Saturday, February 10, 2007

Victoria Room, Victoria St, Darlinghurst

Victoria Room, Victoria St, Darlinghurst
Saturday 10 February, 2007

I visited the Victoria Room for the first time last August. It was sensational and I have been looking forward to returning.

Today I was catching up with some old work buddies for High Tea. The Victoria Room opens for High Tea at 2pm and at 10 to 2pm there was a small but eager group of women anxiously waiting outside for the doors to open. One staff member popped down to say it wouldn't be long - to be precise, 'the doors will open in a minute'.

At 2pm, true to their word, the doors opened and everyone was welcomed inside. We climbed the dark, candle lit stairs adjusting to the change of light. At the top of the stairs is a reception desk where we were greeted and then led to our booth.

The decor is fabulous, old lamps of all different shapes and sizes, velvet lounges restored to their former glory and leather couches. It's screams over the top and it is. I love it. We had a leather booth that was cosy and comfortable for three.

The staff are prompt and have a tendency to get run off their feet as the afternoon goes by. They glide through the large open space in white kaftan tops with silver sequins - it's a great look and works for the environment. Our waiter arrived to take our tea orders and didn't bat an eyelid as two of us opted for coffee.

The prices have climbed since my last visit - the High Tea is now $30pp and the Royal Tea is now $40pp (both up $5). We all opted for the High Tea (my reason was that I had to drive to Harbord for an engagement party that turned out to be a wedding....but that's a whole other story).

Not long afterwards we received a beautiful silver tiered tray with three levels that housed:

Afternoon Tea Sandwiches - Chicken & Wild Herbs, Cucumber, Creme Fraiche & Dill, Smoked Salmon with fresh Rocket, Lemon & Capers
Scones & Conserve - Date & Plain Scones served with Triple Berry Conserve & Chantilly Cream
Assorted Sweeties - Mini Florentine, Sticky date pudding, Vanilla Bean Cup Cake topped with Pink Icing & Confetti, Passionfruit Yo-Yo

Wow! It's hard to know where to start. We decided to start with the sandwiches with the crusts cut off - they were elegant, light and fresh and then couldn't go past the scones. I love a good scone and these were delicious, still slightly warm and the conserve & cream were decadent.

We slowed down a little and ordered more coffees and one tea - the Turkish Apple which came to the table in a stunning Moroccan glass.

This has to be one of the most wonderful ways to spend an afternoon with friends - you can relax, enjoy the atmosphere, pick at the wonderful treats served on the tiered tray and have a good 'ol catch up.

Victoria Room - 235 Victoria St, Darlinghurst - (02) 9357 4488


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