I’ll bet you any sum of money that Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1783-1857), the originator of this afternoon meal event, didn’t forsee that her humble get-together afternoon ‘tea’ would one day be replaced with a glass of Chandon. It’s amazing to see how much our culture has evolved over the past two centuries.
The term ‘High tea’ is generally used incorrectly by restaurants. It is a popular misconception that often, or always, goes unnoticed. Did you ever wonder why it’s called “High” tea? No, it has nothing to do with the supposed elegance of the meal. Rather, it was because of the time it is taken – high noon; and where it is served – on high dining tables. What we refer to as High tea here in Australia is actually ‘Low tea’ or afternoon tea – meals consisting of finger sandwiches and scones typically served in the late afternoon on low tables (like coffee tables), which brings to life the ‘low’ description.
Honestly, as long as there’s tea (or champagne, or happily on this occasion, both) and delicious-tasting cakes… call it whatever you want! I will shut up and stop complaining once I slather my scones with lots and lots of clotted cream and jam. And slather I did.
The Victoria Room Tea Salon is a marvellous venue for ladies to meet and catch up over a cake or two. Being situated smack bang in the middle of one of the fanciest shopping centres (Westfield Centerpoint) makes it even better! What could be a more pleasant way to take a break from a Saturday afternoon spent in pursuit of every girl’s best friend, bling, than to sit down, rest the heels and have some cake and…. Chandon, anyone?
As much as I prefer the ‘proper restaurant’ setting and ambience of venues like the Tea Room in QVB or the similarly-named Victoria Room in Darlinghurst, the quality of food and level of service of the Victoria Room Tea Salon is on par with both. At the end of the day, there’s nothing like a sweet indulgence or two to get back to our genteel roots and celebrate femininity, friendship, love and oh.. those shoes you just bought for 50% off.