Everyone should have a friend like Roxy. We've been friends for almost 10 years, and she's the friend I can talk to about anything and everything. Throughout our friendship, she's often delighted in exposing me to new types of dining and entertainment; she introduced me to Adriano Zumbo's patisserie, Sake Restaurant, the small bar scene, and Tapas. In fact, she inspired me to start this blog. For my birthday Roxy took me for High Tea for the first time. I'm pretty late to this, but better late than never, right?
Tea Parlour at Redfern looks like a hole in the wall at first glance. It's flanked by a bottle-o and a laundromat, and the interior is obscured from the street by large blue curtains. When we stepped inside, it was a different story:
The interior is an eclectic mix-and-match of old books, vintage furniture, and anything else that Amelia (the proprietor) finds interesting. It's a tiny room, and it was half full when we walked through the door. Roxy had tried to make a booking, but apparently things had been really hectic, and the place was booked for the day. Luckily, one of the ladies who booked had two people who didn't show, so we snagged two chairs at the back of the room and perused the simple menu.
The menu came in the middle pages of classic novels, and was short and to the point. There was a choice between high tea, tea and scones, cucumber sandwiches with tea, and a pretty good selection of teas that Amelia told us she imports from Sri Lanka (there are two from T2 as well). We went with the high tea option (it was my birthday after all!) which includes a sweet layer, cucumber sandwiches, a pot of tea and scones for $20 per person.
The Blackberry tea was deliciously fragrant, and was a vibrant shade of magenta. I found it a bit weird that no sugar was provided, but I didn't think that this particular brew needed anything added. The pot was quite large for $4.00, holding about 4 to 5 full cups of tea.
The sweet platter came out soon after the tea, and was devoured with gusto. Amelia told us she makes everything from scratch herself, and these treats definitely have a home-spun look to them. The scones are rustic and a little on the heavy side, but they're cooked through and come with some glorious raspberry jam and thickened cream.
There were also a couple of mini-tarts, one filled with dulce de leche and the other with raspberries and white chocolate; a luscious chocolate mud-cake bite topped with half a fresh strawberry that was so moist I almost cried with happiness; a light, airy lemon-curd tart; small, moreish pieces of rocky road, and a couple of other yummy treats that didn't leave our table unscathed.
The cucumber sandwiches were made with fluffy white bread (which is a bit of a luxury for me), with fresh, thinly sliced cucumber, a thin layer of cream cheese and some mixed herbs. They were a first for me, but I found myself liking them more than the cakes - I have always been a savoury girl, though.
We had one more pot of tea (monk pear), then paid our bill. I was so impressed with the quirkiness of the decor, the classy yet relaxing atmosphere, and the quality teas and homemade treats that the slightly delayed service (which comes with only one person running the establishment) wasn't even noticed. I found it a wonderful experience for my birthday. Thanks Roxy!
569 Elizabeth St
Phone: 0414 335 224