Afternoon Tea Review: The Raffles Hotel Singapore

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Venue:

The Raffles hotel is architecturally beautiful on a grand scale, and is arguably one of the most prestigious hotels in Singapore. The Raffles Hotel has been serving afternoon tea for more than 100 years. When my fiancé and I arrived, we were directed by a hotel attendant to que outside the Tiffin room- which is located around the corner from the entrance. The line was long, and it was terribly humid and wet.

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Service:

The service was wonderful. Upon arrival, a waiter took our drink orders immediately. I ordered a glass of Champagne and a pot of English Breakfast tea. My fiancé ordered a Singapore Sling and a coffee. The waiter came over again to explain to us the proceedings of the Raffles afternoon tea. The waiter also stated that we could order more food for our three tier stand if we ran out- which I though was very generous.

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I just love how Singaporeans have a real appreciation for designer bags. When I went to put my Louis Vuitton bag on the floor, a waiter came over promptly with a little stool and popped my bag on to it. Come on Perth, lift your game! Food and beverage service was regular and prompt. Overall, I found the staff to be friendly and obliging.

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Food:

Afternoon tea tea at the Raffles hotel is served semi buffet style. A three tier is presented to each table with a selection of sandwiches and petite desserts. The buffet table features a dim dum selection, and a variety of scones (including one savoury variety), cakes and fresh fruit. The sandwiches and scones were fresh and tasty, however I didn’t particular like the sweets on offer, but that really comes down to personal choice.

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Overall Experience:

Is it the best afternoon tea I’ve ever had? No. But if you’re a high tea lover like myself, then I recommend that you make a reservation for the Raffles hotel next time you go to Singapore, as it is the most iconic place in Singapore to enjoy afternoon tea. Reservations book up fast, so make sure you book a few months in advance.

The Raffles Hotel Singapore

Afternoon Tea is served in the Tiffin Room 3:00pm – 5:30pm daily

1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673

Bookings Are Essential Via Website:

dining.singapore@raffles.com

http://www.raffles.com/singapore/

 

High Tea Review: Koko Black Claremont Quarter

Koko Black offers a Queen of Hearts high tea for two people.
You don’t expect to get a lot for around $22 per person, however you do expect to receive an ample amount of chocolate.
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Venue:
Koko Black is a stylish and modern chocolatier and cafe located inside the prestigious Claremont Quarter shopping centre. As soon as you step inside you are greeted with a strong smell of decadent chocolate and a mind boggling selection of truffles and chocolate bars. There is plenty of room, with tables inside and outside.
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Service:
The service was pleasant and prompt and we didn’t have to wait long for our food and drinks.

Food:
I have a passion for chocolate, and not just any kind of chocolate- the kind that is of a very high quality. For drinks, instead of ordering a tea, I went for an iced chocolate and my partner ordered an iced coffee. It was definitely the best iced chocolate that I have ever tasted!
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The savoury tier included a mixture of vegetarian and non vegetarian treats. There were two leek and goats cheese tarts, a basil pesto, mozzarella, sundried tomato and roasted eggplant toasted sandwich and a pastrami, gruyere and seeded mustard butter toasted sandwich. My partner and I thoroughly enjoyed the sandwiches. I’m not a fan of goats cheese, so I didn’t particularly enjoy the tart.
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Yum!
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The sweets selection was a chocoholics fantasy which I can only describe as completely faultless. There was a cream and jam filled lamington, a koko black take on a royal biscuit, a creme brûlée tart, a rich chocolate truffle slice topped with a bar of signature Koko Black dark chocolate and a chocolate and praline cake.
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Overall Experience:
Overall, I was impressed with this high tea. It’s reasonably valued, and the food is high quality. My only suggestion would be to have lunch before you go. You don’t get a lot for $22.50 per person, and the sweets have to be shared. If you consider yourself a chocoholic, then you’re going to love this high tea.

Koko Black (Claremont Quarter)
High Tea is served daily.
$45 for two people.
Bookings are not required.
Address: 23 Quentin Avenue, Claremont.

