If you’ve taken a look at our new print issue (in stores and online now), you’ll know that November is the month of luxury – and that means it’s high time for high tea. From scones and roulades to cheesecakes, cupcakes and, of course, aromatic teas, we’ve found the best places to dive into decadent delicacies across South Africa.
joburg: the saxon and yswara
One of the Saxon’s specialities, high tea in the hotel’s Piano Lounge will have you feeling like royalty. Relax on plush couches while being serenaded by the soft sounds of the piano and take a moment to unwind before tackling the mouthwatering spread. Whether you prefer savoury or sweet treats, the Saxon’s pastry kitchen’s handcrafted bites make for a sophisticated experience. From cake pops filled with chocolate mousse, macaroons and red-velvet cupcakes to dainty salmon sandwiches and fruit skewers, you won’t go hungry. No high tea is complete without the tea, and the Saxon ups the ante with a spectacular selection from Yswara. Glamorous and completely unique, this impressive range of teas brings the whole experience together.
Or, to experience Yswara teas in a curated setting, head to their very own tea room in Maboneng. With interiors designed by Mia Widlake of Studio 19, the space makes delicate use of rose gold and desert pink. Taste your way through their luxury teas and infusions and bring the experience home with their shoppable tea-time accessories.
durban: the sugar club and jeera
The name of this restaurant at Beverley Hills says it all. Owned by Tsogo Sun, The Sugar Club doesn’t disappoint in decor, dishes and delectable desserts. Distinguished and elegant, the eatery is well known for its lavish high tea. Expect a delicious mixture of savouries and sweets, including mixed-berry charlottes, lemon and coconut tea cake, baked ginger and cherry cheesecake, wild mushroom puffs, pastrami and mozzarella roulades, scones and flavourful croissants.
Another Tsogo Sun branch, Jeera, offers high tea with a distinctly Durban twist. Here, the traditional high tea has been transformed into a robust, deliciously unique experience that combines traditional and Eastern flavours in a modern way. Rose macaroons infused with fragrant rose petals, petit fours and peppercorn shortbread are just some of the sugary delights that await, while cucumber and cumin finger sandwiches, butter-chicken cigars and kachoris celebrate the more savoury side of life. Teas take an unexpected turn, too, with offerings such as fruit tea infused with papaya, coconut and popcorn and black tea spiced with cinnamon, pepper and coriander. Jeera is certainly an experience to delight the senses.
cape town: the president hotel and 126 cape kitchen and café
If you’re looking for a high tea by the sea, then The President Hotel is where you should be. Set in a lush courtyard with views of the Atlantic Ocean, high tea at this hotel is a perfect summer affair. Think Bellini-tea-infused bubbles, cucumber and cream-cheese sandwiches, blinis with trout caviar, a selection of scones, macaroons, lemon and milk tartlets, profiteroles and millionaire’s shortbread – all served with a number of premium teas and coffees, or bubbly sparkling wine for a fun-filled afternoon.
Another spot in the Mother City, 126 Cape Kitchen and Café offers a high tea experience like no other. In fact, it’s classified as a tea pairing. Located in the elegant Hilton hotel in the Bokaap, the tea pairing is focused around the flavours of its area. The menu aims at unlocking flavour notes with exotic teas and exciting ingredients, such as blackened goat’s cheese and beetroot salad paired with spring Darjeeling tea, crispy duck duo with rooibos chocolate truffle and a Sweet Mother Earth dessert paired with masala chai.
For a brand-new experience, The Silo Hotel’s Royal Tea in the sixth-floor Granary Café is a luxurious affair. Buttermilk scones, cucumber and mint sandwiches, savoury pies, macaroons and salted caramel chocolate torte domes are the order of the day. Pay a visit to the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa before gorging on some tasty treats for an all-round cultural experience. Finally, for a guilt-free high tea, head to Cellars Hohenort in Constantia for a low-carb option that includes crispy prawn Vietnamese rice paper rolls, goat’s cheese tarts, dark chocolate and beetroot cupcakes and sugar-free fresh fruit pavlovas.