Renay and I were unable to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the actual Friday this year, so we decided to go out for High Tea on the Sunday after. We were keen to try somewhere new, and headed to the Duxton Hotel.
If you’re not familiar with the Duxton, it’s a five-star hotel located in the heart of the Perth CBD. The food has been good there in my past experience, but I haven’t eaten or stayed there for a year or two – my last meal was an artistically arranged corporate breakfast, where one end of the sliver of “toast” was propped on top of a pyramid-shaped potato cake like a ramp. As you can see from the lobby, this is a very elegant establishment.
High Tea is available from 12pm to 5pm every day in the Firewater Grille, the Duxton’s main restaurant. The Firewater Grille opened in February 2013 and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner – it has its own website here.
“Standard” High Tea is $38 per person, and “Sparkling” High Tea with a glass of Chandon Brut NV is $48 per person. There are ten varieties of tea to choose from, including Traditional Afternoon, Oolong Formosa Grand, Chai Marsala and Cinnamon Orange. You can see the full food and drink menu here.
There were quite a few people having High Tea this afternoon, including several large groups. I didn’t realise how much of a “ladies” thing it is – I only saw one man other than myself compared to about thirty women. Single men, take note.
The Firewater Grille is nicely fitted out and the chairs are very comfortable. The table settings for High Tea were simple but elegant – more importantly, there was plenty of room for the food.
High Tea is neatly presented on stands, as you would expect. This serving is for one – very generous, as you can see!
Savoury items first – Black Forest ham & cheddar baguette, cucumber & marscapone cheese sandwich and beetroot & goats cheese tartlet. We both chose to substitute our seafood items, which would have been a smoked salmon & herb roll and a king crab sandwich. As you would expect, everything here was very fresh and tasty.
The tartlet was a highlight for me – the outside “crust” was more like a thick ice-cream cone than pastry in texture, and the goats cheese was simply beautiful. I didn’t think I was a fan of goats cheese but I must have been eating the cheap stuff – I could easily have scoffed a few more of these.
Second course – fruit scones with jam & cream and a chocolate cheesecake brownie. The scones were nice, although I’ve had better. The brownie was also nice, but nothing out of the ordinary. Apart from it being lighter that a “normal” brownie, I wouldn’t have picked that there was cheesecake.
Dessert selection #1 – fruit pavlova and a “chocolate shot with chocolate crunch”. It wasn’t immediately obvious how to eat the “shot”, as the top was solid and we weren’t given any spoons to eat with. I ended up cracking the top with one of the spoons that came with the jam & cream. This was beautifully rich and liquid inside, thankfully in just the right amount. Too much of this would have ended the meal in a rather sickly fashion.
Dessert selection #2 – “tiramisu with a double shot”, passionfruit tart and a coffee macaron. The “tiramisu” was a chocolate cone filled with rich, coffee flavoured cream and the passionfruit tart had crisp pastry and a sharp filling. There was nothing wrong with the macaron, although something fruity (or salted caramel, perhaps) would have been better than a second coffee item.
We really enjoyed High Tea at the Duxton. It’s everything you want from such an experience – being made to feel special while enjoying good service and fine food in a classy environment. Of course it’s rarely a cheap thing to do, but we had no issue with value for money; we both had plenty to eat and the quality of the food was excellent. The only thing I would change is to increase the number of savoury items compared to the sweet – some kind of quiche would have been perfect – but that’s probably just my personal taste.
If you’re looking for a quality High Tea experience in Perth, a visit to the Duxton Hotel is recommended.