High Tea at The Cortile, InterContinental Sydney

High Tea at the InterContinental Sydney
High Tea at the InterContinental Sydney

High Tea at The Cortile, InterContinental Sydney probably is one of the best locations in Sydney for one of those special life occasions you want to commemorate with a once in a lifetime meal.

We were excited as ever to travel into the city, to Sydney’s InterContinental Hotel, to join them at their first sitting of their weekend High Tea Buffet. After entering the grand atrium, our ears filling with the soft lilt of a grand piano’s siren song, we immediately felt a wave of warmth run through us, and our relaxing journey of delights began, as we were welcomed inside the ground floor’s Cortile café by our charming besuited host.

Seated comfortably on plush, comfy sofas, we were filled with anticipation. We’d never had a ‘buffet’ style high tea before, and had been informed that the tables would be waiting for our feast very shortly. In the blink of an eye, large glasses of crisp, sparkling champagne had appeared before us, and, in the time it took to clink cheers, we were welcomed to take a plate and visit the food tables, that lay waiting for us, heaving with delights.

High Tea at the InterContinental Sydney
High Tea at the InterContinental Sydney

What really sets The Cortile’s high tea streets ahead of it’s competitors is, indeed, it’s unique buffet style, and the impeccably dressed attendees’ awed silence, on touring the spread, was broken only occasionally by amazed ‘ooh’s’ and awed ‘aah!’s’, and remarks on the quality, quantity, and sheer presentational majesty of the food.

We were so bowled over by the choice at the buffet, that we were quite in daze, not knowing where to begin piling our plate. But, we had to start somewhere, so we started savoury. Odes to tradition fused with innovation at the hot food bar. A quiche Lorraine, and high tea mainstays, such as an egg and cucumber, and salmon and baby spinach sandwiches, also lay astride a marvelous Moroccan harissa lamb pie, a shitake mushroom arancini, all executed with considerable aplomb.

Simon Veauvy, Head Pastry Chef, InterContinental Sydney
Simon Veauvy, Head Pastry Chef, InterContinental Sydney
InterContinental Sydney
InterContinental Sydney
The Cortile, InterContinental Sydney
The Cortile, InterContinental Sydney

After polishing off our first course, off we skipped to the ‘macaron bar’, which contained pyramids of salted caramel and raspberry varieties, that we could tell, by texture, must have just been baked that very day. The ‘yummy sweet’ table contained no less than 11, yes, 11, different artisan tarts, puddings pies and cookies, and to our inner child’s leaping hearted joy, there was even a candy station, beset with vintage style jars of whimsical lollies from our childhoods. It was so, so hard to pick a favourite from the faultless selection, but goodness, the chocolate, ginger and coconut crème brulee was so delicate, so unusual, so darned yummy, we were lost for words. Our guest with a dietary requirement needed not miss out on the fun either, as the flourless, gluten free cookies were warm, gooey little pillows from heaven, some of the best we’d ever tried.

We thought, too, that it was a brilliant touch to include a fresh, Romanesque fruit salad, with nuts, gourmet cheeses, and a bread board to the buffet’s harmony, as these accompaniments, which more than enough sang for themselves, helped to lighten, freshen, and balance the richness of the indulgent sweets.

After an hour of sampling every item at the buffet we sat back and basked in the sheer glamour of the amazing architecture of the hotel’s interior, with it’s exposed brick turrets, met with gold filigree and marble accents. We spotted two birthdays, and even a bridal party at our high tea sitting, and we had to agree that High Tea at The Cortile probably really was one of the best locations in Sydney for one of those special life occasions you want to commemorate with a once in a lifetime meal.

We felt very lucky indeed, and, as our cups were filled, filled, and re-filled again, and with every ambrosial sip of Earl Grey, Red Berry, and a really special Irish Malt blend, we felt yet luckier to be part of it.

InterContinental Sydney High Tea Buffet Menu:

Arrival

Ignite your palate within the alluring charm of The Cortile with a glass of Bimbadgen Sparkling Semillon or upgrade to a glass of French Champagne for an additional $15 for a more opulent afternoon experience.

InterContinental Sydney
InterContinental Sydney

Tea Sandwiches

  • Chicken Pesto Sandwich
  • Smoked Salmon, Baby Spinach, Lemon Cream Cheese Wrap

Tea Sandwiches

  • Chicken Pesto Sandwich
  • Smoked Salmon, Baby Spinach, Lemon Cream Cheese Wrap

Hot Savoury

  • Traditional Quiche Lorraine with Leek
  • Gourmet Harissa Lamb Pie
  • Shitake and Buffalo Mozzarella Arancini with Tomato Sauce and Aioli

Cold Savoury

  • Moroccan Cous Cous with Pine Nuts, Preserved Lemon, and Coriander

Hot Sweets

  • Buttermilk Vanilla Scones with Raspberry Jam and Vanilla Whipped Cream
  • Homemade Orange Crepes Cold Savoury Moroccan Cous Cous with Pine Nuts, Preserved Lemon, and Coriander

Macaron Bar

  • Salted Caramel Macaron
  • Raspberry Macaron

Sweet Treats

  • Caramel Mascarpone, Lychee and Mango Cup
  • Milk Chocolate, Ginger and Coconut Creme Brûlée
  • Lemon and Lime Meringue Tartlet
  • Hazelnut Praline Choux
  • Nutty Caramel and Milk Chocolate Tartlet
  • Roasted Pineapple, Passionfruit and Milk Chocolate Cake
  • Fresh Lemon Madeleine
  • Passionfruit and Hazelnut Slice
  • Iced Earl Grey Tea, Fresh Mint and Lime Drink
  • Candy Station
  • Walnut Dark Chocolate Flourless Cookies

To Finish

  • Seasonal Sliced Fruit
  • Australian and International Cheese with Lavosh and Crackers

 

InterContinental Hotel Sydney:

Email

117 Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW, Australia

When:

Three Tier High Tea Stand:
Monday to Friday from 11am – 4pm.

Weekend High Tea Buffet:
Saturday & Sunday from 1pm – 2:30pm and 3pm – 4:30pm.

Cost:

Three Tier High Tea Stand:
$60 per person includes a glass of sparkling wine.
$75 per person includes a glass of Champagne.
$30 per child (5 - 12 years).
Children aged 4 and under are complimentary.

Weekend High Tea Buffet:
$65 per person includes a glass of sparkling wine.
$80 per person includes a glass of Champagne.
$30 per child (5 - 12 years).
Children aged 4 and under are complimentary.

Prices are correct at the time of publishing, but subject to change. Please contact the venue for further details.

About
Cherry Brearley

South London born and bred, Cherry lives in Sydney's stylish Inner West with her two friends and their collie. Inclusive of her (very British!) love of High Tea, she works in marketing strategy, writes web content, is a trainee yoga teacher, and loves biking around the city, going on adventures, spending time at the beach, and the odd cheeky cocktail!