The High Tea at the Saxon Hotel is an absolute must. It was my first high tea, but it sure has set a high standard for ones to follow. From the onset, everything was luxe. My name was on a guest list and it felt as if the guards (at the huge wooden gates) were awaiting my arrival.
I pulled up to the entrance and there was valet service – for those who park at the designated parking, there is a chauffeured SLS500 Mercedes Benz or similar ready to transfer you to the hotel lobby. Non-alcoholic sparkly was served and we were all ready for the high tea.
We were escorted to the lounge, where a pianist set the ambiance for what was to follow. Apparently, high tea is served on a tiered plate, but here it was done in stages in elegant Noritaki crockery. There is no halaal option, so we opted for a fish and vegetarian selection. First was crustless sandwiches, butternut squares, smelly cheese (LOL) and quiche. I would have appreciated something with salmon though.
Next came the traditional scones with strawberry coulee, cheese and villa infused cream – yum. I am not that adventurous with tea, so I always go the safer route. The Yswara tea that we opted for was Lord of Kanem (Green tea, Egyptian mint & figs) and King Lalibela (Citrus rooibos). Nasreen is a coffee lover, so she ordered a latte, which is an extra charge. The cutlery is beautiful and we joked about putting the long spoon in my bag.
The patisseries are decadent and you have to over indulge. Thank goodness it comes in bite sizes! My favourites were the cheesecake (the best), chocolate brownie and the crust of the lemon tart. The mini koeksister was cute, the detail of the plait is perfection, but it could have been a bit sweeter. Also on this plate was a peanut butter macaroon, truffles and a berry. The fresh fruit is an ideal pallet cleanser after trying everything on the plate. There is an interval between each serve, so there is sufficient time to enjoy everything on offer. The waiters are also very accommodating, sensing the correct time to bring out the next course.
I suppose we were bound to bump into someone famous as the Saxon Hotel attracts and caters for an exclusive market. We met Clive Davis, renowned Grammy Award record producer who worked with Carlos Santana, Whitney Houston and Christina Aguilera among others. If I could sing, I would have definitely broke out in song – you never know where your big break is.
High tea is pricier than others but I suppose you pay for the unforgettable experience. High tea is served on Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 12:00 – 16:00, however, you must be seated before 14:00. Booking is essential – call 011 292 6000 or visit www.saxon.co.za