Traditional Afternoon Tea @ The Palace Tea Room, QVB

afternoon tea palace

The Palace Tea Room is a wonderful Victorian experience in the heart of Queen Victoria Building (QVB). The gilded gold chandeliers and mirrors, the delightful period décor and the impeccable service all makes this an afternoon tea to remember. Oh, and they also have a separate drinks menu with *over 30 different kinds of tea*!

the palace tea room

I was quite chuffed when I heard that we’ll be having afternoon tea here. Contrary to my image, I do like the occasional dainty finger sandwich and I’ve heard nothing but good things about The Palace Tea Room. They only use Royal Albert – 100 Years of Royal Albert, 1950s Festival and Wedgwood Harlequin fine bone china!

tea room

The décor is meant to awe but the friendly service makes this feel like you’ve gone back to the Victorian era and you’re having tea in your own drawing room with friends, which the wait staff pulls off with aplomb. The picturesque scene of quiet congregation (everyone seems to talk in whispers here, I felt the same urge) was only broken with the oohs and aah of satisfaction with their afternoon tea offering.

palace waiters

You can choose a Devonshire Tea (AUD 20) if you’re not particularly hungry or go for the full experience of The Palace Traditional Afternoon Tea (AUD 38). I highly recommend the latter, it comes with a fully loaded 3-tier platter of dainty delights!

tea menu

I asked the waitress for a recommendation, since I couldn’t decide after browsing through six (6) full pages of tea. She suggested the Paris Vanilla Tea, which is one of the more popular offerings but I noticed something called Indulge Chocolate Tea and asked her about it. She couldn’t decide between the two either, since both are good in their own way, so I asked what she would order if she were in my place – and Indulge Chocolate Tea it was!

indulge chocolate tea

I was very happy with my choice of tea. It’s indulgent, smooth and rich. The menu describes it as “wicked” and I very much agree. You can smell the chocolate when the tea is steeping and everyone wanted a cup of my choice (each order of tea comes in a pot). It has strong highlights and afternotes of chocolate, which I found delectable. The Indulge Chocolate Tea is an extravagant choice that you won’t regret (but everyone else will, and want a sip of yours).

wedgwood harlequin china

The manager personally came out and explained each of the beautiful creations on the 3-tiered fine china platter (each edge is gilded with *real gold* banding and highlights – from the teapot spout to the plates) – there’s scones, crab coronets and crust-less finger sandwiches on the bottom tier and the first two tiers are filled with sweet cakes and pastries.

traditional afternoon tea

I loved the cone shaped crab coronet – it was so tasty I wish it didn’t disappear in a bite. There are three kinds of finger sandwiches too – egg salad on white bread, tuna on brown bread and Chicken Caesar sandwiches on brown bread. There’s also a tiny morsel which looks like two biscuits sandwiching a salmon roe paste – it turns out to be a little cheese shortbread sandwich filled with creamy red capsicum mousse. It was my favorite bit from the savory offerings at the bottom tier.

finger sandwiches coronet

I absolutely loved the scones and demolished them with hearty helpings of clotted cream and raspberry jam (since no one else wanted them). There are two scones – one plain and one filled with fruit. The blowtorch finished mini lemon meringue tart and tiny vanilla cupcakes topped with lemon sour cream are delicious! I think the only bit that let me down was the coconut macaron since Adriano Zumbo Patissier is just downstairs.

macaroons scones

However, the chocolate macaroon (with double o’s) dusted with toasted coconut and filled with a sweet passionfruit filling was spot on. I also liked the lamington (it’s an Australian cake) but the most wonderful item on the platter is a marvellous creation of white chocolate, raspberry and basil (!!!) mousse layered sponge cake.

palace me

The flavors works so well together and it’s just too bad that there’s only one (1) of some items in this 2-person sharing platter so you’ll have to cut a tiny pastry into half. Nevertheless, it’s a wonderful experience and if you appreciate the subtleties of tea, you’ll be pleased to know that all their teas are proprietary house blends. The owner told us they’re always so full that reservations is a must and also divulged that they’re bidding to buy over the opposite establishment so they can renovate it and take it over, which says everything about how popular The Palace Tea Room in QVB is.

the queens letter

Interesting tip: There’s a sealed letter from Queen Elizabeth II in QVB (Queen Victoria Building) which was written by Her Majesty in 1986 to be opened 100 years in the future in 2085 by the Lord Mayor of Sydney at that time and read aloud to the People of Sydney. It’s at the top floor and worth a detour before you head for afternoon tea, even if you can’t read the contents of the letter. I just love the idea.

queen victoria building

The Palace Tea Room
Shop L1 20-22, Level 1,
Queen Victoria Building, Sydney

11 photos from the Fraser’s Hill trip

frasers trip

The obligatory shot at the iconic Fraser’s Hill clock tower. I got a very unwilling dude who was just chilling there to take it for me. Heh.

silverpark

We stayed at Fraser’s Silverpark Resort – had a booking for a studio but got upgraded to a two bedroom suite.

frasers hill balcony

It has a balcony and…

frasers hill morning

…a great view of nature! :)

frasers hill silverpark

The resort is poorly maintained with temperamental hot water but it was relatively clean.

bug

Plenty of interesting insects you’ll be hard pressed to find in the city too.

frasers fog

Fraser’s Hill is colder than I remembered it to be – it was rather chilly and foggy when we were there. I loved the weather!

jura 16

A bottle of Jura 16 y/o single malt and you’re set for the night. There’s nothing much to do here except chill at night. That’s part of the appeal. :)

hah

Hah! smirk

fiona me

Here’s a shot of me and Fiona!

frasers hill smokehouse

Wanted to have English tea at Ye Olde Smokehouse before we drove down but unfortunately they don’t serve scones until 3 pm. Nevertheless, it was a great trip up! :)

Devonshire tea and Welsh rarebit @ Ye Olde Smokehouse

me at ye olde smokehouse having devonshire tea

A rather dignified looking gentleman who looks remarkably like me having a civilized tea session at Ye Olde Smokehouse, Fraser’s Hill.

menu

It is almost certainly a sin (or at least it should be if it’s not) to go up to a British colonial hillside resort and not have Devonshire tea. The cool highlands breeze caressing your senses as you enjoy the scenic misty view while eating hot scones with clotted cream. Divine!

devonshire tea frasers hill

*record scratching sound*

Of course, it goes without saying that your food gets cold REALLY FAST. *potong stim

devonshire tea

My friend went for the Devonshire tea, which comes with scones, strawberry preserve and clotted cream. It’s RM 18 for the entire set.

tea

I was craving for something savory so I opted for the Elegant Highland Rarebit (RM 20), a fancy name for Welsh rarebit. The Welsh rarebit is served with a side of fries and my monthly quota of vegetables. I really liked it as it used real streaky bacon instead of that beef bacon nonsense.

welsh rarebit

Welsh rarebit is usually made with beer or ale, but I don’t know if they do that over here since I couldn’t detect it. However, this concoction of bacon and hot melted cheese on top of toasted bread tasted delicious!

cream

All photos taken using the Sony Cyber-shot TX-5.

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