Nibbles, nibbles everywhere the eye can see—fruited meringue–topped tarts and cheesecakes; chocolatey, fudgy mud cakes or coconut-dredged, cream-filled lamingtons; macaroons or macarons. (Yes, there is a difference. The macaroon is primarily coconut, and macarons are almond based.) Eyes rove to mousse-filled Victoria sponges weighted down with decadent layers of clotted cream, exotic fillings, and fresh fruit, and last, but not least, to the Pavlovas overflowing with boatloads of whipped cream and jewel-toned seasonal berries drizzled lavishly with passion fruit puree. Whether picking and choosing from old-time favorites or trying something new, one simply can’t go wrong. The variety is seemingly infinite and oh, so spot-on reliable. (Please always call ahead to make reservations for high tea—that’s a must!)
This is the place where parents can take well-behaved children in their Sunday best to experience a light savory meal, afternoon tea, or high tea (which is really low tea, but that is another story entirely). Here, manners truly matter. Lady Hopetoun’s spirit still presides, and there is a sense of an admonishing “tut, tut, tut” in the air when straying from expected protocols.