The highly fortunate weather created the most perfect lighting, illuminating the translucent glass roof, showcasing the marble columns and architecturally magnificent features living up to the Palace’s name. Even the tableware was exceedingly fitting to the environment with antique silver, dainty cutlery and white china. The tea-time harpist helped to create the perfect ambiance. I think that this would be the most perfect date imaginable as it is an environment where you can dress up and temporarily prance around in full regal glory.
As I was a hotel guest, it was quite easy for me to book a reservation for that afternoon, however, I was told that reservations are a must! The servers were very friendly, outlining the various afternoon tea packages available that suited my desires. Decisions are always a challenge for me especially when all the options sound simply exquisite. As I was only lunching and do not drink alcohol, I decided to have the Prince and Princess Tea which is highly affordable at $45. The other options include Sparkling Wine Tea $76, Veuve Clicquot Tea $86, Tea for Two $170 with a 187ml bottle of Moët & Chandon Brut for savories and a 187ml bottle of Moët & Chandon Rosé for sweetsand the Caviar Tea for Two $325 with Black Pearl Farm Raised White Sturgeon Caviar and two glasses of Veuve Clicquot.
I decided to be unadventurous and have my classic, go-to option that is Green Tea. It is titled Health and Well Being as their blended uses 1st flush young Hyson teas which are high in vitamins and natural antioxidants. I was also very much tempted with the Organic Emperor’s Jasmine, Organic Wild Strawberry, Organic Vanilla Rooibos and the Flowery Earl Grey – ooh such fine choices! All of which are conveniently low in caffeine! My only criticism was the problematic tea strainer which causes a bit of a wardrobe malfunction when I ended up spilling tea all down my blouse making it go see-through – thank goodness for long hair which preserved my dignity. Due to this, I had to use my dessert plate as a place to put the tea strainer. Minor issue I know but still a little frustrating for already clumsy souls like me nonetheless.
Now let’s talk food.
The Garden Court Signature Tea Service is $68 and includes an array of Palace Bakery Scones, Assorted Pastries and Sandwiches. The sandwiches available are wild smoked salmon, delicate squash, poached brussel sprouts and frisse, Fra’Mani Turkey Galatine and Egg salad. As a vegetarian, my personal favourites was the interesting combination of the Poached Brussel Sprouts and Frisse, with a goat cheese cream on sourdough bread! It’s made me want to be more adventurous with my sandwich choices in the future.
The dessert étagère consisted of fluffy scones with an apricot compote, lemon curd and clotted cream. There was also a tier filled with a mouse, lemon bars, cheesecake bites, chocolate dipped strawberries and more but I shall let you be surprised!
Overall, it was a very tasty and delicious afternoon tea. Personally, I am more a fan of savouries, thus, the desserts were a little bit too ‘diabetic shock’ sweet for my liking. However, I am sure if you are a sugar fanatic you would be vastly impressed! I was happy with the tea selection and sandwiches though, mildly disappointed there were no ploughman sandwiches or variants of it. Forgive me for sounding so stereotypically English… The aesthetics of the Afternoon Tea, plus the overall ambiance and architectural splendour of the Garden Court makes the experience a solid 8/10.