High tea at Emporium

One of the most outstanding women I know recently finished her PhD (don’t ask how long it took) and as part of a weekend of celebration, she organised high tea at the Emporium Hotel.

The Emporium Hotel is a boutique inner-city hotel, and they don’t have a score of salons and restaurants to separate their diners. High tea was served in the bar and as we were quite a large party, we took up a whole wall.

In pearl-studded cat ears at high tea

I was lent some pearl-studded ears for high tea. I think I look quite adorable.

Emporium bar has a bit of old-world glam, very appropriate for high tea in lace dresses and pumps. What it did lack, because of the limits of the hotel, was a proper setting for the tea itself. We were dotted along benches and chairs with lower marble coffee tables in front of us for glasses, cups and towers. A little inconvenient, but not really a problem.

High tea at Hotel Emporium

A tower of treats at Emporium Hotel.

The towers had all of the usual trappings for high tea – cucumber sandwiches, scones, bite-sized brownies and cream cups, macarons and oddly enough, a smoked salmon bagel. Everything was fresh and delicious and filling in that bite-sized, indulgent sort of way. I find the problem with high teas is that there is often insufficient savoury items, so you rather overdo the sweet. The Emporium provided a nice balance, though there are never sufficient cucumber sandwiches for my liking.

Two of my companions had special requests – gluten-free and vegetarian – both of which were catered for extremely well with their own towers and special food. For example, instead of the traditional scone, my gluten-free friend was given a meringue with cream and fresh fruit.

Sweet treats at Hotel Emporium

High tea cost $40 p/p for a glass of sparkling, coffee and tea and a tasty tower. I could certainly recommend it if you were looking for a high tea location for a celebration of any sort. If it’s Tuesday for example.


Emporium Hotel Cocktail Bar on Urbanspoon



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