recommends eating the middle, hot food plate first, and it's a good thing I follow her lead. The food is just at the right temperature on serving and any delay would make it cold. The shepherd's pie is nothing special, despite the thought that's gone into it, but the duck sausage roll is amazing. I wouldn't have thought to flavour a sausage roll with port and pistachios but with a little duck meat woven through some pork mince it is extremely flavoursome.

 

high tea melbourne, high tea mornington peninsula
The view from the outside area.
The finger sandwiches are also exceptional, with meats that have been sliced wafer-thin. I know it's strange to be writing about an aspect of finger sandwiches which should be standard, but it's the first time I've come across properly sliced meats for these. The balance of mustards, mayonnaise and horseradish (depending on sandwich) is heavy on the condiment side, but it's just right for my personal preference.

I polish off the array of savouries embarrassingly swiftly. The sweets call.

The pastry of the mini eclair is light as an eclair should be, with chocolate mousse as a filling. The mousse is exceptionally chocolatey. Dark chocolate bursts through the light pastry, washing over the tongue. It's minutes before the rich taste subsides.

Unfortunately I chose that to start with the eclair, which means that for the rest of the plate I'm fighting off echoes of the dark chocolate flavour. The chai crème brulee is lovely and creamy, but with the other flavours on the plate its delicate flavour is completely subsumed. I find myself wishing that I'd spent the time to cleanse my palate and eat it on its own.

Also of note is the opera cake, which melts in a way that I've not found with opera cakes before. They chef has used the same chocolate base as the eclair for the ganache in between the tiny slices of sponge cake, which prevents the cake from being oversweet.

By the time I get to the end of the sweet plate I'm stuffed. I'm astounded when Rachel tells me I've still got scones left. She suggests a light amble around the grounds and I agree. The fresh air revives me and I go back inside, ready for another round. The scones are light and buttery, and surprise me by sitting lightly in my overfull stomach.

Woodman Estate is quite a trek from the centre of Melbourne, but it offers an experience that is the most well-rounded high tea I've ever had. Their attention to detail is impressive. I may not make the trek again for myself, but it's definitely on my list of gifts to impress with.
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Why? A different kind of high tea
When: Lunch Thurs-Sun 12-3pm; Dinner Thurs-Sun 6-9pm; Breakfast daily 9-10.30pm; High tea Thurs/Fri 2.45pm, Sat/Sun 3.30pm
Phone: 03 59788455
Where: 136 Graydens Rd, Moorooduc, Victoria 3933
Cost: Lunch from $79.50; Dinner from $99.50; High tea from $50
Your Comment
Yummy!
by erica (score: 1|31) 1934 days ago
Woodman's Estate is definitely worth the trip. My husband and I have been there a couple of times, once for a breakfast a friend gave us as a gift. We thoroughly enjoyed both visits which we topped off with a leisurely stroll around the lake and the gardens.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|7763) 1933 days ago
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