Edible Review: Mount Nelson High Tea

April 1, 2007

I had a bit of a gourmet dilemma back in Cape Town: do I try new restaurants or go for old-time favourites. The classics won out and my first choice of eatery was Sinn Restaurant at Wembley Square.

This restaurant got a great review from me in September (read my blog entry about Sinn) so it wasn’t surprising that I wanted to go back.

Van, Karen and me at SinnI met Vanessa, Karen and Patrick there and we had an awesome dinner. The ostrich was even better than I remembered (the best substitute for ostrich in Aussie is kangaroo – yes, those cute, cuddly jumping creatures that are actually regarded as pests down under). The potato rosti was also yummy and company was fantastic.

The next day, after brunch with Ruth and Peter at Newport Deli (they make the most delicious mango smoothie but took forever to bring me my water), mom, Tam and I headed to the elegant Mount Nelson for high tea.

The Mount Nelson is the original high tea venue with a generous helping of colonial decadence. It’s all very plush with English floral furnishing, luxurious carpeting and the tinkle of piano in the background.

The high tea here is quite different to the one at Sofitel Wentworth in that the food is served buffet style rather than at your table.

The hightea at Mount NelsonTea is served at your table (yay, I could get rooibos) and the you help yourself to the very generous array of sweet and savoury goodies. We started off with some delicate sarmies, then went onto a cheese scone and mini spinach and cheese tartlets.

Then I tried a piece of carrot cake, a mini- lemon meringue and a bite of a chocolatey tart. The fruit salad was fizzy (ie off) but the waitress was soo apologetic about the whole thing that we even felt bad about pointing out the fermented fruit.

Mom, Tam and Me at Mount NelsonWe sat and chatted and sipped tea and thoroughly soaked up the ambience. We walked out very full and happy. What a larny treat.

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Back in Cape Town: Beating Jet Lag

April 1, 2007

After being in Sydney for just over 5 months, it was time to make a trip to Cape Town to say “Hi” to the family.

Tamara (my sister) was flying with me so we were taxi-ed to the airport by her hubby Richard who lit up our faces with the yummy goody bags he packed specially for us – filled with an assortment of Lindt biscuits, choccies and dried fruit.

We were flying Singapore Airlines and let me tell you, checking in online 48 hours before the flight is the only way to go. We missed out the loooong queue and skipped up to the internet check-in counter to give in our luggage.

Unfortunately Tam and I could only get seats on the other ends of the aircraft – she was 30-something and I was in row 60. To make it worse, this humungous man sits next to me, practically sprawls all over me and within 2 minutes of us taking off, has flung his head back and started to snore. This was the makings of a nightmarish flight.

Thank goodness Tam came to the rescue and convinced the girl next to her that she should move to the back of the plane as she could get an aisle seat. So I escaped what would have potentially been a horrific experience and came to sit next to my sister. What a pleasure.

And so began our movie marathon….I watched Notes of a Scandal (good but slightly disturbing), some Aussie movie (I can’t remember what it was called), The Office and Kath and Kim (a typical Aussie sitcome about typical Aussie middle-class – hilarious – I need to get hold of the rest of the series).

We were served a snack and then dinner (cous cous and vege curry – pretty good) and then we landed in Singapore airport.

We had a 4 hour stop over so Tam and I decided to check into the Rainforest Lounge (in terminal one) and had a wonderful shower and used the internet – all for $8. What a pleasure! We then walked through the airport – which is really more of a city than anything else and I got some Haagen Dasz (there was no Ben and Jerry’s) ice-cream.

We then boarded the plane again for the long-haul 12 hour flight to CT. The air stewards were active throughout the night – as opposed to British Airways where they serve dinner and disappear until brekkie. Here, these friendly hostesses were passing out drinks and snacks at all hours. I managed to get a little bit of sleep but it’s never that comfy.

We arrived in Cape Town just after 7am and mom came to collect us. We were pretty exhausted but decided that in order to beat our jet lag we wouldn’t sleep until that night. We knew if we took a nap, that would be it for our sleeping pattern. So we tried to keep busy with a trip to Constantia Village and lunch at Newport Deli.

Mom had friends for dinner so we helped to set up and almost succumbed to sleep in front of the soapies. But we resisted and after dinner, we excused ourselves and passed out.

What a great sleep that was and since then, our bodies have adjusted pretty well and we are well intp SA time. Definitely the way to beat jet lag!!!