Today was round three in a new tradition of High Tea with a group of lovely ladies I work with. We seem to have fallen into a pattern of alternating High Tea at a restaurant/cafe and at someone’s house. (Last month it was at Naomi’s house.)
This time, we headed up to Whitby’s, the restaurant on level 17 of the James Cook hotel in central Wellington, and indulged in High Tea with bubbles. (Or in the case of myself and Naomi, who’s also pregnant, High Tea with orange juice.)
It was lovely – we hung out for a couple of hours, ate far too many tasty treats, and probably annoyed the rest of the restaurant by talking very loudly and screaming with laughter continuously. Hah.
Since we seem to be doing High Tea a bit, I’m thinking I’ll do a quick review of each cafe/restaurant we go to, just in case anyone is in Wellington and considering going out for high tea as well.
So, here we go…..
Cost: $25 per person, or $29 per person with a glass of bubbles or orange juice
Decor: a bit lacking, to be honest. No tablecloths, and it just doesn’t seem to be a proper high tea without a nice tablecloth, in my opinion. Nothing particularly exciting or interesting about how the tables were set up – it was just a table, that happened to have tasty food on it. *shrug*
Service: quite good, once you figure out where to go to let them know you’ve arrived. Friendly and cheerful. There were bottles of water on the table when we arrived, but they never checked if we needed them refilled while we were there.
Tea selection: Dilmah luxury teas. I had the Rose with French Vanilla, which smelt divine and was rather tasty. Rather than arriving in a pot though, the tea all arrived in cups with individual tea infusers in them. Which meant it was a bit too strong by the time it got to us. They did provide pots of hot water for a second cup of tea, though, which was nice.
Food: tasty, good variety, and lots of it. (I couldn’t quite finish, and had to leave a coconut biscuit behind. Very sad, haha.) We’d forgotten to warn them that two of us were pregnant (with all the associated dietary restrictions) but they happily and quickly sorted that out and made us special (and very tasty!) tomato-and-avocado sandwiches rather than the smoked-salmon or beef ones the other girls got. The chocolate-dipped strawberries were very lovely to finish with. The sultana scones and the cream puffs also got a special mention from the girls.
Would I go there again? Probably not – it’s nice, but nothing too special. While the food was lovely, I look for a bit more atmosphere when I go for high tea – give me somewhere girly and pretty instead! (So saying though, if you’re going out for high tea with a mixed gender group, Whitby’s probably isn’t a bad choice. No where near as girly as Hippopotamus or Martha’s Pantry.)
Total score: I’m going to give them a 6/10. The food was good, and the price was standard compared to other places around town, but it didn’t really feel overly special. Nice, but not spectacular. More the sort of place you go to with your grandmother, rather than somewhere to get dressed up and hang out for a girls afternoon.