The luxurious Cellars-Hohenort’s executive chef Tronette Dippenaar and her team are serving up a stunning, multi-course high tea in the hotel’s famed Greenhouse venue.
A long-standing tradition of the five-star property, the offering has been introduced within the space that was previously their fine-dining restaurant, The Greenhouse. The gorgeous setting with its botanical and floral touches, surrounded by the hotel’s magnificent grounds, makes for a stunning place to enjoy an afternoon on a chilly winter’s day.
Begin the experience with a choice of 11 speciality loose leaf teas, created by master tea blender Mingwei Tsai of Nigiro Tea Merchants. The selection includes a Cellars-Hohenort Exclusive blend, which has been created specially for the property. Aromatic and fragrant, the exclusive tea poignantly incorporates the Liz McGrath Rose — the flower was hybridised in 2003 to commemorate the 80th birthday of the late Mrs McGrath, the founder of The Liz McGrath Collection.
Guests are encouraged to join in the tea-making ritual by steeping their tea within the glass tea pots and using hourglass timers to brew to the desired strength.
Continuing with the floral theme and drawing inspiration from the hotel’s iconic gardens — and the flowers that bloom there — the team brings inside a touch of the outside, with the full tea service presented on Jenna Clifford-designed Wavy Rose bone china crockery by Lavish’d. It’s elaborate and over the top, and just perfect for a high tea of this sort.
The first course is, naturally, tea sandwiches, with the bite-sized portions topped with a host of traditional toppings including cucumber and cream cheese, cold smoked salmon and crème fraîche, rare roast beef and horseradish and coronation chicken. It’s as classic as can be expected and whets the palate for what’s to come.
Pies and tarts are the next order of the day. The selection drawing local inspiration includes a biltong gougère — the savoury choux pastry puff is filled with a biltong dust cream filling — and a lamb folder. The slow braised pulled lamb is encased in a golden flaky pastry crust.
Bridging the gap between the savoury and sweets are a banana bread tea loaf and the Cellar’s famous scones served fresh out the oven. They are to be lathered with butter, strawberry jam and chantilly cream.
The grand finale is an assortment of miniature cake slices, pies, tarts and patisserie. The layered chocolate and coffee gateaux opera is simply decadent, while the mini milk tart is sure to evoke a comforting nostalgia. A matcha, lemon, honey and white chocolate Swiss roll and walnut and carrot cake slice end the meal on a sweet note.
If time permits while you’re away for the afternoon, explore the magnificent 4ha manicured garden. A guided tour with the horticulturist can be booked in advance for those who’d like a more comprehensive understanding of the grounds and flora.
High tea at The Greenhouse is served Wednesday to Sunday from 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm. Price: R395 for adults and R195 for children (4-11 years). Booking is essential.