Sunday, May 27, 2012

High Tea at Tranby House

Had a truly scrumptious day today. 

It all started with a wonderful nights sleep and a mini sleep in.  We got to have a little dress up as we were of to have a Parisian high tea at a tea rooms next to Tranby House.  This was my Birthday present from Mr C and Ms A. I was also bringing along M&D as a Mothers Day treat.  It was such a beautiful sunny Autumn day, we could not have planned it better.  A white wicker table and chairs in the sun, with views of the river over a sweeping lawn, the old Tranby Farm house nestled under a heritage oak tree and the herb garden ... perfect. 

We ordered tea, they bought out Royal Albert tea cups and saucers, silver teapots, creamer jugs, sugar bowls with a dear little pair of silver 'lump' tongs.  Then two tiered silver cake stands arrived laden with sandwiches, scones (with silver pots of jam and cream), petite fours and little cupcakes and lemon meringue tarts.  It was all so la-de-da.  We all acted like we were born in a Manor House, and later today we would take the carriage out for a turn. 

Now, we did enjoy ourselves as it was all so novel, but I do have some critisisms.  I beleive the people who are running it today are new owners who bought it as a very sucessful business from the couple who started it back in 2008.  I have seen pictures and read reviews of what it was like back then, and it was very traditional and done to a much higher standard.

I can imagine the new owners saw how popular it was, looked at the $38 per head charge, could see how they could cut things back to keep costs down and have followed this formula since.  The reviews on Urban Spoon ssince the change are pretty bad and I will say I agree with them.  Although we did have reasonable table service, it was not what I would expect from silver service tea at that price.  The food was adequate, but again, you expect a little more than adequate in this arena. 

Sandwiches were very plain, cheap ham and beef (coles deli cheap), no herbs in the cucumber sandwiches, no dill in the salmon.  Just run of the mill.

The scones were a triumph however and I would go back just to have a Devonshire Tea. 

The petite fours and little cakes, although nice were not grand.  As some reviewers said, they looked like shop bought cakes, ones you can get in Asian bakeries or even the supermarkets.

If it wasnt for the scenery and ambiance, then I would have objected to the price.  Will be  interesting to see how they go in the next year.

BUT, what this got me thinking about, was having a go at this myself.  Even more fun, what about creating a little group of like minded ladies and hold regular High Teas? 

In the meantime, here is now they do it in London at Harrods...

We are proud to present the menu for our world famous afternoon tea.

Traditional Afternoon Tea
  • Ham Sandwich with Grain Mustard Mayonnaise on White Bread
  • Cheddar Cheese Sandwich with Chutney on Onion Bread
  • Cucumber Sandwich with Cream Cheese, Dill, and Chives on Caraway Seed Bread
  • Chicken Breast Sandwich with Horseradish Cream on White Bread
  • Scottish Smoked Salmon with Lemon Butter on Rye Bread
  • Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich with Chopped Shallots and Watercress on White Bread
  • Freshly Baked Raisin and Plain Scones with Cornish Clotted Cream and Strawberry Preserve
  • Assortment of Afternoon Tea Pastries and Cakes

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