Putting on a dress and going to high tea with your girlfriends is quite possibly the best lady pastime ever invented. I mean, everyone loves a little afternoon delight and it’s pretty much impossible to have a bad time while wearing a pretty dress, sipping on delicious tea, and munching on delightful treats. As of recently one of my new-favourite high tea spots is the ultra-fabulous Table Bay Hotel. The hotel has recently welcomed new pastry chef Lee-Andra Govender on-board and she has completely reimagined the high tea experience at the iconic hotel. Offering guests a modern, and oh-so-sophisticated approach to high tea, this new offering is one of the best I have experienced in a long while.
High tea is always a pretty fancy affair but The Table Bay really takes it to a whole new level, inviting guests to enjoy their afternoon tea in the sophisticated piano lounge overlooking the harbour. Here you can settle in on one of the ultra-comfy sofas and let your stress melt away while you listen to the soft sounds of the piano in the background.
And then there’s the high tea spread. Boy, what a spread it is! On one end of the room, you will find a selection of hot, savoury treats to start, including freshly baked scones, prawn rissoles, quiche, and butternut arancini. I could have spent all day here munching on scones and stuffing those delightfully light and fluffy butternut arancini into my cake hole. Yes indeed, forget cucumber sarmies, the hot selection at this high tea is all about offering guests a taste of the exceptional.
Of course, you can’t have high tea without cake. In the middle of the room, you will find a heavenly selection of sweet treats to enjoy with your tea. But be warned, this isn’t the sort of occasion where being on a diet is acceptable – if you deprive yourself of any of the tasty morsels on offer you will cry yourself to sleep that night and probably wallow in the misery of your stupidity for a good few days after. Heed my words, arrive hungry and be ready for a dessert extravaganza of note.
Chef Govender has really played out of her boots on this dessert spread resulting in sweet treats that are bright, fun, and a little bit daring. Each creation offers a hidden surprise to discover, and your mind will be playing tricks on you all afternoon as you bite into luxuriously soft and fluffy desserts that at first glance appear to be solid, or crack open a candy-coated delight to reveal a decadently soft mousse inside.
Chocolate lovers will find sanctuary tucking into what Govender calls “The Cherry”. This chocolate treat looks like a chocolate apple and is crafted using dark chocolate mousse, chocolate sponge and Fabbri Amerena Cherries on a dark chocolate croustillant base. Another winner of note is the Guava and Vanilla dessert, a delectable combination of sweet pastry, jaconde sponge, vanilla mousse, guava Szechuan pepper mousse and poached guava, it’s a fruit lover’s dream dessert. Make sure you also leave room for the Espresso Blonde Brownie, mini Lemon Meringue tarts, and the colourful array of macarons and homemade marshmallows in a variety of out-there flavours.
Of course, no high tea would be complete without tea and The Table Bay has gone the extra mile here as well, by introducing the simply spectacular TWG Tea. The use of this luxurious tea brand adds an extra dash of glamour to the experience and with so many different teas on offer, from a spicy red Christmas tea to a dark chocolate tea, you’ll want to spend all afternoon discovering your own unique cake and tea pairings.
Whether you’re looking to spend some quality time with your girlfriends or are celebrating a special occasion, the new high tea offering at the Table Bay is indeed a must-try. Chef Lee-Andra Govender’s approach to high tea is something truly special. With this new offering, she has managed to artfully combine the elegance of traditional high tea treats with the excitement of modern culinary advancement, making it is hands down one of the most interesting and delicious high teas in Cape Town right now.
The Table Bay’s famous high tea is available from Monday to Sunday at R320 per person. To accommodate demand, two sittings are staged; the first from 14:00 to 15:30 and the second from 16:00 to 17:30. Booking is essential – email TableBayDining@suninternational.com or call 021 406 5988 to book now.
Want more food and wine news? Check out our Food section for restaurant reviews, recipes, foodie features, and news to make you salivate.