There’s a scene in Series 2 of Australian Princess where contestant Kylie surmises that High Tea involves getting high and having tea. I wasn’t quite that bad, but was welcomed to my very first one at a launch event for the InterContinental Melbourne’s new offering at Alluvial. Joined by other food bloggers, industry, press and other important looking people, we were treated to bubbles, amazing teas, service with character and visual spectacle on every corner. And the food.
Each bite is an indulgence and the cake tiers included beef Wellington pies, sandwiches, scones (an especially amazing family recipe of the chef), bagels and croquettes. If that wasn’t enough, there were tables of unlimited donuts, macarons, cakes, brownies, mousses, cheesecake, fruit and fondue. And a candy bar. We left wholly impressed, completely stuffed and we would recommend going based on our experience. I now have an appreciation for this intriguing society course and will be sure to check it out a few more times!
Upon entering the Alluvial space, a vacancy between two seperate buildings, there’s an immediate sense of wonder and my dinner date Jenny and I were reeling with anticipation. We weren’t starved by any means, having recently just finished up a work lunch at Bistro Guillaume earlier but were able to access our additional stomachs to ensure we could make the most of the event. This location is new for the High Tea, allowing the addition of the dessert buffet, chocolate fountain and lolly bar. These are three very good reasons indeed.
We first dug into the items on our tier stand, with the kitchen also being compatible with the table’s allergies. Buttermilk scones sat at the top of the tower, and they were also top in taste. We both enjoyed the crispy crunch of the scone, encasing a fluffy and buttery interior. The Darbon jam and cream were ideal accompainments. Cream first, then jam of course. Lemon curd option too. Our neighbouring diners also remarked on the quality of these humble scones.
The other two plates were savoury, and these included an asparagus and ricotta quiche tartlet, beef wellington and a smoked cod croquette with red pepper coulis. Downstairs you can find the ham and cheese sandwich, cucumber sandwich and the salmon and cream cheese mini-bagel. My favourite item here was the beef wellington, it was a such a treat to get it in a mini form. Sandwiches and tart were a bit more on the standard side of things, plus there’s plenty to get your fill from.
Then there’s the dessert buffet. Or should that be dessert buffets? Options here were the massive chocolate fountain, mixed lolly bar, fruit salad and donuts that came in three different colours. The donuts were solid game, with the dough being light and puffy, ready for your eating. Good frosting and cute sprinkles. It’s a sophisticated experience at Alluvial, with unabashed enjoyment from perfectly executed food items. Tea also comes around frequently to keep the liquids topped up too.
Then we arrived at the massive centre display of desserts, all presented immaculately and in copious amounts. Items were: veneered buttercream carrot cake, chocolate brownie with peanut butter and walnut, chocolate mousse and crushed hazelnut pots. Then: velvet peach and mango cheesecake, chia seed and strawberry pots, macarons in five exciting colours. Whew! It was a mission to get a bite of everything and it was all universally good. Jenny was particularly into the brownie but it was too heavy for some of the others. Carrot cake and cheesecake were my faves from this lot, but it was all good.
The final part of the high tea, is of course the tea. And such good tea did we have. My choice was the Silver Moon which came recommended, it’s a green tea blend with grand berry and a vanilla bouquet and this was darling. A slight fruitiness elevated this brew to a most excellent one.
The high tea experience comes with a price tag of $75 per person , with a choice between the tea option with a glass of champagne, or a coffee option with an espresso martini. Both sounds like winners, and for a good few hours of catch up with friends with catered conspicuous eating that’s decent value. Check out Alluvial Saturdays and Sundays for your own afternoon indulgence.
For more information on the launch of the High Tea visit here
Note: author dined at invitation of the restaurant