For a self-proclaimed tea and cake lover such as myself, I have a serious lack of afternoon tea experiences in my life. Afternoon tea appeals greatly to my inner Lady of Leisure-wannabe: a girly affair of never-ending tea, delicate sandwiches, scones and cakes.
There are many places in Sydney offering afternoon tea, or high tea as many call it. But tucked away on Elizabeth Street in Redfern is the unique Tea Parlour, and it is here with 3 girlfriends, Lara, Kat and Laura, that I had my long-awaited, first proper afternoon tea experience.
With an unassuming exterior, Tea Parlour is easy to miss. However once you step inside you’re in a different world to the streets of Redfern surrounding it.
Tea Parlour is run by Amelia Hepburn and here she has created a feminine, glamourous and charming old-worldly space. The room is very cosy, and after a slight mix-up with our booking (there was a large bridal shower in progress when we arrived) we are seated next to a peculiarly dressed man who was doing tarot readings. I must reference Harry Potter here and say he reminded me of a wizard trying to dress like a muggle. I thought it was fabulous, and I wish I’d been
rude brave enough to ask him for a photo ;)
The menu is hidden inside vintage books, and the complete tea experience including sandwiches and cakes is $20 – a bargain in Sydney. You can also BYO your own wine or champagne if you wish. We select three teas to share from the list of 21 varieties: Apple Berry, Monk Pear, and French Earl Grey. I usually drink my everyday teas with milk and sugar, but I find myself loving all these no-milk-please teas, especially the Apple Berry which has a vibrant fruity fragrance and flavour.
Amelia brings us our plate of sandwiches and our first thought is that we could eat several of these plates. The bread is soft and the fillings of salmon and cucumber are light, simple and delicious. Very ladylike.
After our tiered cake platter arrives, I’m relieved that we only ate a small amount of sandwiches. It’s a glorious display, featuring scones, lemon tart, apple pie, rocky road, mini cakes, meringues, biscuits, and tarts. Amelia bakes everything herself, and she is very talented.
The standouts for me were the tangy lemon tart, the moist (sorry, I had to use this word) cake with sweet icing and raspberry and the huge fluffy scones with cream and chunky berry jam.
Tea Parlour is the perfect setting for an indulgent afternoon with your girlfriends. Amelia has created a beautiful and warm space, and I will definitely return for more of her delicious cakes.
I could get used to being a Lady of Leisure.
0414 335 224
569 Elizabeth Street, Redfern