Enjoy an opulent High Tea in one of Sydney’s most beautiful dining venues, The QVB Tea Room.
As you enter the QVB Tea Room’s foyer, you are transported to a parallel universe of heavenly luxury within the heritage listed Queen Victoria Ballroom. You immediately forget the busy surrounds of George Street below and glide into a state of relaxation and indulgence.
As you are welcomed and led to your table by the Maitre De, you’ll notice the off-white interior, offset by rich tones of blood orange and purple velvet chairs, and the elaborate ceiling adorned with decorative gold leaf. The most stunning feature of the Ballroom are the eight chandeliers that were custom made in France, glistening with light from the 3,500 individual crystals each central chandelier contains.
To begin the High Tea, we were served a crisp glass of Angove Chalk Hill Blue Bubbles NV, while we sat in comfortable low-lying chairs, overlooking the Strand Arcade. Our table was beautifully presented, with fine Royal Albert Bone China, sitting upon a damask tablecloth. The High Tea was presented on a silver three-tiered stand, carrying savoury delights, sandwiches and pastries, with scones on a separate plate.
On the day of our visit, I chose the Vegetarian option, while my friend Nicky opted for the Traditional High Tea.
The bite-sized savoury delights that we both enjoyed were the creamy potato frittata topped with tomatoes and capers, and the spinach and melted gruyere, encased in flaky puff pastry, topped with sesame seeds. The vegetarian offering also included a buttery shortcrust pastry tart, filled with sundried tomato, finely diced zucchini and olives, topped with garlic aioli, while Nicky had prawn and guacamole on sourdough with shavings of asparagus.
Finely cut finger sandwiches were made from white, wholegrain and brown bread. My selection included cucumber, dill and cream cheese; tasty cheese with house made tomato chutney and mildly curried egg. Nicky had chicken with pistachio; smoked ham, rocket and mayonnaise, and tasty cheese with tomato chutney.
We shared two exceptional scones – a traditional scone and a sultana scone, both of which were still warm when we ate them. Both scones were crisp on the outside, with a fluffy, soft layered centre. They were served with thick clotted cream and homemade berry jam, using seasonal fruits of raspberries and strawberries.
The petit desserts were all delicious and complex. They included a jelly encased pecan and pear cake comprising 4 layers – pear reduction, cream, sponge, and a thick pear puree. A Mandarin slice, consisting of 5 layers – a biscuit base, sponge, mandarin puree, cream, and mandarin jelly. The richer desserts were the chocolate and hazelnut choux pastry and the walnut and frangipane tart with a buttery biscuit base, all of which were delicious.
The QVB Team Room caters well for special diets. We also sampled the Vegan petit fours, which included a fig and honey macaron, blueberry cheesecake made from coconut cream, a berry and dairy free sponge cake and a chestnut cake.
The range of premium Ronnefeldt teas are extensive, including a choice of herbal teas, green teas, black teas sourced from Sri Lanka, India and China, and white tea. I chose the Orange Pekoe from Sri Lanka, finely scented with a fullness of flavour, while Nicky tried Wild Cherry, a blend of Indian tea and Japanese wild cherries.
The opulent ballroom is light filled and spacious, with tables set well apart, pleasantly quiet and relaxing, with no music, just subdued conversation. On the day of our visit, guests were celebrating special occasions, to catching up with family or friends. With its considerable wow factor, a grand ballroom with beautiful décor, the venue is ideal for special occasions. Celebrations are well catered for and cakes can be made to order.
The service is outstanding, with friendly, attentive staff, well versed with the menu, who asked if we cared for more, unobtrusively replaced our plates and cutlery, and replenished our water and tea so discreetly we barely noticed. Even the Manager asked guests how they were enjoying their dining experience.
A choice of Angove Chalk Hill Blue Bubbles NV from South Australia, French champagne or cocktails.