Edible Review: Lenotre High Tea at Sofitel Wentworth

March 25, 2007

Nothing can beat a girly high tea and Sydney is definitely on short of choices. We initially were going to indulge in this English tradition at the Victoria Rooms in Darlinghurst but then I remembered reading about this highly specialised French tea at the Sofitel Wentworth in Phillip Street in Sydney city.

So what’s so special about this afternoon tea? Well, the Chef Patissier, Mark Stone, has been trained in the exclusive art of Lenotre, which is a famous French Patisserie brand. This, gastronomic art (as it is so called), is available at very prestigious destinations all over the world but this is the first place that Lenotre has made its appearance in Sydney.

The girls at High TeaOrit, Monika, Simone and myself arrived at the hotel (which to me seemed a little dull as far as the luxury stakes go) and headed straight for the lounge. Then we were transported into another era with the relaxing piano music in the background and lovely sumptuous furnishings.

The waitress (who couldn’t speak English that well) struggled to tell us all the teas that were available – my suggestion is to print a list – it would make things easier for everyone. We ordered different teas and the gourmet pastries for 4.

The presentation was magnificent – almost too good to eat. The treats were displayed on a tier stand with about 5 different levels. On each level, sat a scrumptious looking edible item.

The High Tea TreatsOn the bottom, there were 3 sarmies, 2 mini-scones. Above that, a delish lemon tart, an opera slice (described as chocolate pastry with layers of almond biscuit, chocolate ganache with coffee butter cream and topped with gold leaf), two other decadent pastries with the top level holding a rich dark choccy cone filled with berries coulis and cream. While one or two of the slices looked better then they tasted, generally it was a fabulous taste sensation.

Our two complaints were that:
1) The service was somewhat slow and a request for water took hours and dramatic dying of thirst noises from me to actually materialise
2) If you order tea for one, you get a smaller tiered stand with 3 sarmies, 2 scones and everything except one pastry slice. However, if you order a shared tea, you get a larger stand with pretty much the same ingredients (ie 3 sarmies, 2 scones and this you have to share between two). Just didn’t make logical sense!

So the solution is to order you own individual tea. Admittedly we left on a Mount Everest Sugar High and couldn’t fit another morsel in but I guess it’s just the principle.

We’ve decided we’re going to try do this on a monthly basis so watch out for more high tea stories.