The high tea tower!

The high tea tower!

On the way out to the Blue Mountains, on a ridge overlooking a spectacular view down one of the valleys used to be an old, run down closed hotel. It has now been done up and reopened as the Hydro Majestic Hotel – see here.

At $400 a night for a cheap room (!!) there isn’t much chance of me persuading Matt to go and stay there, but I did get to go with my friends Mel and Karen for high tea.

The Wintergarden Room is a semi circle, with the outside of the circle all window looking out over the Mega Long Valley. I requested a table by the window and we got one which made me happy! 🙂 The window could have done with some better cleaning and surprisingly there were quite a few cobwebs on the outside, but the view was great.

In the room there was a three piece band playing relaxing background piano music which I really enjoyed, and the chairs were nice and velvety. They high tea was $55, but actually $65 becasue it was a weekend (cheeky!) For $69 you could upgrade to have a glass of sparkling wine too, and that was the same price on the weekday and weekends, so really only $4 extra. I was driving so stuck with the tea, but the others went for the wine of course!

There was a balcony outside which the waitress told us about, so we went and took some pictures out there while we waited for our drinks to come. They didn’t serve the wine until we were back at our table which was nice. There was a choice of tea (3 black ones and about 4 herbal ones), and coffee too. I went with Earl Grey.

On the balcony

On the balcony

After the wine I had my tea and the tea came out. It was in the traditional three tier wire stand. Because there were three of us we ended up with two of them – one for me and one with two of everything on for the others. They took up a fair bit of room on the table, so it was good when the waiter took them away and left us with just the cakes near the end!

On the bottom were two warm scones, one plain and one fruit with cream and ham. The waiter suggested eating these first becasue they were warm. It seemed a bit wrong to me to have cake right before sandwiches, but I went for the plain scone as requested becasue it was nice to have them warm. The jam was fancy and tasty, although unfortunately the cream wasn’t clotted. It was something similar, but not the real deal from Devon or Cornwall!

In the middle tier were 4 crustless finger sandwiches, plus a billini with a lot of smoked salmon and a creme cheese tartlet topped with some caviar. Three of the sandwiches were white and only one was wholemeal which was a shame, but the bread was very fresh and tasty. There was a cucumber sandwich (with the cucumber cut lenghways – is that right?!), a chicken and walnut, beef and mustard, and another meaty one I cant remember. They were all pretty tasty, and the salmon was good too, even though there was a lot of it. We did only get one knife and a spoon each so I did end up using my same knife for my salmon. I have it a good lick first to get all the cream and jam off of course, so it was OK!

And then the top layer was of course the cakes! I still had my fruit scone from the bottom, plus 4 cakes on the top which were:

  • An almond firand. This was perfectly edible but fairly unremarkable. They could have added some berries or something to jazz it up.
  • A lemon tartlet. This was hands down my favourite thing on the stand. It had crisp thin pastry and a very creamy filling with lots of lemony flavour and a raspberry on the top. Very tasty indeed.
  • A salted caramel macarron, half dipped in dark chocolate so it stood up on the plate. The other tray had a lime and apple version too. The macaroon was good. Pretty sweet with a good chewy texture and nice flavour.
  • Honey panacotta with mango. I saved this until last becasue I thought it would be the tastiest thing, but unfortunately none of us really liked it. We did’t know what flavour the pancaotta was (we assumed mango from the mango on top), but it tasted quite strange. I thought it was a bit like surgical spirit, and definitely artificial. We asked the waiter who said it was honey. In the end i left half of mine as I was pretty full by then anyway!
Lemon tartlet

Lemon tartlet

By the end we were all really stuffed! I got to eat an extra lemon tart too which Karen couldn’t eat – win! 🙂 We had a walk and nosey around the grounds after, and then did some sight seeing and short walks in the mountains.

Overall it was a really good experience. I particularly liked the piano music which I didn’t expect. There is some room for improvement with the food I think given the price, and they should really give you two knives and clean the windows!  I would definitely go back though if anyone twisted my arm!

View out the window

View out the window

 

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