A chill descended on Brisbane, almost knowingly, the afternoon the High Tea Society took a sparkling gluten free high tea at the Sofitel Brisbane Central. Greeted by friendly staff, we were seated in the Executive Club Lounge, one of three places you can take high tea at the Sofitel.
For me, the hero of the high tea were the sandwiches. While the pastries and scones with jam and Chantilly cream were delicious in their own right – I love a high tea that does a little something special with their savoury selection.
The room was modern and minimalistic, full of natural light with floor to ceiling windows that showcased the Brisbane city.
Our server immediately asked for our drink order after pouring us a glass of sparkling wine. I asked for a tea list, but to my disappointment, I could not be provided one. Despite boasting a vast range of Romefeldt teas from English breakfast to assam bari and tarry lapsang – without a descriptive tea list available to help me decipher between the names and flavours, I opted for an earl grey.
It wasn’t long before two three tiered stands were placed on our white linen tablecloth. Given that my guest was gluten intolerant we opted to have two stands served to us – one gluten free and one not. Served on slate the top tier was decorated with French pastries perfectly put together by French-Australian pastry chef Didier Richerux.
Raised by parents in the hotel industry, Didier grew up playing in hotel kitchens and therefore said it was a natural progression for him to become a pastry chef. Trained by the head chef at the Sofitel in France, it’s only fitting that Didier now work for the Sofitel in Brisbane. His resume is quite varied having previously worked at the Savoy in London and more recently owning his own ice-cream shop in Eumundi before selling it and moving to Brisbane three-years-ago.
Today, Didier says he enjoys being able to work in a smaller kitchen (with ten chefs under him) where he can really challenge himself to create intricate pastries almost too beautiful to eat. A favourite of the chef’s is his passion fruit opera, which are layered pieces of pure indulgence.
On my guest’s gluten free stand some items were slightly different with the bottom tier’s scones swapped for friands, meringue and a biscuit. While she was disappointed not to see scones (a quintessential part of any high tea) she said the friands were delicious and did not leave her wanting. While my top tier of French pastries boasted a delicate cherry mouse cone on a sable biscuit – my friend’s was on a piece of chocolate. Both slates had a delectable piece of chocolate and pistachio sacher torte and while my slate had a vanilla profiterole with crème patissiere and fresh berries, my friend’s had a gorgeous piece of flowerless orange and almond slice topped with poached fig.
For me, the hero of the high tea were the sandwiches. While the pastries and scones with jam and Chantilly cream were delicious in their own right – I love a high tea that does a little something special with their savoury selection. With six ribbon sandwiches to delight the taste buds we were well and truly spoilt for choice, with the gluten free option simply served on gluten free bread. My favourite sandwich was the roast beef with pickles and tomato relish, the flavours were balanced perfectly with the sharpness of the pickles cutting through the beef.
Overall high tea at the Brisbane Sofitel was extremely enjoyable, good value for money and an elegant experience. Unlike the hustle and bustle of many restaurants, the Executive Club Lounge was a quiet venue and not overcrowded, making the atmosphere more relaxed and comfortable. You can also take high tea at the Cuvee Lounge and privately if you are having a spa treatment.
Sofitel Brisbane High Tea Menu:
- Delicate Cherry Mousse Cone on Sablé Biscuit
- Passionfruit Opéra
- Chocolate and Pistachio Sacher Torte
- Vanilla Profiterole with Crème Pâtissière and Fresh Berries
- Plain and Raisin Scones served with
- Red Fruit Jam, Marmalade and Chantilly Cream
- Honey Roasted Turkey and Pumpkin with Cranberry Sauce on Wholemeal Bread
- Egg with Mustard Seed Mayonnaise, Cucumber and Red Radish on White Bread
- Smoked Salmon, Cress and Creamy Brie on Rye Bread
- Roast Beef with Pickles, Tomato Relish on Multi Grain Bread
Gluten Free, Vegetarian and Dairy Free Options available; please enquire when making a reservation
Reviews for this venue:
- 2 July 2017: High Tea at the Sofitel Brisbane