A cup of tea is all you need to make your day complete. So dear friend come sit with me, we’ll chat, we’ll sip, we’ll eat!
What could be better than spending the day with friends in a lovely location sipping tea with a tower of goodies beckoning you to eat them? Is there anything better?
If you think as I do than head to Villa Howden (just south of Hobart Tasmania) to do just that. Villa Howden serve High Tea every Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 4pm in there restaurant (or on the terrace of weather permits).
So myself and two of my very dear friends decided that we would head south last weekend to see what all the fuss was about. I rang Villa Howden about a week prior to book a table and found the staff very pleasant and happy to make provisions for those with any type of food allergies or sensitivities.
We arrived 15 minutes early and were shown to our table by the window overlooking the gardens. The table was laid with crisp white linen and white crockery. Our server asked if we would like a glass of champagne which two of us said yes to (I said yes.. Can’t pass up a glass of champagne!) while the third person was offered tea or coffee. One thing I did find strange, being a high tea as it was, is that when we agreed to a glass of champagne we weren’t also offered tea and/or coffee.
We didn’t have to wait long and our three tiered cake stand arrived with an assortment of goodies both sweet and savoury. As I still hadn’t been offered tea I asked for a pot and was kindly obliged. One thing I did notice was at most high teas I have been to the server will explain what is on each tier and in each finger sandwich, which I think is a nice touch, but this didn’t happen here. This is not a complaint but as I said previously I think it is a nice touch.
Of course we started with the savouries which included the finger sandwich. This was a three layered sandwich (rather than individual ones) with the first layer being egg, then the obligatory cucumber and topped off with a ham and rocket layer. The bread was lovely and fresh and my only complaint (and this is a very personal thing) is there was too much butter on the bread for my liking. I know those like my dear mother would love this amount of butter but a smear is good for me.
We lingered over the savouries while drinking our champagne, tea and of course chatting. The staff at first were not too attentive but this would have been due to the fact that it did get busy, but for the most part they did their job, topping up our water glasses and bringing more hot water, tea and coffee when required (although do note that if you want a coffee such as a latte or cappuccino these do cost extra).
After chatting enough to work up the appetite again we got stuck into the scones. There where six (two each) light and fluffy scones with just a hint of sweetness. As you would expect they were served with jam and cream, not quite enough for the amount of scones on offer and I did notice that another table had requested more.
The sweets consisted of a citrus cake, orange madeleine, meringues, an almond biscuit and a peanut biscuit. But my favourite was the little lemon tart. The pastry was crisp, just crumbly enough and the curd was tart yet creamy and buttery. The fresh raspberry on top finished it off nicely and I would even say that this was the best lemon curd tart (wish it had been bigger) I have had in a long time.
Over all the day was lovely, the food was nice and the surrounds were pretty. We stayed for quite some time chatting, savouring and enjoying ourselves which made for a very relaxing afternoon.
Traditional High Tea is $39.00Aud and the Champagne High Tea is $47.00Aud. If you would like more information on Villa Howden please visit www.villahowden.com.au.