May 27, 2015

High Tea at the Shops. Other Shops.

Neither the timing nor the breaking were the best, to be honest.

My Australis AConTour palette, her time on this earth was too short.

There I was feeling so smug about my responsible buying at Sephora, Columbus Circle the other day.  Now here I am one and a quarter pans (the ones I use most, naturally) short of a complete facial contouring kit.

Ambient Power Wardrobe, $76 AUD at Mecca Maxima.

I'm going to take it on the chin for a bit and see if I can survive without falling prey to the siren call of Mecca Maxima with her Hourglass products.  How long do you think I'll last?

It's all about the monochrome for me at the moment.  Leggings under dresses, wraps over dresses.  And thermals under my jeans.  But we probably shouldn't be going there.

Can we change tack and talk shopping centres and supermarkets for a moment?  There doesn't seem to be a limit on what you'll find in them as they strive to be one stop destinations.  I do worry about the future of our small businesses though.  How can you compete with a Woolworths with an instore cafe that's open 17 hours a day, seven days a week?

Or a Big W with a Party Store within it?

Toddler SSG, party planner, choosing decorations for his first birthday.

For me, the charm of party stores lies in the fact that they are often family owned businesses.  Usually housed in warehouses and shops that are more about function than sleekness, their shelves are crammed with a bit of everything for everyone at a nice price.

Beyond the supermarket, shopping centre Chinese restaurants are getting pretty fancy these days.  There's bamboo waving gently between the tables at Lan Yuan on the Top Ryde Piazza.

Which temptingly overlooks the Piazza's water fountain feature.  I have a hot tip if you're ever there for Sunday lunch.  Best and Less have great $6 track pants in case you need to change your soaking wet toddler after their fountain experience.  And they even cut off the tags for you.

Over at the Macquarie Centre, we had a girl's morning out over high tea at Passiontree Velvet.  The high tea house occupies prime position under the skylights at the centre of the fresh produce wing.  Sounds an odd combination but it somehow works with the natural light and relative spaciousness here rather than on the upper levels in between the spendy shops. 

I have Not Quite Nigella  and her review to thank for discovering Passiontree Velvet.  She was right, the glittering, jewel like display of cakes and macarons is impressive.

Which isn't a good thing for indecisive people like me with eyes larger than their stomachs.

Fortunately, all the hard decisions are made for you if you select the Duchess Full High Tea ($34.95 per person).

I ordered a caramel flavoured tea which was so smooth I could have quite happily sat there all morning sipping tea and gossiping.  Actually, that was  what we did.   The staff are all incredibly helpful and lovely.  They refilled our teapots regularly and nothing was too much trouble for them.

I always like starting at the bottom with the sandwiches.  Does it make you feel spoiled when someone else makes your sandwiches for you and cuts off the crusts before arranging them precisely on a china plate for you?

Our scones were fluffy centred with a firm crust.  Topped with cream and jam on a wintery morning?  Say.  No.  More.

And then there were the cakes on top.  Delicately textured, fresh and with a fine sponge base in the case of the mousse layer cakes, they were all my kind of tea cake.

In addition to high tea, Passiontree Velvet have a wide selection of chocolates, light meals, waffles and child friendly menu options.

With such lovely staff on hand, I can see myself planning my next 'treat yourself' shopping trip around a meal here before hitting the shops.

Do you have a favourite high tea in Sydney?

How about the highlighting and contouring situation?  What's your go to?

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow. Those cakes... They're almost too pretty to eat (almost). Any gluten free options? My favourite afternoon tea in Sydney is at Gunners Barracks. It's quite pricey ($50 if I remember correctly) but I'd pay the extra $15 for the view alone. Plus they do a great gluten free option for us coeliacs. I talk about it here in case you want a sneak preview:


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