There’s a keen audience for this in Sydney, and it’s not just the baby shower, girly crowd; we saw several mixed tables.
The Loft is a great bar located on Sydney’s sparkly Darling Harbour, with big squashy leather chairs and a delicious cocktail menu.
I attended the Christmas in July High Tea. There’s a keen audience for this in Sydney, and it’s not just the baby shower, girly crowd; we saw several mixed tables. The atmosphere was relaxed but still Sydney-trendy. I enjoyed the classic grand piano touch but given the layout of the venue I’m not sure everyone benefited.
There are three Christmas cocktails to select from, all tea based and all seasonally themed. We chose ‘Rudolph’s Nose’, homemade rhubarb puree and fresh cherry with bison grass vodka and Turkish apple tea. Because we wanted the same cocktail it was served in a ‘kitsch’ teapot, it was light, sharp and delicious start.
The food was served on a three tiered cake stand. To support the Christmas theme a striped candy hung from the handle of the cake stand. It was cute but as the solo Christmas decoration it looked a little lonely.
The savoury selection was good:
– Smoked salmon, rocket and crème fraiche sandwiches
– Cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches
– Ricotta and roasted red pepper sandwiches
– Goat’s cheese stuffed peppers
– Pumpkin & onion frittata
The sandwiches were fresh, the ricotta and red pepper was the pick of the selection. The stuffed peppers were, sweet, sharp and creamy. The frittata was really nice.
Unfortunately things took a nose dive when it came to the sweet selection. The plates looked lovely, very pretty and it appeared good quality. But… the scones were dry and tasted. The chocolate macadamia brownies looked beautiful but were dry and tasteless. The baked custard tarts with mixed fruit were soft and not crispy pastry.
The Christmas themed food was mince pies and chocolate rum balls. I tasted them for the sake of this review, they were not nice.
The tea was by T2 with a selection of: 2 green teas, 3 fruit teas, chai, peppermint, early grey and breakfast and 3 exotic teas. We enjoyed choosing which I think is a nod to the skill The Loft has at writing seductive beverage descriptions.
Unfortunately the tea service was underwhelming, served in pyrex cups and saucers. The tea did taste good; the aromas and flavours were distinct, high quality and we were offered refills – always a treat anywhere outside of the US.
Throughout, the service was friendly, chatty and helpful. The finer details that you expect from high tea are missing: knowledge about the tea, correct cutlery, but amends were quick and cheerful.
As a bar doing something out of their comfort zone The Loft is making a good punch but in comparison to other high tea experiences it just won’t hold its own. When playing to its strengths The Loft definitely gets it right; next time I’d lock down a window table, by-pass the themed option, skip the sweet stuff and save the calories for the outstanding cocktails.