The Cellars-Hohenort introduces deliciously decadent high tea

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IS there anything more civilised than afternoon tea? Yes, morning tea. Same with naps; traditionally they are taken in the afternoon but I am a strong supporter of the morning nap.Not as a replacement, but a supplement. Mail me for more advice.

At The Cellars-Hohenort, you can now enjoy a deliciously indulgent high tea, morning and/or afternoon. You can nap too, if you have a room. These things are frowned upon in public areas, and that includes the exquisite gardens. These have to be mentioned because your tea menu is a pamphlet that you can take with you; it has a map of the gardens so you can explore before or after your scones. There’s also the option of a walk guided by a human; it takes about an hour and a half and you need to book in advance.

But let’s talk about the high tea, created by executive chef Tronette Dippenaar and her team, from scratch, every day. It is taken in The Greenhouse, and includes a glass of L’Ormarins Brut Classique Rosé (or non-alcoholic sparkling wine) to set the mood. The tableware is utterly gorgeous. Jenna Clifford designed The Wavy Rose bone china crockery by Lavish’d – a visual feast for the eyes that also brings the hotel’s glorious gardens indoors. I thought it all rather whimsical and suitable for the Mad Hatter’s tea party.

The meal – for it is that, really – is served in four courses, beginning with a selection of sandwiches. We had cucumber and cream cheese (no crusts of course), coronation chicken, smoked salmon and créme fraîche, and rare roast beef and horseradish. Each was on a different bread. Next up were savouries: caramelised onion tart, biltong gougéres, slow braised lamb foldover (little pie), goat’s cheesecake and beetroot, and teeny tiny smoked salmon mousse cornets.

On to the sweet side of things, a basket of scones – essential at any good tea – and banana bread was served, with butter, cream and strawberry jam naturally. Apricot jam is an option but only with grated mature cheddar. I don’t make the rules. The fourth course came almost at the same time, tiers of cakes including key lime pie which was my favourite, coffee and chocolate opera cake, walnut carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, mini milk tarts, and a roll of matcha with lemon, honey and white chocolate. Pop on over to my Instagram for more pics of all this.

Oh, the tea…you have a choice of 11 loose-leaf teas, as well as Lavazza coffee. Each tea blend is meticulously curated by master tea blender, Mingwei Tsai, who has also created a unique Cellars Hohenort Blend of Nigiro tea, incorporating the spicy fragrance and bronze/apricot colour of the Liz McGrath Rose. The Liz McGrath Rose was hybridised in 2003 to commemorate the 80th birthday of the late Mrs McGrath, the founder of The Liz McGrath Collection of three sister hotels. Imagine that? An actual rose named after you. That’s quite something.

The tea is presented in clear glass pots placed over a, well, tea light candle. A timer is provided for the correct brewing time, to ensure maximum enjoyment of optimal flavour.

Tea at The Greenhouse is an elegant affair, so do try not to knock your bubbly all over the man sitting next to you, like I did, and the most perfect way to while away a few hours during the chilly winter months. Served Wednesdays to Sundays 11am to 1pm, and 2pm to 4pm, it costs R395 for adults and R195 for children (4 – 11 years). Booking is essential.

Call +27 21 794 2137

Email [email protected]

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