High Tea Review: Maddison Cottage

Maddison Cottage is a gorgeous little tea room nestled in the heart of historic Guidford. It’s the perfect place if you’re after a traditional high tea experience.
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Venue:
Maddison Cottage is only a small venue, however what it lacks in space it makes up for with its adorable charm. The tea room also doubles as a shop, filled with beautiful tea ware, jams and preserves, and gorgeous knick-knacks.
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Our table looked absolutely gorgeous. It was adorned with traditional floral tea ware, elegant cutlery, and a cute poker dot tablecloth. It’s been a long time since I last experienced a proper and traditional high tea like this, and it’s places like Maddison Cottage that can really execute an authentic high tea experience.
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Service:
The service was faultless. My friend and I had the privilege of meeting the owner, a lovely mother, along with her beautiful daughter and adorable granddaughter. Now this is what I call service! It’s lovely to see owners get around and introduce themselves, and it adds a personalised and memorable touch to the culinary experience. Being so close to my own mother, it was really nice to see another mother and daughter working so closely together. The staff at Maddison Cottage were wonderful. My friend and I were offered endless refills of tea, and staff were attentive and obliging. I couldn’t have asked for better service!

The Extensive Tea Menu
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Food:
Maddison Cottage offers an extensive range of T2 teas. I enjoyed a pot of English Breakfast and a pot of Melbourne Breakfast. Melbourne Breakfast is a black tea with vanilla and honey notes. The honey is definitely the most dominant flavour in this tea.
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And out came the three tier stand! My first remark to my friend was “how do they know that pink is my favourite colour?” After a few quick photos, we dived straight in.
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The savoury tier was delicious. We had a vegetarian selection of sandwiches which included two varieties: curried egg which is always my favourite, and chutney and cheese. We also received a couple of savoury tarts each (Hooray!), a sundried tomato with cheese tart which was amazing, and a mushroom tart.
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The plain scones were incredible. Warm, fresh, light and fluffy- exactly how they should be. My friend and I received two medium sizes scones each, with a side of strawberry jam and clotted cream.
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The sweets were remarkable. Not only did they look gorgeous but they tasted delicious too. The selection included: a pink cupcake- yum!, a pink meringue with fresh cream and strawberries (this was my favourite), a coconut and lime slice, and raspberry mousse topped with fresh cream and a raspberry. It was a fresh and fruity selection of sweets.
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Overall Experience:
Everything about this high tea experience was perfect. The venue is delightful, the service was impeccable, the food was mouthwatering, and the owners are lovely. It was a relaxing and very memorable experience. It wasn’t overly busy, so my friend and I were able to chat freely. The instrumental music playing softly in the background reminded me of my trip to Paris back in June. For me, Maddison Cottage ticked all the boxes. If you are after a high tea experience that is set in a traditional venue, offers personalised service, and has a delicious selection of mouthwatering treats, then Maddison Cottage is the place for you.

Update*
Visited Maddison Cottage on the 8th of October 2015 with my mother.
The experience was much the same as last time. Wonderful prompt and friendly service, adorable location, tables adorned with mismatched crockery, and a selection of beautiful fresh and delicious food. The scones were a hit with my mum, as were the savoury mushroom tarts. I enjoyed the mint chocolate mousse, the cherry ripe slice and the gorgeous petite cupcake. The sandwich fillings included, egg, pineapple with cheese and spring onion, and chicken. Due to the variety of strong flavours in the savoury selection, I suggested to the owner that she consider offering guests a palette cleanser before they begin devouring their scones. There was a large variety of teas to choose from, and my mother and I were offered unlimited pots of tea, which was fantastic. I had a pot of the T2 Melbourne Breakfast and a pot of the Darjeeling.
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Maddison Cottage
High Tea is served Tuesday to Friday and booking hours are flexible.
High Tea is also served Saturday and Sunday with sittings at 10am, 1pm, 1:30pm and 2pm.
$32pp Tuesday to Friday
$34pp on Weekends
Bookings are Essential.
Telephone: (08) 9379 2231
Address: 145 James Street, Guildford.

High Tea Review: Hyatt Regency Perth

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This is the second time I’ve visited the Hyatt Regency for high tea. The first time was in 2012, so I knew what to expect this time around. My partner is back from London, so I figured a high tea disguised as a buffet would be a good way of convincing him to go. The Hyatt Regency is particularly male friendly when it comes to afternoon tea. There is no floral tea ware, and no three tier stands, just an all you can eat buffet filled with sweet and savoury treats.

