On Sunday I took my mother to The Melbourne Hotel in the heart of the Perth CBD. This was my second high tea experience at The Melbourne Hotel, and after being so impressed the first time I thought it would be lovely to take my mum there on Mother’s Day. My grandfather used to frequent The Melbourne Hotel quite often in the early 1980’s so it was an extra special experience for my mother.
Located on the corner of Hay Street and Milligan Street in Perth, The Melbourne Hotel is one of Perth’s oldest and most iconic hotels. From the outside, the hotel has a lovely heritage appeal, and the decor inside the restaurant is simple, yet elegant, and includes arched mirrors, decorative ceilings, and chandeliers.
The table settings were decorated in a very simple manner. White table cloths and floral pattern tea ware. Nothing out of the ordinary for a hotel high tea.
As soon as we were seated, two glasses of sparking wine arrived, and two minutes later the food arrived. It wasn’t until about 30 minutes into the sitting that were actually offered a choice of tea or coffee. I would have preferred to have been offered tea before the food arrived, which is what normally happens. The wait staff appeared to be rushed off their feet, and I think they may have been slightly unprepared, because none of the tables had teaspoons on them! Having said that, the staff were very pleasant and quite obliging. The only problem I encountered was that one particular staff member wasn’t very fluent in English which made communication difficult.
I have to say that unfortunately this time around the food wasn’t as good as my first experience at The Melbourne Hotel. I think the this time the food was more contemporary, where as last time it was quite traditional. Instead of finger sandwiches, we received open sandwiches with the fillings on top of the bread.
The varieties included traditional egg and sun dried tomato, red capsicum and olive. Both fillings were quite enjoyable, and the bread was fresh with a light crunch. Also on the savoury tier were two petite pastries with a mushroom filling. I personally didn’t enjoy mine, however my mother said that she enjoyed hers.
The scones were on the top tier and were similar to the scones from the first experience in that they included a slice of strawberry between the raspberry preserve and the clotted cream. I think it looks quite creative and visually appealing, however if you’re not into strawberries you probably won’t appreciate it. The scone itself tasted artificial and had more of a cake like texture. I would have preferred a fresh and more traditional scone. Sometimes less is more.
The sweets tier was certainly a highlight. We had two macarons, one lemon and the other chocolate and pistachio, two delicious profiteroles covered in decadent Belgian chocolate, and two creme brûlées. There were also two pies, which at first glance we thought were savoury quiche. My mother and I didn’t enjoy these at all. My mother described it as a Christmas pie/tart, and to me it tasted like a fruit mince pie infused with cheese. It was strange and I don’t think it belong on the plate. For drinks, we both had the sparkling wine which had a pleasant sweetness to it, and for tea we had our usual English Breakfast.
The ambience was lovely, and the soft music playing in the background was appropriate for Mother’s Day. It wasn’t too busy or noisy which made it pleasant. Unfortunately, I have to say that my high tea experience at The Melbourne Hotel this time was no where near as wonderful as it was the last time. The previous experience was close to flawless and I wish I had reviewed that one instead. This time around I feel that the food was disappointing, with my mother stating that it was not the best high tea she’s had. Here is a photo from the last high tea:
Regardless of my seemingly negative experience, I would still recommend The Melbourne Hotel because I know from the first experience that this place can in fact execute a really delightful high tea. It was obvious that the wait staff were struggling under pressure, but it was Mother’s Day after all.
The Melbourne Hotel
High Tea is served on Saturday and Sunday between 1pm – 4pm.
$39 for Classic High Tea
$59 for Sparkling
Bookings are Essential.
Phone: (08) 9320 3333
Address: 942 Hay Street (Corner Milligan Street), Perth.