High tea at Stamford Plaza Melbourne
We arrived at Stamford Plaza & to our disappointment & confusion, instead of being lead into a designated area where we could see a large table of women enjoying a high tea - the maitre d' lead us into the bar where there was one lone white table set up for our high tea. Imagine if you will, a bar with AFL (Australian football) on the TV & other hotel guests sitting around enjoying a drink or reading the paper. It was definitely a case of 'one of these things just doesn't belong here'! And that 'thing' was my friend & I sitting at a high tea table, dressed to impress in a bar with casually dressed, football watching, newspaper reading people! Talk about feeling uncomfortable. When we asked why we were being seated in the bar, we were told it was due to the time of our booking being close to the time in which they stopped serving high teas. I'm still trying to work out the logic behind that one...
Anyway, we had barely sat down when we decided that as soon as the maitre d' came back, we would ask to be moved out of the bar. It was all so wrong & certainly not a good start to what was meant to be a lovely birthday high tea! The maitre d' came back within five minutes & before we could ask to be moved she quickly told us that she would make arrangements for a table to be set up for us in the area where we had seen the other women having high tea. She acknowledged that the bar area wasn't the most suitable place for us to be seated & apologised.
So a few minutes later, the maitre d' came back & led us through to the high tea area, which turned out to be a large foyer behind the stairwell & elevator where they normally serve breakfast (I know this because the main serving table with the breakfast equipment was there ready for the next morning). I noticed a room with tables off to the right by the windows out to the street which looked like a lovely area & one which would have been much more suited to high teas, so it was a shame that they chose to seat us in the foyer area instead. Perhaps it was because they didn't have enough bookings to warrant using the other room. It was a shame though, because the foyer lacked the atmosphere & surrounding that you would expect for a high tea.
The sandwich flavours were smoked salmon & cream cheese, cucumber & lemon mayonnaise and chicken & aoli. Being a vegetarian (which my friend advised them of in advance) I was also given a separate plate of sandwiches which had a filling of roast vegetables, tomato, lettuce & aoli. All of the sandwiches were a good size - none of this teeny tiny finger sandwich size & the bread was soft & fresh. Overall the sandwiches were a tasty intro to our high tea!
Next in the tier came the scones. Now, I get that the size of scone needs to be on the delicate, dainty side - but I have to say, some of them were far too small. They also varied in size between about right, tiny & then teeny tiny... here's a picture of a couple of scones next to my teaspoon for scale...
Size aside though, the scones were delicious - one plain and one orange & date, which were served with jam & cream. The apple turnovers were nice as well - they made for a surprise addition to a tier which is normally reserved for scones alone.