High Tea at Bibelot Melbourne

Photographer: Michelle Milton
Bibelot
Bibelot

The brainchild of Andrea Reiss, owner of Chez Dré, Bibelot is a busy dessert boutique boasting a gelateria, patisserie, chocolate shop and, now, a high tea experience in their new high tea lounge.

High Tea Society was delighted to attend the launch of high tea at Bibelot in South Melbourne. The brainchild of Andrea Reiss, owner of Chez Dré, Bibelot is a busy dessert boutique boasting a gelateria, patisserie, chocolate shop and, now, a high tea experience in their new high tea lounge.

If you can manage to drag yourself away from the beautiful display of gateaux and macarons in Bibelot’s large glass counter, you will find a little high tea spot tucked away at the back of the store, replete with push green velvet lounges, elegant little tables and floor to ceiling windows, all within (almost) grabbing reach of Bibelot’s cake counter.

High Tea at Bibelot South Melbourne
High Tea at Bibelot South Melbourne
High Tea at Bibelot South Melbourne
High Tea at Bibelot South Melbourne

There’s not a ribbon sandwich, scone or tiered stand in sight at this high tea, which is more like a delicious romp through classic French fare rather than a traditional English style high tea. Bibelot’s high tea starts with a long board of cured meats, French cheeses, house-made pickles and olive paté accompanied by sourdough and ancient grain breads from Chez Dré’s boulangerie, which is just next door. The sourdough was perfectly chewy and ever so lightly salted. I found myself enjoying even the blue cheese, which I normally avoid, because the cheeses were so smooth and creamy. A palate cleanser in the form of miniature ice-cream cones from the gelateria follows, featuring modern combinations like mandarin and yuzu and chocolate peanut butter. The mandarin yuzu especially blew me away – it was zingy and fresh while still being creamy and decadent.

The business end of the high tea is a selection of miniature versions of Bibelot’s French gateaux, again served on a rustic wooden board. These cakes are anything but rustic; they’re glossy perfectly formed spheres and towers, layers of mousse, sponge and meringue. Their bright colours also look stunning against Bibelot’s black Rene Ozorio crockery. Particular highlights for me were the salted butter caramel éclair, the chocolate passionfruit gateaux and a mango, coconut and yuzu half sphere, which was a vibrant yellow colour and tasted like a perfect tropical summer.

High tea at Bibelot South Melbourne
High tea at Bibelot South Melbourne
Bibelot South Melbourne
Bibelot South Melbourne
Hanna Foster at Bibelot South Melbourne
Hanna Foster at Bibelot South Melbourne

Despite eschewing tradition, tea is of course offered as part of Bibelot’s high tea. Tea Cartel loose-leaf tea is served in individual teapots. The selection is a little light on for traditional, with the focus being on herbal varieties which tasted a bit weak, or perhaps just not brewed for long enough. The bright herbal teas do look very pretty in Bibelot’s clear glass teacups and saucers though.

Ash Pollard and Christian
Ash Pollard and Christian

Bibelot High Tea Menu:

‘Bijoux’ ($65 per person)

• Tea on arrival
• Fromages et charcuteries
• Petit pot de crème
• Petites Gourmandises: hazelnut praline crunch, mango and coconut mousse, éclair 
and macaron
• Coffee & bonbons

‘Argent’ 
($85 per person)

• French sparkling wine on arrival (Veuve De Bort)
•Fromages et charcuteries
• Selection of tea by Tea Cartel
• Mise en bouche glacée
• Petit pot de crème
• Petites Gourmandises: hazelnut praline crunch, mango and coconut mousse, éclair
 and macaron
• Coffee & bonbons

Brodie Harper and her mother
Brodie Harper and her mother

‘Suprême’ 
($95 per person)

• Louis Roederer on arrival
• Fromages et charcuteries
• Selection of tea by Tea Cartel
• Mise en bouche glacée
• Petit pot de crème
• Petites Gourmandises: 
hazelnut praline crunch, mango and coconut mousse, éclair, chocolate & passionfruit mousse, macaron
• Coffee & bonbons

Being the official launch of high tea at Bibelot, the whole atmosphere was buzzy and light. Gorgeous and ever-patient waiters Hunter and Christian ensured our glasses were always topped up with Roederer champagne. The partially open kitchen handled the barrage of instagramming with a smile (their cakes are very insta-friendly) and the event was attended by Melbourne foodie personalities like Alice from Masterchef, Gretta van riel of SkinnyMe Tea and Ash and Camilla from the latest season of MKR.

Alice Zaslavsky and Hannah Foster
Alice Zaslavsky and Hannah Foster

Owner and acclaimed pastry chef Andrea Reiss has built a loyal and enthusiastic following with Chez Dré and her new venture, Bibelot, is fast becoming a dessert destination with a cult-like following. While you won’t have a single cucumber sandwich at Bibelot’s high tea, even the sweetest tooth will be very satisfied with Bibelot’s truly delicious and beautifully presented selection of treats.

 

Bibelot:

285-287 Coventry Street, South Melbourne, Vic 3205

When:

Three seatings per day at 11am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm, Thursday through to Sunday.

Cost:

$65 to $95 per person

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

About
Hannah Foster

Hannah is a committed Melbournian, dessert hunter and freelance writer. She has written travel and lifestyle pieces for a number of international and Australian publications, and is currently working on her first novel for young adults. As well as writing, she’s worked at a number of charities in Australia and the UK and now consults on philanthropy. Hannah loves baking, reading novels, travel, fine dining, cats, chocolate, dancing and high tea (of course) and she hates scary movies, crusts on sandwiches, rollercoasters and cold weather. The scone is definitely the most important element of a high tea for Hannah, but service and atmosphere also rate highly.