Venue:
Although the hotel itself is quite old and relatively underwhelming from the outside, the lobby and restaurant area is modern and stylish. The beautiful elephant water feature in the main entrance is definitely a highlight.
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Our table was simple and sophisticated. It suited the smart decor of the restaurant. Clean napkins, white crockery and polished silver cutlery. As previously stated, afternoon tea at the Hyatt Regency is male friendly, and therefore any embarrassment that may be experienced is significantly reduced by the lack of feminine tea ware.
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Service:
The service we received at the Hyatt Regency was excellent. There were plenty of polite and obliging staff available if we needed something. Every 10 minute or so, a hostess would come over and top up our sparking wine. It was wonderful!

Food:
My partner and I indulged in some much needed sparkling wine.
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We received a mixture of sandwiches, both with meat and vegetarian. We were also told that at anytime we could request more. If you read my last review you would understand just how much I appreciated this. Sandwich fillings included: chicken, salmon, red pepper, egg mayonnaise and avocado with beetroot.
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The savoury buffet was a highlight, and I was delighted to see at least three vegetarian options. Savoury options included: a delicious pumpkin and feta tart, tasty vegetable spring rolls, mushroom parcels, sausage rolls and meatballs. The sausage rolls and meatballs went down a treat with my partner.
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The sweets buffet was magnificent. There were so many different varieties of petite cakes and slices, scones, fresh fruit, and even waffles!
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For sweets, I selected a beautiful hazelnut and chocolate mousse cake, a raspberry sponge cake, a chocolate walnut slice, and a yummy lemon cheesecake.
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Unfortunately the scones weren’t anything to rave about. They were hard and dry. However, we did receive a generous assortment of honey and various jam pots on our table which was a nice gesture.
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Overall Experience:
Overall, I enjoyed my afternoon tea experience at the Hyatt Regency. It was relaxed and quiet and there weren’t many in attendance. The restaurant is stylish, and the lighting was dimmed for a romantic feel. The service was fantastic, and who could complain about an endless supply of high quality food?The Hyatt Regency is one of the more pricier places to have high tea. However being a buffet, you definitely get your money’s worth.

Update*
Visited the Hyatt again on the 25th of July with my fiancé. We intended to go for lunch, but it turned into afternoon tea instead (what a coincidence!) ;). Nothing has really changed since last time, and the food and service is still exceptional. This time however, I was offered more vegetarian options (see photos below). The Hyatt offers the perfect “male friendly” afternoon tea. There is plenty to eat, and it’s value for money.
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Hyatt

Hyatt Regency Perth
High Tea is served on weekends, 12:30pm – 5pm
$45 for Traditional High Tea
$50 for Sparkling High Tea
Bookings are Essential.
Telephone: (08) 9225 1239
Address: 99 Adelaide Terrace, Perth.

High Tea Review: Lobby Lounge Crown Casino

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Lobby Lounge is an elegant bar and lounge area located within the Crown Casino complex. At $24 per person, the Lobby Lounge is on the less expensive end of the scale when it comes to high tea in Perth. I should also add that high tea is only offered on weekdays.

Venue:
Lobby Lounge is nestled in amongst the snazzy restaurants such as Rockpool, The Atrium and the new champagne bar La Vie. Lobby Lounge oozes elegance and has a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere. The lounge area is spacious and is capable of accommodating quite a large number of guests.
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Service:
Unfortunately the service was virtually non-existant. When my friend and I arrived, we were greeted by a friendly hostess, who directed us to our table and took our tea order. After that, she was never seen again. It wasn’t busy either, so there was no excuse for the dismal service.

Food:
My friend and I were offered our choice of tea or coffee. We both selected our usual English Breakfast, and received one pot each.
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The food was delicious and fresh, with the exception of the scones. The sweets and savoury tiers were the highlight of my experience.
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The finger sandwiches included a delightful selection of vegetarian fillings: egg mayonnaise, tomato and red onion, red peppers, cucumber, and sundried tomato infused bread with cheese. My only complaint is that there was simply not enough. I even approached a staff member at the bar to ask if we could purchase some more, and was told that the high tea was pre-prepared somewhere else in the casino. Surely they could keep an extra plate of sandwiches in the fridge just in case.

