Jul 6, 2016

Afternoon Tea. Kilogram Creep.

Yesterday was one hard earned day off.  It's been a bit crazy at work with winter hitting so hard and so fast while in the background I've had lots of things going on.  Nice things but still lots of things that need energy and time.

But yesterday?  It was all about taking my own sweet time doing whatever it was I felt like doing with the day.  My cousin's come to stay for a week and we hung out doing ordinary girly things.  It's been so lovely having her over for company and on her part, she's enjoying being able to see Sydney through the eyes of locals staying in the suburbs while still being able to take a short bus ride into the city and all the attractions it boasts.

We started off at the gym where I'm dutifully doing what I can to halt my forty something kilogram creep.  It's so unfair that aging involves gradually losing everything except weight.  But I'm only holding onto that unfortunate thought for a moment because I'm one of those mind over matter people.  I need a positive take on a problem to keep me working at trying to manage it.  So I'm going to look at not gaining any weight rather than losing it and what my body can do rather than what it can't (looking like how it did when I felt fat five years ago...).

Baby steps to begin with then.

I've acknowledged the presence of healthier good choices at cafes and juice bars.  I haven't actually bought a Salted CaRAWmel Protein Slice yet but the cafe does brilliant coffees which I love buying so it's only a matter of time, really, before I switch those coffees for one of the slices.

My cousin had a few things to hunt down at the shops afterwards so we made our way around the places on her hit list with a side trip to where else but Target Chemist Warehouse.  I don't know how I'll cope if My.Organics stops making their Argan oil shampoo and conditioner.  Let's just hope that day never comes.

Then it was time to head home where I tried (and failed dismally) to recreate a salon blow dry from the comfort of my sofa as I tried to figure out who our current Prime Minister is.  It's not Pauline but in the strange times that are Australian politics, July 2016, it looks as if she's back....

Jeans - AG, necklace - Louisarose, wool knit jacket - Brooks Brothers.

Prime Minister or not, life has to go on and yesterday afternoon, life was taking us to afternoon tea at The Intercontinental, Double Bay.

The Intercontinental Double Bay is located in what was previously the local Ritz Carlton.  The hotel was built in 1991 and was refurbished and rebranded as an Intercontinental in 2013.  It's a beautiful and quiet hotel that's full of marble floors and monochrome carpets.  The hotel features a roof top pool and lounge, reception rooms and an arcade of shops that feature what I am sure is the suburb's only 24 hour gym.  The hotel's lounge and restaurant are called  the Stillery and the Stockroom.

All of this understated luxury is only a few minutes away from the beach, fancy shops and boutiques of the suburb and a few more minutes away from more real world amenities like the library, Woolworths, the post office and yes... Chemist Warehouse.  It's an interesting location for a five star hotel in Sydney but if you were ever looking for a luxe place to escape to that's out of the city but not too far away from it, then this could well be your hotel of choice.  I especially liked the fact that the hotel wasn't too out of touch with reality and even had a 7/11 style shop as one of its tenants in the retail precinct.

Our afternoon tea was delicious.  The standard tea costs $55 and is available seven days a week from midday.  In addition to the perfectly assembled and super fresh cakes and savouries, the price includes unlimited tea and coffee which staff are only more than happy to cheerfully make whatever it is you feel like having.

The champagne high tea costs $65 as does the high martini high tea.  The official champagne of The Intercontinental High Tea is Perrier Jouet and it is perfection.  Teas are by TWG which made my cousin smile as she lives in Singapore and TWG began there.

The standout savoury for me was the smoked trout, served on brioche.  The finger sandwiches featured my favourite butter, Pepe Saya.

Macarons on tea stands can be disappointing but not yesterday's rose and raspberry version.  The cream had flecks of vanilla bean in it.

All that exercise in the morning saw the two of us make short but relaxed work of our tea.  There was nothing 'hotel' (mass produced, perfect looking but a bit bland) about any of the treats we were served.

Our scones, while small, were fruits and light.  Bonus points from us for the addition of vanilla bean to the whipped cream.

I was just reading on the hotel website that August is Max Brenner  month and weekend teas will include sittings that feature tiers of Brenner created chocolate treats for $59 with the option of a savoury supplement for $10.  It is my birthday month and I did start this post moaning about my weight.  The struggle is real.

In other indulgence news.... Dior's La Collection Privee is now available as an Australian exclusive at DJs, Sydney.  And so much better for you than chocolate and champagne.

What's your middle age spread strategy?

Have you ever stayed at The Intercontinental?  Did you miss not being in the CBD?


  1. Your afternoon tea looks lovely, it's actually making me a little bit hungry.

  2. I spent the latter half of my 20s and my early 30s in various degrees of obsession with my weight. My strategy is to exercise for fitness and vigour, eat lots of veggies and to enjoy some treats on the weekend. Mostly this is just effective for keepinga healthy mind and attitude.

  3. This post makes me want to take a day off as well. I need a "treat yourself" kinda day.
    The afternoon tea looks so good...perfect for a day of leisure :)

  4. Oh your afternoon tea looks incredible! I saw a couple (although not all of these, stupid non-chronological feed) on instagram and drooled over them then too! I'll suggest the Intercontinental to my friend in Sydney next time I'm down for a catch up!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  5. I stayed at that hotel for a few nights last year for a work conference. A lovely hotel, gorgeously decorated. I appreciated the quiet of it compared to the tourist filled CBD hotels. The rooms were fab!


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