Sophistication, class, heritage and history. That, combined with good champagne, as well as sweet and savoury treats is what you’ll find at this Afternoon tea.
The Heritage Afternoon Tea at the Westin has been inspired by Sydney’s history and the surrounding area, which extend back to the colonial period, and beyond. With Sydney undergoing rapid gentrification, it’s great to see this hotel keeping up with current day tastes and also reflecting on our wonderful nations early history.
We are made aware that this hotel, right in the centre of the CBD, in Martin Place to be exact, was the location of the GPO – the general post office since 1874 and was one of the first major building developments in Sydney.
Throughout its time, it has been a communication centre, clock tower and bells rang out through Sydney.
The hotel has the old post box on display here, as well as a clock theme in the bar and numerous old photographs around the hotel.
In 1999, exactly 125 years after the GPO was opened, the building became the Westin Hotel. We love that it honours its heritage as well as being a modern hotel.
It is in this setting that we experience two versions of the afternoon tea: the heritage afternoon tea and the mad hatters tea party.
We love a good afternoon tea. There’s something about it; you feel sophisticated and quite relaxed as you sip that champagne, eat bite sized treats and finish with a warm cup of tea. Plenty of people would call this a ‘high tea’, but that infact is not quite right.
Afternoon teas and High teas are steeped in British tradition and it’s important to first distinguish between the two. History has it that ‘afternoon tea’ became the bridge between meals, since the real “tea” (or dinner), was not often eaten until late. This was often a light meal such as cake or scones and a cup of tea. This became fashionable by Anna the 7th duchess of Bedford in the 19th century who invited friends over for the first ‘afternoon tea’.
Unfortunately, whilst this was ok for the rich, but not necessarily possible for the working classes who worked late and didn’t have time to sit down and break. So, high tea became the go to for the working class areas of the UK. High tea was a mix of tea, bread and a heavy food like meat, fish and casseroles to keep that body full. Eaten at tables with high backed chairs, to be distinguished from the ‘afternoon tea’, enjoyed at low, comfortable lounges.
What is on offer at the Westin, is ‘afternoon tea’ in the Lobby Bar and lounge. Afternoon tea usually consists of tea, scones, finger sandwiches and sweet treats.
At the Westin, their heritage tea was a three tiered wonder, which had some beautifully prepared sandwiches – the double smoked ham and cheese and cucumber, as well as slow cooked chicken and picked bell peppers in a spinach toast roll, a smoked salmon triple stack with caper berries and a small green salad and ocean prawn boat with crostini and lime.
The sweet portion of the afternoon tea was amazing. There was a profiterole with chocolate filling, a glazed caramel mousse with fresh berries and raspberry gel. Topped off with our favourite – the vanilla Creme brûlée with a nut biscotti.
Accompanied by scones with homemade strawberry jam, raspberry chocolate jams and clotted cream.
We had a Ruinart champagne as well as a cocktail to mix it up a bit. The cocktail was the perfect choice with the Mad Hatters version of the afternoon tea. A bit of whimsical and magical addition to your experience.
On this version of the afternoon tea, you find the savoury component with a roasted beef and fresh asparagus roulade on a mini Lauren, an Alaskan crab meat salad on double Bread, as well as a cherry, bocconcini and tomato salad boat.
For the sweet option, there was the ‘clock’ – a green macaron with a blueberry cream filling and a ‘love heart’ – layers of buttercream with chocolate ganache and raspberry jelly. The pièce de résistance was the mad hatters hat itself – a dark chocolate mud cake, cased with icing.
So whether you’re up for tradition or a modern take on afternoon tea, the Westin can suit your taste. Come and enjoy on a beautiful afternoon and you will enjoy it immensely.
The Westin – Bar, Lounge & Room
1 Martin Place, Sydney, New South Wales, 2000, Australia
T +61 2 8223 1197