Just call me Tea Bitch.
In the spirit of all things tea, I decided to take my Mother out for High Tea while she was visiting from Melbourne. Yeah, the High Tea reprise has been around for a little while now, but no one does High Tea quite like 'Sweet Pea' in Petone, Wellington!
From the fantastic decor to the gorgeous outfits all of the staff wear so well, when you step into Sweet Pea, you feel like you've entered a luxurious 1960s time warp. Everything is pastel and themed to baking and sweetness. Even the pink polka-dot tea cups deserve a girly squeal. And I'm not sure but I could have sworn the lamp shades were made from large preserving jars!
Mama and I were seated and shown the tea menu. While we were very taken by their tea options, we decided to try out the intriguing elderflower fizz - a glass of bubbles topped with elderflower syrup. Oh my stars! I have found my new favourite cocktail! So tasty, fizzy and refreshing! Yet not too sweet. I have since taken to ordering these all over town. I'm hoping someone will name the drink after me - 'Lisette's Elderflower Fizz' has a good ring to it no?
Whilst sipping our Fizz we perused the tea menu and finally, with the help of our friendly waitress, selected the Paris tea (which funnily, is from New York) and the Pomegranate tea. The Paris tea is a black tea with undertones of vanilla and it is absolutely amazing with a little milk and a tiny drop of honey. Seriously. Amazing. When I took a sip I sighed involuntarily. I fear I have ruined myself for PG Tips forever! The Pomegranate tea was just what we wanted in a fruit/herbal tea. Smooth and slightly tangy but not too sweet.
We were revelling in our tea heaven when, out came the food! Holy Toledo! I think I started visibly salivating while our waitress told us what was what. There was an amazing array of delicious treats, starting with savoury delights at the bottom tier and moving up to sweet treats at the top. All of it looked amazing and tasted even better! The mini-club sandwiches, the salmon puffs, the scones, the delicious jaffa parfait, et al.
It was all simply devine! But I must say there were two things that really blew my mind. Firstly the bacon and chicken liver pate! Now, you must understand I am usually completely opposed to pate. Not for any other reason than that it looks like cat food. Especially when you buy it from the supermarket. However on this occasion it looked delicious. So delicious that when I devoured it, I didn't actually realise it was pate. Not until my mother said "I thought you hated pate." "So did I," I replied. Perhaps one of the reasons it was so delicious is that it is made fresh on site. One of the waitresses confessed that she finds it so addictive that she tries not to eat any, because "Once you start eating it, you can't stop." I could believe that!
After a luxurious hour slowly nibbling and sipping away we were quite full. In a nice kind of way. Then we were asked which flavour of cupcake we would like. Included in the high tea experience is one of Sweet Pea's gorgeous and delicious cupcakes! But we were so perfectly well fed, anything else would have over done it. So luckily the lovely staff are happy to wrap them up for you to take home. There are so many to choose from but in the end we went for a Vanilla Chocolate - for my Dad, and a cute Kiddy-Cake for my four year old. It made his day! In the land of the little, candy is King.
To be honest I didn't want to leave. I could have quite happily stayed at Sweet Pea all day, sipping elderflower fizz and eating pate. But all to soon it was time to get back to the real world. So we slipped back through the time vortex and headed home.