What could be sweeter than a weekend experiencing High Tea at the Atelier by Sofitel in Sydney’s Darling Harbour? A Claris the Mouse themed High Tea of course!
The Claris High Tea experience is a wonderfully pink collaboration between famed Australian fashion illustrator Megan Hess’ newly published children’s book, Claris the Chicest Mouse in Paris at the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour.
Walking down the picturesque Darling Harbour and through the front doors of the Sofitel, you are immediately greeted by a fragrant lobby and the French art de vivre with beautiful blooms at every turn, it’s hard not to bask in the luxury of it all. But we weren’t there to just enjoy the beautiful lobby, but to head to the Atelier on level 3 where Claris was patiently waiting for us.
Seated in the middle of the Atelier, I was in awe of the beautiful view of Darling Harbour provided by the wall to ceiling windows until I spotted the gorgeous table setting the team at the Atelier had put together. A beautiful table with a vase of fresh pink roses, and Claris adorned fine porcelain and matching cutlery, what more could you possibly ask for? Oh a glass of French Sparking of course!
As you may already know, I usually prefer to start with all savoury options before delving into the sweet however, we could not contain our excitement as we spotted the Chocolate Fountain station. Where a pot of melted chocolate sauce was surrounded by jars of different coloured house made marshmallows, plates of fresh strawberries and sliced bananas and trays of sugar coated donuts and mini chocolate filled churros.
A wonderful assortment of teas by luxury tea brand TWG was on offer from a Moroccan Mint Tea to a Pink Flamingo Tea, however I opted for my all time favourite, the French Earl Grey Tea with a side of warm milk. The perfect tea in my opinion to wash down the deliciousness to come…
Shortly after we returned to our table, the wait staff dropped off the 3 tiered stand and talked us through the menu, and I could not get over how beautifully presented this afternoon tea was. The sandwiches were perfectly finger long with crusts cut off – fillings of ham and cheese or chicken and cucumber. The multigrain bread for the health conscious made the guilt of it all fade away. Two adorable mini buns – the pink, a tomato and bocconcini and the light green filled with a slice of avocado and smoked salmon, a classic pairing. But I have to say, the absolute standouts for me on the savoury tier had to be the mini quiche Lorraine. Buttery, shortcrust pastry with a rich, creamy bacon and egg middle. And the mini sausage rolls, minced beef wrapped in crunchy, flakey puff pastry. Yummy!
The deliciously sweet, pink desserts came in many forms, the first and a favourite of the Ateliers Manager was the rosewater pink panna cotta accompanied by diced strawberries and watermelon, giving the a fresh element to the rich, creaminess of the panna cotta itself. The raspberry macarons were light and crispy, and the ruby chocolate madeleines! For those who have not heard of it before, ruby chocolate is a newly introduced variety of chocolate and Australia was one of the first to launch it! The ruby chocolate coating on the madeleines had a lovely fruity yet fresh and sour note. The pastry chefs at the Sofitel have certainly outdone themselves.
Scones – a high tea staple, were served miniature with the usual accompaniments of cream and strawberry jam. The house made Pocky sticks were embellished with little crunchy pink balls and the beautiful chocolate Claris cookies were decorated with fondant and an illustration of Claris herself. We finished off the tower with the airy and light profiterole, accented with a red berry and crème légère, what a way to end the most adorable, high tea experience I have ever been to! Oh and as you can see in the photos, we each had a lovely pink coloured chocolate lollypop, coated in 100’s and 1000’s, which we may have enjoyed on our walk home…
The Claris High Tea experience is definitely one that cannot be missed by any child and their accompanying adult! The experience includes free flowing tea and coffee (soft drink for the little Mice) and I think if you ask as nicely as we did, maybe a couple of extra quiches if you can’t get enough! Younger guests can also expect to depart with their very own gift bag that includes a copy of Claris’ tale of being: Claris, The Chicest Mouse in Paris and a themed calendar. I would definitely recommend this themed high tea, especially if you are looking to spend a fun afternoon bonding with your child, or some girl friends over plates of delicious sweets and savouries and basking in the talents of Megan Hess.