The sweets tier included: a delightful chocolate eclair with a chocolate mousse filling, a strawberry and custard tart, a slice of cake (which I can only describe as tasting super sweet), a delicious vanilla slice, a lemon macaron and a lime macaron. My friend and I would have preferred it if we had received two of everything, so that we didn’t have to make such a mess trying to cut everything in half.

The fruit scones were very disappointing. They were rock hard and completely dried out. Not even a good slather of strawberry jam and clotted cream could make them edible. I really found this disappointing, considering the sandwiches and sweets were absolutely perfect.

Overall Experience:
Overall I have to say that high tea at the Lobby Lounge was average. I would love to be more positive about the experience, however there was just not enough food and the service was non-existant. My friend and I left feeling hungry and unsatisfied, and ended up buying fries from McDonald’s in the food court. This is a big no-no for me, and is the first time that I have walked away from a high tea still feeling hungry. If you are going to give this high tea a go, I recommend that you eat a solid lunch beforehand. Other than that, I really enjoyed the quality of the sandwiches and sweets, and found the venue both elegant and relaxing. If the saying goes “you get what you pay for” then my recommendation to Lobby Lounge would be to raise the price and to increase the amount of food offered.

Update*
Visited the Lobby Lounge again on the 10th of July 2015 and noticed that the prices had increased from $40 to $50 for two people. The sandwiches and sweets were amazing, however the scones have not changed 😦
Lobby

Lobby Lounge Crown Casino Perth
High Tea is served Monday to Friday, 12pm – 5pm
$50 for two people with your choice of tea or coffee.
$60 for two people with a glass of sparkling wine.
Bookings are Essential.
Telephone: (08) 9362 7551
Address: Great Eastern Hwy, Burswood.

High Tea Review: The Wild Fig

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High Tea at The Wild Fig Cafe first came to my attention a few weeks ago when I went there for breakfast with my mother. I wasn’t overly impressed with my breakfast, but I wanted to give their high tea a go, and who am I to turn down a high tea opportunity?

Venue:
This is the first time that I’ve been to a high tea with ocean views. Fancy hotels- tick, skyscrapers- tick, wineries- tick, river views- tick, and now the beach.

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The interior design of The Wild Fig is interesting to say the least. It is very artsy and full of cool mismatched items. Our table was simple, with an ocean view. My friend and I received a gorgeous floral teacup each, and the rest of crockery was white.
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Service:
I rang a few days beforehand to make my reservation, and a $40 deposit was required in order to confirm my booking for two people. Our host was lovely. He was organised, prompt and very obliging. Overall, I was very impressed with the service we received at The Fig.

Food:
We were offered two pots of tea each during our sitting. My friend elected to try the Japanese pearl green tea (which I don’t think she was overly impressed with), and as always I went with English breakfast.

The Tea Menu
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Tapas or high tea?
When the savoury food arrived, I wasn’t sure what I had signed up for. In fact, I wasn’t the only one confused. Two ladies came over and asked us what we were eating. High tea should be fairly obvious. I have never had anyone come over and enquire as to what I was eating at a high tea before.

We received a three tier savoury stand with bruschetta on the top tier, ciabatta bread on the middle tier, and balsamic strawberries, Brie cheese, olives and beetroot dip on the bottom tier. I can’t say I was impressed with this. The ciabatta bread was far too big for high tea, and we received two slices each. I would expect ciabatta bread for breakfast, certainly not for high tea. The bruschetta was nice, but again, not appropriate for a high tea. Plus I think they went overboard with the red onion, which left an awful taste in my mouth. No amount or strawberries or english breakfast tea could get rid of the onion taste.
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Top Tier
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Bottom Tier
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My friend and I left the plain scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam till last. The scones were quite nice, but I was so full I only managed to eat half.
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There were three options on the sweets tier: lemon meringue tart, which was absolutely delicious, carrot cake, and raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake. The sweets were cut into large portions, again size is an issue at high tea. It is not a main meal.
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Overall Experience:
Big points for location. The ocean views were absolutely beautiful. Overall I can’t say I was overly impressed with the food at The Fig. The service was great, and I loved the 80’s music, however I don’t think they know how to properly execute a traditional high tea. Keep working at it Fig. If you’re a fan of tapas and you don’t mind an interesting twist on high tea, then this is the place for you.

