There's something so delightfully indulgent about taking two or three hours of your day to spend eating beautifully prepared bon bons whilst sharing juicy gossip with your friends, especially when time is such a hot commodity.
Sadly, places to enjoy high tea seem to be fewer in recent years, but those places that do offer it seem to offer just the right level of decadence required for such an affair.
If you’ve already enjoyed the offerings at the Mount Nelson, One & Only and the Westcliffe, and want to try somewhere different, then do consider Myatt Café and Chocolatier in the fashion wing of the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.
The kitchen is run by confectionary chef Octavio Gutierrez Gama and offers a mouthwatering spread for High Tea. It's worth pointing out that Octavio has spent time working in the kitchen of Spain's El Bulli — one of the world's top restaurants — as well as run his own restaurant in Barcelona.
No doubt it is partly thanks to his extensive experience that his café has its air of sophistication, even if it is set in a shopping mall. Even so it seems he has thought this through as the café has been carefully decked out in designer interior and sits strategically in the fashion section of the V&A.
Crockery by French-foundered pottery company Villeroy and Boch, chairs by furniture designer Vitra and American Walnut tables by Eileen Grey offer a comfortable yet chic environment; however, I was most impressed by the dramatic chandeliers that look like melted black candles, designed by Piet Boon, which add an edgy feel to the ambience.
The ambience is one thing, but what can the kitchen do? Well, Octavio and his staff delight in the French macaroon, creating a rainbow of flavours including blueberry, chocolate, pina colada and many, many more. The flavour combination that really had that melt in the mouth effect for me was the honey and saffron macaroon – definitely a must if you pay Myatt Café a visit.
A range of teas is offered and my partner and I opted for a green tea infused with peppermint and "other herbs" – unfortunately, our waiter couldn’t specify these.
The beautiful three-tiered goodies tray was pure delight and the tea was a good recommendation as it was light and fragrant without being overpowering.
Patrons are required to select their preference from a small range of goodies a la carte for the platter. We chose the chocolate éclair which had a custard filling and was drizzled with chocolate from fine Belgian chocolatier, Mary.
Lightly smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, as well as a croissant with Emanthaller cheese, made up the savoury goods.
Overall, the platter was delicious and satisfying, even though it seemed quite small for two people when it arrived - but really, I blame this on my expectation of being served too much food which seems to be the habit of many restaurants these days. The platter was delicate and in portions suitable for high tea.
The high tea at Myatt Café costs R150 per person — which is comparable to the likes of the Mount Nelson and One & Only.
Visit Myatt Cafe's website for more information.