Enjoy High Tea and Bottomless Boozy Hot Chocolate at the beautiful Gardens House at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.
Set in the lush surrounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Gardens House is a two storey cottage built in the 1850’s. Today the Gardens House is a popular wedding venue, and now for a limited season, home to the Atlantic Group’s High Tea and Bottomless Boozy Hot Chocolate, running every Sunday.
Upon entering the Gardens House, you’re greeted with a beautiful chandelier over the threshold and a gorgeous wooden staircase leading to the upper floor. On the ground floor, the sittings for High Tea were spread between two rooms, each with windows overlooking the lawn outside. The interior was simple and elegant, with lush couches, beautiful artwork and touches of art deco. The walls were painted a light shade of green, reflective of our surrounds in the gorgeous gardens, and giving an atmosphere of calm, perfect to enjoy a beautiful High Tea spread.
Keep in mind that the sitting arrangements aren’t strictly traditional- some tables and chairs were quite low to the ground, however, the upper floor had more traditional tables and chairs in a light-filled, glistening white room.
The first sandwich we tried was the Signature Poached Chicken Sandwich. The mixed herbs and mayonnaise gave the sandwich a creamy texture while still being fresh, complimenting the chicken itself, which was deliciously juicy.
We tried the Classic Egg sandwich next. The egg was mixed with mayonnaise and chervil, giving a similar fresh and creamy texture to the Chicken sandwich, but the free range truffle added to this classic sandwich gave it a modern twist.
Another classic High Tea Sandwich is the Salmon and Cream-cheese, but this salmon and cream was served in anything but a sandwich. Instead we were treated to a small, charcoal cone filled to the brim with a creme fraiche and smoked salmon mixture, topped with delicate Avruga pearls. The cone itself was crunchy, which perfectly opposed the soft creamy texture of the salmon and creme inside; Each bite was a perfect balance of flavours and textures until the last crunchy bite.
We started with the Mini Quiche Lorraine, which was topped with a Bush Tomato Chutney. The chutney gave a great acidic bite to the rich filling of the classic quiche lorraine.
The Spiced Wagyu Sausage Roll & Dehydrated Olives was on the menu next, and let me tell you, this isn’t your average school-lunch sausage roll. The wagyu was so tender and melt in your mouth, with just the right amount of spice to add heat, without being overwhelming. The dehydrated olives on top gave a delicious salty taste that complimented the rest of the dish perfectly.
Lastly we tried the Traditional Cornish Pastries. The pastry itself was light and soft, while the vegetables were cooked to perfection, giving a delicate overall texture to the dish. The capsicum relish was a great way to top this pastry off, adding a fresh burst of flavour to such a hearty dish.
The dessert stand was laden with a suite of sweets, each beautifully crafted by the Executive Pastry Chef Lisa Van Zanten (@lisadesserts on Instagram), each one a unique treat for the eyes and tastebuds. Lisa, has had an illustrious career working at Claridges Hotel in London, and her skills and experience are clearly evident in her dessert creations.
Firstly we enjoyed the Petit Tartlet, filled with Calamasi Curd and topped with Yuzu Mousse. This tarte was delicately crunchy with a smooth and zingy citrus curd, but the true treat was watching it glisten in the light from the fine, gold dusting all over it.
We tried the Chocolate Creme, Salted Caramel Bavious, with a Burnt Butter Chocolate Cookie Crumble next. The dessert itself was layered in a small cup; the caramel layer was rich and velvety, with the slight hint of salt to give it the classic salted caramel taste. The chocolate layers beneath it were deliciously creamy and melt-in-your-mouth, which paired beautifully with the caramel layer above it. To top this dessert off was the cookie crumble; a finely crushed chocolatey crumb sprinkled on top that gave a unique texture to each bite.
Saving the best to last, we tried the Red Velvet Lamington. This dessert was a visual delight, with the bright red cake, coated in white coconut and topped with a marbled piece of chocolate, and the taste was equally as enjoyable. The cake itself was dense and moist – a perfect combination in a red velvet cake. The middle layer was filled with a Lemon Cheesecake Frosting that was both creamy and zesty, giving a delicious twist to the Australian favourite.
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The sones were served alongside generous servings of Chantilly Cream and Raspberry Jam for even the most heavy-handed of High Tea attendees. The scones themselves were plain buttermilk; light and soft on the inside, with a satisfying crusty quality outside.
To finish off our sitting, we were treated to a selection of boozy hot chocolate. We were able to choose from two unique flavours of thick and rich Belgian hot chocolate; a bounty flavour, made with a dash of malibu coconut liqueur and a spiced whiskey. After choosing which flavour of hot chocolate you’d like, you next have the option of toppings; there is toasted coconut, dehydrated raspberries and chocolate cookie crumb, but the most obvious choice was the vanilla marshmallow, which is toasted (by blow torch) right before your eyes! Each mouthful was a sweet and decadent experience; a must for anyone with a sweet tooth!
The High Tea and Bottomless Boozy Hot Chocolate at The Garden House is a wonderful experience for any occasion. Cosy up and enjoy the beautiful surrounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, alongside the decadent treats served up by The Atlantic Group.
Gardens House Melbourne Menu:
- Signature Poached Chicken Sandwich, Mixed Herbs & Mayonnaise
- Free Range Truffle & Egg Sandwich, Mayonnaise, Chervil
- Smoked Salmon, Dill, Crème Fraîche & Avruga Pearls on Charcoal Cones
- Mini Quiche Lorraine, Bush Tomato Chutney
- Asparagus & Egg Quiche, Crumbled Feta
- Spiced Wagyu Sausage Roll & Dehydrated Olives
- Traditional Cornish Pastries, Capsicum Relish
- Petit Tartlet of Calamasi Curd & Yuzu Mousse
- Chocolate Creme, Salted Caramel Bavious, Burnt Butter Chocolate Cookie Crumble
- Red Velvet Lamington with Lemon Cheesecake Frosting
- Vanilla Bean Macaron with Black Sesame Crust
- Traditional Buttermilk Scones with Raspberry Jam & Chantilly Cream
Kid’s Menu (under 12):
- Ham & Cheese Sandwich
- Crispy Chicken Tenders, Aioli, Ketchup, Chips
- Red Velvet Lamington with Lemon Cheesecake Frosting
- Vanilla Bean Macaron Crusted with 100’s & 1000’s
*menus are subject to change*
*Gluten Free, Vegetarian and Vegan dietary requirements can be catered to. Please enquire for all other dietaries before booking via [email protected]. Dietary requirement admission is an additional $10*