Last Sunday, I got together with a lovely group of my girly friends for my baby shower. It was heaps of fun – we went for high tea at Martha’s Pantry, a gorgeous little cafe all chock full of girly vintage floral pink fun.
Which means that I now have another cafe high tea to review in this little series of high teas around Wellington.
Martha’s Pantry is one of my all-time favourite cafes. It’s tiny and adorable, with food of the type that’s clearly home-made, and pretty things to look at everywhere. The staff wear vintage styled dresses and cute aprons and red lipstick, tea is served in pots with hand-knitted tea cozys, and everything is mis-matched and adorable. And yet, I hardly ever get to go there – it’s down the far end of the CBD from where I work, and I hardly ever make it into the city during weekends. Which is a bit sad, really. Maybe while I’m on maternity leave I’ll have an excuse to go there more…..
Cost: $25 per person, which is pretty much the same as everywhere else. They do state there is an extra charge for any dietary requirements though, such as gluten-free or vegetarian. We didn’t have any of those though, so I don’t know how much more they’d charge.
Decor: utterly delightful. Martha’s does atmosphere wonderfully – it’s quirky and feminine, and they really think about the little touches, such as bringing out pretty floral fans for everyone at the table when it’s warm, everything is served on lovely plates and in pretty cups, there’s a Bookcrossing shelf if you want something to read, and lots of potted flowers outside in the patio area. They’ve hit on the right mix of things to make it feel special, without being at all pretentious. It’s got a lovely welcoming atmosphere (although may be a little bit overwhelmingly female for some guys…..)
Service: Great. Staff are dressed up in lovely dresses and aprons, with vintage-inspired hair styles and make up. The kitchen area is tiny, so they’re often decorating cakes and the like right behind the counter – which means they’re always looking busy, but also are right nearby so can see if you want or need something.
Tea selection: Excellent. An extensive menu (two A4 pages worth), grouped into categories such as green, fruit infusions, black, etc. A good quality tea (although I can’t remember the brand), and it’s an organic New Zealand one as well. We had four pots of tea for the table – a pomegranate infused green tea, a Paris blend (similar to a Lady Grey), a cinnamon spice black tea (utterly divine – it was a sweet tea as well), and a mint blend. All were wonderful, and all came with the “proper” things to add to them (such as a little pot of honey, slices of lemon, etc). The staff kept an eye on them and topped up the pots when needed as well.
Food: Lovely. Not as plentiful as at Whitby’s, but everything was well presented and delicious. The sweets in particular were gorgeous, with a decadent chocolate truffle, and creamy coconut ice.
Total score: 10/10. I love Martha’s – it’s so adorable and friendly, and they really make high tea feel like a special indulgence.