High Teas Society And Me.

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A few months ago I got a surprise message on twitter from a fellow former blogger, Lady Loves Cake. The message was asking if I would be interested in taking over her post as reviewer of all things High Tea in the Wellington region for the High Tea Society. The answer was a swift yes.

After a few emails back and forth and pinching myself a few times, I got my first assignment at Martha’s Pantry. As photography was required I invited my birthday buddy and fellow food focused Brit along, Lucy from Wellington Foodies. We are now a High Tea Team.

Our first experience was lovely and at the same time, overwhelming. We ate, we laughed and were made to feel very welcome. After a couple more reviews we are both more confident and enjoying our journey.

This weekend we will be at another venue scoffing our faces and trying to behave. I can’t wait. Thank you Michelle Milton for giving us the opportunity to indulge.

Here are the reviews Lucy and I have sacrificed ourselves for so far. I would like to say to my personal trainer Tim that I don’t eat it all but we both know that is a lie.

 

Martha’s Pantry

The Intercontinental Wellington

The Gear Homestead

 

 

 

 

 

A Hotel Dinner – it was a winner, Chameleon Wellington

I was blown away by this meal. As I had just finished my Auckland adventure and eaten well, I didn’t think I would be impressed by hotel food at The Intercontinental’s Chameleon restaurant. I was wrong, oh so wrong. This has become a date night and a meet the girls option. Even a family celebration meal out as they have a children’s menu.

When walking into the hotel I was very impressed with the recent transformation, I had seen photographs on twitter. The bar looks lovely and the restaurant has had a marvellous upgrade. I was amazed by how different it looked, an open kitchen, clean white decor and a very fancy ceiling that must be sound proofing? The tables are marble and the seats comfortable. It is rather stunning.

I went along with Lucy from Wellington Foodies, she had received the meal as payment for taking photographs of food. I got to be her very lucky plus one and to eat from the new menu. The menu is a little different from the norm, you can choose any of the plates and which order you would like your plates to arrive in. I would happily have just one plate and some sides or have two as I did this time. I would always have dessert.

The service was both professional and friendly, the way good Kiwi service should be.

All photos are taken and owned by Lucy from Wellington Foodies.

The Food

To nibble we had a very nice warm house-made roti with sesame and coconut hummus.

We moved on to our first 2 plates, both were excellent.

My gnocchi was beautiful and the sauce was similar to my pasta in Auckland . I think it had more flavour to it and I preferred these flavours.

Lemon thyme gnocchi, roast butternut squash, Pecorino & dandelion pesto, wild garlic & ginger butter.

Lemon thyme gnocchi, roast butternut squash, Pecorino & dandelion pesto, wild garlic & ginger butter.

I even tried pāua , a first and it was rather nice. Just look at how beautiful that plate of food it is. To me , the taste was similar to raw mushrooms. Lucy finished her plate, as did I.

Sous Vide south coast paua with Portobello & needle mushrooms, snow peas, artichokes, ginger & green shallot vinaigrette.

Sous Vide south coast pāua with Portobello & needle mushrooms, snow peas, artichokes, ginger & green shallot vinaigrette.

We then moved on to what we decided on to be our main. This choosing when to eat plates off the menu seriously grew on me. For our mains we both went for game.

This ordering game meat is a new thing for me, the red currants attracted me. I loved the venison. It was like having a very good roast dinner and all the components went together brilliantly. I will have problems moving past this dish on my next visit.

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Venison loin with roasted parsnip, creamed spinach and redcurrant.

Lucy went for duck, I am not a duck fan but I tried this, it was good. The puree was lovely and Lucy cleared the plate.

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Twice-cooked duck breast with orange kumara puree, saffron, basil & orange dressed broccolini and garlic chips.

We also had a side salad, it too was beautiful. We didn’t get far through it and I don’t have a photo. It was a fresh Asian influenced salad and I would choose it again – Aromatic green salad, green mango, coriander, bean sprout, mint, ginger and black sesame vinaigrette.

We ate, oh how we ate. We also laughed, had a very good dinner and a lovely time. We finished full but managed to read the desserts menu and we managed to eat them. I was particularly greedy but I did let Lucy have a morsel or two and I tried her choice too.

Lucy had picked her choice while photographing the food a few weeks ago. It was a stunning looking dessert and was lovely.

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Chilled mango custard, roasted coconut ice cream & passionfruit jelly.

I couldn’t resist the description of the Petits fours. You just have to see the photo to know why, they tasted as good as they look and were all delicious. This was one of the most beautiful dessert creations I have ever been served, I felt like a kid in a lolly shop and was smiling like one too. Just look –

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Petits fours : macarons, chocolate mousse tulle, house made chocolate truffles.

To summarise, I was seriously impressed. The interior, the service, the menu concept and the food were all wonderful. It is a brilliant location and the people of Wellington need to go and try this food. They have a children’s menu that has good options, Miss 11 has already chosen what she would like to eat, I’ll keep you posted.