Hidden away in a Chapel Street apartment, a little slice of Paris awaits. Appartement 26 by Anton Venoir combines old Parisian glamour and a touch of mystery to deliver High Tea in Paris, an unforgettably decadent high tea experience.
Playing to Melbourne’s penchant for hidden bars and restaurants, Appartement 26 is incongruously located in a secret location just off Chapel Street, the industrial-style apartment block giving no clue to the opulent surroundings that await.
Stepping through the door of Appartement 26, you are immediately transported to a cosy Parisian salon.
Taking inspiration from the Palace of Versailles, Appartement 26 is furnished with an impressive collection of French antiques, including a large 17th century tapestry commissioned by Louis XIV, a Duchess chaise lounge and baroque mirrors and clocks galore.
The pieces are all from host and antique dealer Tony Venios’s private collection and include some museum pieces, including the aforementioned tapestry.
These exclusive high tea events are capped at a maximum 14 people, with all seated at one large table to create an intimate dinner party vibe.
The table itself is set beautifully, with mismatched fine bone china – including many Royal Albert pieces – as well as crystal Champagne glasses and actual silverware.
A fireplace and French music playing softly in the background complete the setting.
Tony and his wife Stella are the consummate hosts, greeting each newcomer warmly and encouraging everyone to make themselves at home.
The two-hour sitting includes free-flowing Blanc de Blancs Champagne, and we’re pleased to say that glasses were topped up regularly, as were tea and coffee cups.
The savoury part of the menu was extensive and generous, with each item coming out one shared plate at a time, degustation-style. The opening dish, thick slices of pumpkin, spinach and feta quiche, was divine.
A special mention also goes to the beef bourguignon pie, with the tender beef cooked for 72 hours to perfection.
Dessert was served on the traditional three-tier stand, with scones warm from the oven and the accompanying jam including actual pieces of strawberry.
The warm scones went down a treat, as did the lamingtons and the polenta and mandarin cake, which was wonderfully fresh and zesty.
The opulence of Appartement 26 and the attention to detail by Tony and Stella make High Tea in Paris one of Melbourne’s true hidden gems.
High Tea in Paris Menu:
- Homemade quiche: pumpkin, feta, spinach
- Turkey, cranberry and triple cream brie served in a baguette
- Spinach, chive and leek rolls
- Beef bourguignon pie
- Selection of savoury sandwiches and wraps
- Polenta and mandarin cake
- Red velvet cake
- Petit tarts
- French macarons
- Seasonal fruit
- Freshly baked traditional scones accompanied with Chantilly cream and confitures de France
- Tea and coffee
- Bottomless French Sparkling Blanc de Blancs
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