The Bridal Beauty of High Tea.
Update August 2021: The Gables is now permanently closed
Many a bride has been wed inside The Gables and now they can return to the exact place where vows were exchanged on their romantic day. On February 29th this year, the exclusive venue opened to the public for the first time in 90 years with the old world elegance of traditional High Tea.
Curious to see the inside of this historic building dating back to 1902 (and quite the lover of High Tea) I decided treat myself to their three-tiered silver tea stand of ribbon sandwiches, savoury pastries and scones with a decadent selection of freshly made cakes and sweets. As we were shown to our neatly presented table by the strained glass window, we felt instantly at home; the linen napkins delicately placed on our lap.
We are invited to choose a tea from the Dilmah loose-leaf collection, served in an elegant glass tea plunger. Waited on with love and smiling faces, the glass of wine is poured as our sustenance arrives; the Paul Louise Sparkling NV gliding down the palette a little too quickly.
I notice the sandwiches while not finger-shaped (triangle cuts)were first rate in flavour with the salmon and caper berries tickling my tastebuds. As I discover the vegetarian quiche I am informed that those who are gluten intolerant needn’t despair, with The Gables meeting the special requirements of their guests.
My biggest drama of the afternoon is deciding which morsel to indulge my tastebuds in next! The vibrant colours of the desserts reeling me in like a bee to pollen I decide the Lime Drop is my pick of the day offering a fresh, moist flavour, presented in a moose-like tart. Light and fluffy, while rich in texture and flavour, it is typical of what you’ll find on the top tier of the silver stand.
The variety and sheer quantity of food leaves me feeling like a little kid in a lolly store! And what makes it even better is, when you indulge in a High Tea at The Gables you are doing more than your tastebuds a favour. You are helping deliver early intervention programs for disadvantaged or at-risk young women, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Victorian charity, Evolve.
If this isn’t enough to satisfy you, the history and architecture will, with the original designs hanging framed around the dining area. Sparkling chandeliers hanging from the sixteen-foot ceilings add to the old world charm, lovingly restored and embellished with elegantly presented fresh flowers.
The Gables High Tea Menu
- Sandwiches: salmon and caper berries; chicken and chives; egg and lettuce
- Quiches: quiche Lorraine or vegetarian quiche
- Plain and fruit scones with jam and cream
- A selection of cakes, pastries and sweets served buffet style
The first wedding reception held was a breakfast in the formal dining room in 1930. While we didn’t go that far back in time, we did meet a lovely women who married at The Gables 50 years earlier. She’d come back to relive the event, wedding photos in hand. According to the venue, this is a common occurrence, with past brides bringing their friends to reminisce their romantic pastover High Tea.
Whether you’re looking for a decadent pause to the day or have been curious to get a sneak peak of the beauty of The Gables over a buffet of fine foods and French wine, then don’t delay. You’ll love the grand and romantic environment, which gets even better in summer! During the warmer months, guests are served their High Tea on the veranda, overlooking the well-kept garden, lined with historic Plane trees.