The Victoria Room is a restaurant and bar in Darlinghurst, Sydney. It is all about sophisticated, fine dining in an opulent atmosphere redolent of the British Raj. And they do High Tea – something many reviewers have raved about. For those of us not lucky enough to live within easy reach (or perhaps those wanting a regular, more affordable option), this book provides a blueprint for your own sumptuous High Tea experience.
It opens with a brief history of High Tea and includes information on its rituals and etiquette, as well as instructions for perfect tea and coffee. There are chapters on sandwiches; scones; cupcakes; conserves; cakes, muffins and slices; tarts; biscuits; not so sweet (savouries); and cocktails. Recipes embrace lavish versions of the traditional – scones, lemon slice, brownies. There’s also the less expected – for example Olive, Haloumi and Rosemary Loaf.
Many different tastes are catered for – including some interesting vegetarian possibilities, such as Watercress, Celery, Walnuts and Goats Cheese sandwiches. The illustrations are abundant and atmospheric. This is a book that is stimulating and accessible. It will inspire you to get out that crisp table cloth, your best fine china and to start baking up a storm. For those still seeking a Mothers Day present this would be ideal – and why not make mum an afternoon tea to remember while you’re at it?
Jill Jones-Evans is the owner and proprietor of the Victoria Room, Joe Gambacorta is the head chef.