The Wild Fig Cafe Scarborough
High Tea is served Monday – Thursday, 3pm -6pm and Friday – Sunday, 3:30pm – 6pm.
Delish Package: $32 (Monday – Thursday) $37 (Friday – Sunday)
Bubbles Package: $39 (Monday – Thursday) $44 (Friday – Sunday)
Tipples (Long Island Cocktail): $44 (Monday – Thursday) $49 (Friday to Sunday)
Luxe Baby (Bubbles & Cocktail): $50 (Monday – Thursday) $55 (Friday to Sunday)
Bookings are Essential.
Telephone: (08) 9246 9222
Address: 190 The Esplanade, Scarborough.

High Tea Review: Duxton Hotel

Today my friend and I visited the the Duxton Hotel in Perth’s CBD for high tea. High tea is served at the stunning Firewater Grille restaurant, which is located just inside the lobby area. The Duxton Hotel is one of Perth’s few five-star hotels, offering high quality accommodation and dining experiences.

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Venue:
The Duxton Hotel is a beautiful and luxurious five-star hotel. I’m not going to go into too much detail about the venue, because I believe that the photos speak for themselves. Just look at that chandelier!

The Hotel Lobby
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Firewater Grille Restaurant
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Our table was adorned with simple white tea ware that suited the modern and sophisticated decor of the restaurant.
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Service:
The service we received at Firewater Grille was nothing short of what you would expect from a five-star hotel. When we arrived at the restaurant, a hostess took us to our table and handed us a high tea menu each. After taking some time to decide which tea we wanted, the hostess took our order, and quickly returned with our tea and three-tier stand. Our tea was poured for us, which was wonderful, and the hostess seemed pleasant enough. I should also mention that there were no issues when it came to accommodating my dietary requirements.

The Food Menu
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The Tea Menu
I selected the ‘Dreams of Fruit’ tea, which was a pleasant blend of fruits with a gorgeous sweet aroma. It actually reminded me of strawberry jelly. Being such a refined high tea menu, my friend decided to stay safe and simple with the ‘Traditional Afternoon’ tea.
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Food:
The three-tier stand arrived overflowing with an array of sweet and savoury treats. The food looked very refined and was certainly a twist on a traditional high tea menu.
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The savoury tier was by far my favourite. My vegetarian selection included: two delicious pumpkin and cream cheese baguettes, two salad with cheese brioche, a roasted spanish onion and brie tart, a tomato bruschetta, and two salad filled rice paper rolls. My friend’s selection included: prawn and mango sushi, salmon on avocado mousse brioche, a smoked turkey breast, cranberry and thyme mayo with spinach baguette, goats curd bruschetta, a Swiss cheese, dill pickle and pastrami bagel, and a roasted spanish onion and brie tart. Judging by the look of satisfaction on my friend’s face and her squeals of delight, I think I can safely say that she enjoyed her selection!    

My friend and I received two fruit and two plain scones each, accompanied by strawberry jam, clotted cream and for the first time ever, butter!
The scones were a good size, not too big and not too small. They were soft on the inside and had a nice freshly baked crunch on the outside. However, I feel that they could have been a tad more generous with the jam and cream.

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As you can see, there was no shortage of sweet delights. My friend and I tucked into the passionfruit creme brûlée first, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Other treats included a rich chocolate cherry fudge, traditional macarons, orange and poppy seed cake, rhubarb, apple and custard crumble, and a fruit beinget, which reminded me of a jam donut (minus the jam).
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Overall Experience:
The restaurant itself was very quiet, and there weren’t many people in there. I think my friend and I were the only ones having high tea. This made for a rather peaceful experience. Overall, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by high tea at the Duxton Hotel. The venue is sophisticated and modern, the service was top-notch, and the food was fresh with a unique twist. The Duxton Hotel is one of the pricier places that offers high tea, however, if you are after a good enough reason to get dressed up and treat yourself, then this is the place for you. You get an ample amount of high quality food, so it works out to be great value for money.

Duxton Hotel
Firewater Grille Restaurant
High Tea is served daily
$38 Classic High Tea Monday – Friday and $40 on Weekends
$48 Chandon Sparking High Tea Monday – Friday and $50 on Weekends
Bookings are Essential.
Telephone: (08) 9261 8025
Address: 1 St Georges Terrace, Perth.