High tea (or afternoon tea, whatever you want to call it) is one of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon but not something I get to do often enough. An excuse to eat cute little sandwiches (with no crusts!), indulge in a few scones with jam and cream and wash it all down with a pot of tea (or sneaky glass of champagne). What’s not to love?
The Tea Cosy kindly sent me a voucher for high tea for two, inviting me to enjoy “…a mix of all our day’s scones, your choice of gourmet jams and creams, ribbon sandwiches and drinks. Best served with a pot of tea, we have 19 different teas to choose from, and all tea comes loose leaf in a pot with a beautiful tea cosy.”
Having never been to high tea before Dylan was keen to see what all the fuss was about, so he came along. On my first visit I sat in the courtyard out the back. This time around we sat on the balcony off the tea rooms upstairs, overlooking George Street and The Rocks Markets. There’s nothing quite like a spot of people watching on a relaxing afternoon.
Irish Breakfast Tea.
Similar to my last visit to The Tea Cosy, being at an Irish tea room I couldn’t go past a pot of their delicious Irish Breakfast tea. All their teas are loose leaf, served in a pot covered with a handmade tea cosy. The only question is which tea cosy will you get, and will you ever get the same one again?!
Cherry Ripe Tea.
Dylan loves a Cadbury Cherry Ripe and thought he’d see what a Cherry Ripe tea would be like. Covered in a suitably dark cherry coloured striped tea cosy, as soon as Dylan poured the tea into his cup the aromas wafted over. It certainly smelt like a Cherry Ripe. But how would it taste? Dark cherry notes with hints of chocolate. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was.
Ribbon sandwiches – Tuna with cucumber and mayo / Curried egg with tomato / Ham, cheese, tomato and Dijon mayo / Cucumber and cream cheese.
Do you start high tea with the sweet or the savoury? As far as I’m concerned you should always start with the savoury and finish with the sweets. The savoury round here included a variety of ribbon finger sandwiches. I ate them in a rather strategic order, not knowing how much mustard and mayo would be on each sandwich and if I would like them, condiment hater that I am.
You can’t go wrong with ham, cheese and tomato – it was Dijon mayo I was worried about but luckily it was mild enough to be Lex friendly. Next up was tuna, cucumber and mayo – well balanced, not too fishy and not too much mayo. Curried egg was the most surprising of all as I never really ate curried egg growing up. I clearly remember my mum and brother eating curried egg sandwiches while I would have plain egg and lettuce thinking they were crazy. Taking a bite I was taken aback, the curried egg zesty, ripe tomato juicy and sweet. I’d been missing out all these years, it’s a flavour combination that actually works. But I saved the best for last, cucumber and cream cheese was elegant and light, my all-time favourite ribbon sandwich combination.
Scones – plain and currant – with pear & vanilla jam and raspberry jam.
Moving on to the scones we received two fat scones each, one plain and one currant. Choosing from the nine jam flavours is not easy. Choose the classics or try something a little different? We both agreed raspberry was a must and then opted for pear and vanilla to mix things up a little. Next question: jam or cream first? Again there is no question if you ask me. Slather jam all over the scone and then add a dollop of cream on top. The higher and more mountainous the better.
Splitting each scone in half I added pear & vanilla jam to one half and raspberry jam to the other half of each scone. Plain scones can be extremely disappointing if not baked by a pro. But rest assured The Tea Cosy bakers are the best. Their plain scones are beautifully fluffy with a crisp shell and fine crumb. I found the tart raspberry jam and a good dollop of cream the perfect partner.
Dusted in icing sugar the currant scone looked the goods with a heap of currants poking out the sides. I was hoping it would be juicy but it was a little drier than anticipated. Though still a nicely baked scone it was the plain that won me over.
Turkish Apple Tea.
A second round of tea was in order following all that food and we both chose to move on to herbal teas – Turkish Apple for me. Wow! It was sweet, deliciously appley with a tart finish. I instantly fell in love with this tea. I should probably be a little concerned with how much sugar was no doubt in it to make it taste so damn amazing, but it was worth it.
Lemongrass & Ginger Tea.
Dylan’s final pot of tea sounded promising – Lemongrass & Ginger. After the awesomeness of the Cherry Ripe we were sure the Lemongrass & Ginger would be just as awesome. But it wasn’t to be. Quite mild without much lemongrass or ginger coming through. Perhaps it needed to be brewed for a little longer but it wasn’t our cup of tea.
Dylan thoroughly enjoyed his first high tea experience and I’ve got to agree. With a variety of teas to suit every palate, and scones that are out of this world The Tea Cosy is a great spot to while away an afternoon and people watch those crazy enough to tackle The Rocks Markets below.
A Food Story received a gift voucher with thanks to The Tea Cosy.
The Tea Cosy
Behind the Irish Design Shop
33 George Street
The Rocks NSW 2000
(02) 9247 3233
The Tea Cosy Website