Hight tea? Isn’t that for the queen?
In Short, no.
You see back in the 1700’s, High Tea was served to the working man as an afternoon snack. This meal of scones, cakes or cheese on toast was generally taken standing up or seated on a high stool…giving birth to the name “High Tea”. Somehow though, somewhere, the ladies got hold of it and made it all girly with their doilies and fancy china. Argh, women…am I right?
So, I decided to take back High Tea (just for the afternoon) and invite my friend “Mr Fabiani” over to The Oysterbox Hotel so we could eat tiny sandwiches and discuss summer fashion. Don’t judge.
High Tea is another infamous Oyster Box institution, served from 2:30 till 5:00 in the Palm Court. As with everything Oyster Box, it is completely lavish and decadent, maybe even a little over the top – in a good way of course. You feel slightly overwhelmed just standing at the High Tea table. Every cake, scone, sandwich and muffin known to man is beautifully laid out before you and just begging to be tasted.
My technique was to start with the savoury and work my way up to the sweet. It’s a pretty solid approach I think, and this is why. You see, the High Tea is served with champagne (as every meal should be) and so you wanna get that savoury in at the start and not to overload your palate with sweet on sweet. Yes, I know, I’m an eating genius! Finger sandwiches, springrolls, smoked salmon, samosas…I had them all! Delicious.
The cakes and pastries are a whole other story and you will need to practice some restraint so as not to get instant diabetes (Is that a thing? Instant diabetes? I don’t think it is). Everything is baked freshly at the hotel every day, yep, EVERY DAY! We know this as we got to walk through the kitchen and witness the team of pastry chefs lovingly icing, dipping and decorating what seemed like an endless amount of sweet treats. I can’t even go down the list of whats on offer, it’s just too lengthy. If you want a taste, you can look at the menu here. If you want my advice though, don’t skip the brownies…or the carrot cake, or the doughnuts.
Or the chocolate chip biscuits!
High Tea is all about indulging, and it should be treated as such – If it was meant to be enjoyed in a rush, they would just have a High Tea drive through. My suggestion is to arrive early and leave late. You want to give yourself enough time to slowly make your way through it all. This is a time to catch up with an old friend as you sip champagne to the sounds of a live pianist. Skip lunch and don’t make plans for dinner, you won’t leave hungry.
So what does one wear to a High Tea? Well, it’s less formal than you think so maybe leave the tie at home. I decided on a cotton suit and tropical print shirt – it is summer after all so embrace that tropical trend. To finish it all off, a pair of casual suede tasselled loafers – These are going to be your perfect summer shoes and you will never go wrong!
If you want to give the Oyster Box high tea a try (and I suggest you do) you can book by calling (+27) 31 514 5018 or dropping an e-mail to email@example.com – It fills up fast so book in advance.
If you like the look of the above outfit, you can find it all at Fabiani.
Get the Jacket here
Get the pants here
Get the shirt here
Get the shoes here
Okay. Bon appetite and stay fancy.