The Loft’s Christmas High Tea (and one famous dessert)

July 20, 2009

The Loft bar

How much high tea is too much high tea? Clearly going for two a week apart at the same venue is completely sane right? But we had good reason! For two weekends only The Loft is holding a special Christmas High Tea complete with festive teapot cocktails and Yule-inspired petit fours and sandwiches. The novelty was too good to pass up so the three of us knew we had to return, and we brought a few moreextrafriends to share in the merriment.

Now I can already hear some of you Northern Hemispherites mutter, wait a minute! Christmas High Tea? Don’t they know it’s July in Australia? Surely they’re not that crazy down under?

The Loft

Again there’s a perfectly good reason for this off-the-wall Christmas in July business. Christmas in Australia is obviously a summer holiday, celebrated usually with BBQs, beer, fresh seafood, sunshine and the great outdoors. But of course we still crave the traditional white Christmas with blistery cold weather, roaring fires and hot hearty meals. To make up for this, we like to celebrate it a second round of it in our winter months. Best thing about it is this time, we don’t have to worry about presents or the atrocious shopping crowds.

High Tea platters

It’s not exactly a white Christmas at The Loft but we thought a Yuletide High Tea was an adorable idea and certainly the first as far as I know in Sydney! Again we requested a balcony seating as, despite the overcast weather of last week, tea and fresh air was a sublime combination. Today was an absolute postcard perfect sunny day so it was a bit of a let down that they had the balcony blinds drawn, effectively making the balcony feel like ‘indoors’. Alas, don’t take away our beautiful photography light!

Last time I couldn’t stop raving about their teapot cocktails so, naturally we were excited to try out their Yuletide concoctions and to have a perve at more of The Loft’s gorgeous teapot collection!

Christmas Teapot Cocktails plus a Sencha Quince Fizz

Christmas Teapot Cocktails

(Left) Rudolph’s Nose:Homemade rhubarb purée and fresh cherry shaken with bison grass vodka and a hint of citrusfinished with turkish apple tea.
I loved the Turkish Apple Tea and mixing it with rhubarb purée is just genius.

(Middle) Santa’s Little Helper:Fresh berries crushed with cranberry juice, bourbon and fruit liqueurs with a hint of citrus and topped off with red fruits tea.
Speaking as an ex-cocktail wielder, I thought that a dark spirit such as bourbon was an odd choice for a light fruity and berry-centric cocktail? I’ve no doubt this would’ve been absolutely delicious had it been paired with girly-friendly vodka or even a white rum. Or is the bartender in me just being overly picky? Nevertheless, none of us liked the horrid taste of bourbon. Darn shame too because it was so adorably pink (again…pink and bourbon?).

(Right) Silent Night:Chocolate liqueur combined with Martel VS, a touch of chilled espresso and rounded off with peppermint tea.
I had to give this a pass as I really don’t like chocolate based liqueurs and cognacs although I can imagine The Captain loving this as he loves his French cognac.

The food was better this time around. The frittata wasn’t as plastic as last week however my piece consisted mostly of a large chunk of onion and strangely, it was blue! I especially loved the turkey and cranberry sandwich and the adorable little mince pies.

Sandwiches: turkey and cranberry, baby prawn mayonnaise and sprouts, honey roasted leg ham with mustard pickle
Savoury: chicken and pistachio galantine, ham and roast onion frittata, baby red peppers stuffed with goats cheese

Scone platter

Dessert platter: traditional mince pies, baked custard tarts with cherry compote, White Christmas rum ball truffles, macadamia nut brownie

Though the food was festive enough the atmosphere sadly wasn’t but then again, this is coming from a girl who gets her socks off on tinsel, mistletoe and drunken carolling. Perhaps a few more Christmassy decorations would’ve sufficed or maybe the live piano man could’ve churned out a Jingle Bell or two?

– – – – –

And finally, as you may or may not know, Masterchef Australiahas ended and the most memorable part of the inaugural season (other than the cravat-king Matt Preston) was pastry-godAdriano Zumbo. His involvement in the show is now notorious for his three impossibly beautiful but achingly difficult-to-make desserts that were used to inflict maximum pain and panic on the poor contestants. Oh the humanity! Oh the addictive TV viewing!

But good news! These very desserts that you lusted after on Masterchef will now be featured in its respective cookbook. After the photoshoot, these desserts were then auctioned off for charity for some mouth-dropping prices. Once slice of the famed 7-layer chocolate mousse cake fetched a tidy average of $100 AU each!

Adriano Zumbo’s Masterchef dessert: Tonka Bean panna cotta, jasmine rice pudding macaron, chocolate and pine nut ganache macaron and raspberries served on pine nut paste and a passionfruit oil slick.

After High Tea, Suze and I made a last minute detour to check out the Zumbo auction to no avail. But the evening didn’t go to waste as we had a quick catch up with the man himself as well as Not Quite Nigella and Mel. With a flash of his grin, he disappeared quietly to the kitchen and came out with the backup of his Tonka Bean Panna Cotta and a handful of spoons! Oh bestill my heart!

Now it’s starting to feel like Christmas!

Grin, grin, grin!

Christmas High Tea is available at The Loft for one more weekend on Sat 25th and Sun 26th July, 12-3pm. Bookings are essential.

  • High Tea With A Twist (with tea/coffee and a teapot cocktail (for two) or a glass of sparkling wine – $45
  • Traditional High Tea with tea/coffee – $35

The Loft

3 Lime Street
King Street Wharf, Sydney NSW 2000
02 9299 4770


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen | Citrus and Candy August 7, 2009 at 06:59

Hi Betty – yes they needed to get festive withscorny decorations! It's just not Xmas without it!

Hi Stephcookie – so when is our next high tea :)

Hi Helen – agreed. Where were the carols and fake snow?! lol

Hi Lorraine – hehe there's still plenty to learn about me LOL. Ooh those lovely teapots! Me wanty!

Hi FFichiban – phew glad you think so!

Hi Tangled Noodle – and here I am jealous of your snow, white christmases, egg nogs and roaring fires! We can switch places this year if you'd like :)

Hi Bethie – lol Merry Christmas to you and thank you so much for your lovely comments!


Bethie July 21, 2009 at 20:17

Hello, I love the thought of Christmas in July, cold there, scorching hot here in the southern U.S. You blog is beautiful. I have so enjoyed browsing it. Merry Christmas! ;)


Tangled Noodle July 20, 2009 at 14:58

Australians have the right idea: Christmas twice a year! (And the first one celebrated with BBQ, beer and sunshine – where do I sign up?) The Teapot Cocktails sound phenomenal, especially the Silent Night – I'm all for chocolate anything!


FFichiban July 20, 2009 at 14:01

Oh yummm! And there is no such thing as too much high tea :P!


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella July 20, 2009 at 10:04

Twas a lovely afternoon indeed and full of fun and teapots :) Hehe you used to be a bartender? The things you learn!


Helen (Grab Your Fork) July 20, 2009 at 10:01

Who knew a passionfruit oil slick could look so good? High tea was fun, although I agree, I was expecting a little more than a twist of tinsel and a mince tart!


Stephcookie July 20, 2009 at 09:55

Hehe I love that I have you girls to share my high tea obsession with! Awesome photos Karen, it was great hanging out with you, as always :) And zomg zummmmboooo! *sigh*


Betty @ The Hungry Girl July 19, 2009 at 23:02

I thought the place would be decked out to look more christmas-y too! Ah well. It was great spending a girly afternoon with you :)


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