The grandfather clock strikes three as I cross the stately wood-panelled room, and sink into a comfy, upholstered chair. It’s luxurious, but in a not-flamboyant way that my own Grandmother probably would have liked. I think she’d also have enjoyed taking her tea from Langham Rose, the hotel’s own custom-made Wedgwood china.
Shangri-La Lobby Lounge
With high teas popping up all over Sydney, it sure makes choosing hard! If I were to categorise this one, it has been made with particular view towards those who enjoy Dilmah Tea. Whilst the two family-owned businesses have united across all levels of the hotel, the High Tea ($42/head) is particularly special because it includes teas you won’t find elsewhere.
Proving that themes don’t have to be tacky, an Addams Family High Tea ($59/head) at the newly refurbished Soirée was quite an adventure. Even before entering the refitted 60s style lounge bar through (temporary) wrought iron gates, I marvelled to see black roses in poison bottles adorning tables in the stylish lobby.
A spooky Addams Family High Tea ($59/head with 1 cocktail) is on the cards for me in the near future. It can be part of your day too, if you visit the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth between 2pm and 5pm before the 30th April. In the name of being Sydney’s ‘Hotel for the Arts’ they’ve turned their glam lobby bar Soirée gothic with tombstones, coffins and rather grand gates! Predictably despite the promise of chocolate tombstones and brownie graves, I’m most excited by their lethal cocktails – Morticia’s Martini and Pugsley’s Poison.
Just before the end of 2012 I had the opportunity to dine on a degustation of dishes (including this remarkable red fruit sphere) from international star chef, Heinz Beck. With a swathe of cookbooks and accolades, including three Michelin stars at his Rome restaurant La Pergola, he’s a pretty big deal whichever way you look at it. Beck’s interest seemed to be captured by re-imagining Italian food to remove any sticking points. Take carbonara: on a hot day this dish is simply too heavy, however Beck’s carbonara fagottelli managed to combine all the flavour elements into ephemeral pasta with an explosive, lemony liquid centre you could enjoy any time – superb!
Last week the cream of the music industry gathered at the Beach Road Hotel for the 2013 Rolling Stone Music Awards. The awards were sponsored by Patrón Tequila which ensured the crowd were dazzled with an abundance of killer drinks, from the opening Patrón Perfect Margarita presented in a jam jar, to the buzzy Xpresso Martini made on Patrón Café XO coffee liqueur. As Owl Eyes took to the stage, the crowd was treated to cucumber foam-topped shot glasses of Bloody Maria Cabillitos. With Bondi Ink also in residence, one guest took home a (free) tattoo of the Patrón Tequila bee. Here’s hoping it wasn’t a big surprise in the morning…
The Tea Room Gunners’ Barracks *UPDATED*
With the weather practically screaming picnic, I thought it high time I returned to this wonderfully outdoorsy venue. As luck would have it though, the day I picked turned out to be rainy, so I appreciated their recently renovated (and insulated) retractable verandah roof.
Cortile Lounge (High Coffee)
Arriving at the InterContinental, I pause momentarily to scan the lobby for my coffee date. A well-groomed man softly glides to my elbow to inquire, in dulcet tones, as to whether I require assistance. This standard of responsiveness continues into High Coffee ($55/person), taken in the Cortile Lounge.