Does the idea of getting dressed up in your Sunday best and indulging in petite sandwiches, dainty cakes, freshly baked scones and pots of tea served in the prettiest serving ware excite you? Then read on because the perfect venue for such elegant pursuits is now in Canberra, but for a limited time only.
To celebrate the Tom Roberts exhibition, the National Gallery of Australia has partnered with Wedgwood to transform the dining room on level 2 mezzanine to the most fabulous Wedgwood Tea Room. However, once the exhibition wraps up on 28th March, so will the tea room so get in while you can for an exquisite high tea served between 11am-4.30pm daily.
You may be wondering what does the Tom Roberts exhibition and the works of an artist renowned for his rugged Australian landscapes and iconic pieces such as ‘Shearing the Rams’ have to do with high tea? It’s the subtle inspiration drawn from Tom Roberts that makes the Wedgwood Tea Room experience a thing of beauty.
Upon entering the tea room you may notice that the sweeping views from the floor to ceiling windows out to the eucalyptus trees, mountain tops and blue skies evoke the feeling of a raw Australian landscape similar to Tom Roberts work. The beautiful interior with crisp white table clothes, blue velvet chairs and gold Wedgwood accents is a nod towards old world glamour of Tom Roberts era.
The high tea menu is full of Australian flavours and the lunch menu with it’s choices of a farmhouse board or a bushman’s plate is rustic Australian ideas inspired by Tom Roberts and given a touch of elegance by Wedgwood.
The beautiful menu states, “The Tea Room introduces a contemporary interpretation of the classic elements of a traditional Australian morning and afternoon tea and a classic bush lunch. Mouth-watering savoury and sweet treats are served on Wedgwood china”. With this in mind we settled in for a long and indulgent experience as our high tea arrived on an exquisite two tiered Wedgwood cake stand.
We were also able to select a pot of tea each from a menu of ten T2 teas and if you are feeling extra festive, there is also Veuve Clicquot ($19 per glass) and Chandon sparkling ($12 per glass) available for purchase.
Once all the gorgeous Wedgwood crockery arrived at the table, the setting was one of exquisite perfection which had us swooning and wanting to take photos from every angle possible.
The bottom tier of the stand contained four types of savoury items.
Clockwise from the top these were ribbon sandwiches with citrus poached chicken and herb mayonnaise, soft mini brioche buns with cured salmon, dill crème and mustard leaves, ribbon sandwiches with cucumber, lime sour cream and fresh mint and mini asparagus, leek and melted gruyère tarts. Each element was flavoursome and perfectly sized with my favourite being the chicken sandwiches for the simple yet delicious filling.
The top tier contained the most stunning assortment of bite sized sweets.
Clockwise from the top these were lemon and yoghurt curd tarts with toasted meringue, jam drop shortbread tarts with lavender sugar, Dame Nellie Melba’s opera cakes and petite peach melba cakes with white peach buttercream. My favourite here was the opera cake for it’s delicate layers of perfection but each item was again sublime and beautifully presented.
The freshly baked buttermilk scones were served with local berry preserve and double cream.
These were served warm and fluffy and were just perfect for washing down with multiple cups of tea.
This is the finest high tea experience I have ever had in Canberra and it was just as a high tea should be; elegant, relaxing, sophisticated and with the highest quality service to match.
Wedgwood Tea Room is open daily from 11am to 4.30pm until 28th March.
High Tea is $43 per person and can be booked when you book your tickets for Tom Roberts through Ticketek or if you would like to book for high tea without purchasing an exhibition package call 6240 6711.
I was invited to dine as a guest of National Gallery of Australia. All opinions are however, my own.