Of all the years I’ve lived in Cape Town, I’ve never been to high tea at the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa. And what a pity. Now that I’ve visited I think it’s one of the best in Cape Town! That might seem like an obvious thing to say, however, price does not always dictate quality in this city. There are a number of small businesses that give big brands a run for their money. But the 12 Apostles High Tea lives up the standards we expect of this award-winning hotel as we visited for our first high tea experience.
I invited my mom, Little Pook, to join me on our adventure to the other side of the Mountain (so Capetonian – making it sound SO far, LOL!). It seemed to be quite a busy day at the hotel so we appreciated being ushered into our parking. We look a quick glimpse of the beautiful surroundings and made our way into the foyer.
About the 12 Apostles Hotel
The 12 Apostles is a 5 star, boutique hotel catering for a few hundred people (70 guest rooms) and is nestled against the 12 “apostle” mountain peaks of Table Mountain. Set along the Victoria Road, a quiet yet most beautiful road in Cape Town, the hotel has tranquil surroundings and luxury services including a spa, private cinema and acclaimed restaurant: Azure.
The high tea is served in the hotel’s Leopard Bar (and lounge) from 10am to 4pm. I really like this offering as not many places have tea as a morning option. I’d love to return for a morning occassion as I think it could actually be better than afternoon tea.
What’s for Tea? Sea By The Sea…
The Tea by the Sea menu consists of the ‘chef’s choice’; a selection of pastries and savouries made by the hotel’s famed kitchen. Traditional treats such as sandwiches and scones, which never get old for me, were included. In fact, if they’re missed it hardly feels like a high tea! The sandwich fillings included:
- Smoked salmon trout and cream cheese
- Chicken mayonnaise and avo with toasted almonds
- Egg mayonnaise sandwich
- Cheese and tomato sandwich
- Roast beef, horseradish and rocket sandwich.
The chicken mayonnaise sandwich was a total delight! I couldn’t taste the avo, but the toasted almond covering around the edges was absolutely delicious! What a joy.
Scones were next. These were served with cream and no butter. I was a little let down by this at first, until I tasted the scones. WOW! Buttery to the max, these scones require no more butter! The raspberry jel was a perfect touch to brighten up the classic cakes.
The innovation and creativity comes in with the execution of the sweet items. Pook decided to eat less of the savouries to start so that she wouldn’t ruin ‘space’ for the deserts. I thought it was a silly theory until I made it to the last item and struggled to finish it!
Bea’s Cheesecake – No eggy/no baking powder taste, well-done kitchen! This was a good cheesecake, smooth and creamy with strawberries to offer a touch of acid to cut through the creamy cheesecake.
Banana chocolate cake – I thought this would be my least favourite but it was delicious! A smooth, vanilla type ganache on the top with dried bananas, it was wonderfully dense (but not too dense), soft icing, savoury banana taste, YUM!
Chocolate Brownie – This was the last thing I had and it was DELICIOUS! I thought it would be dry and horrible but with the nuts, it was wonderful.
Red Eclair – I think this was meant to be the eclair (unless it’s some arty form of a macaron as per the menu?!). The menu said a strawberry filled eclair. This was tasty none the less and added a vibrant pop of colour to the delicate plate.
Vanilla pannacotta – It wasn’t really a panacotta, more like a thick ganache, with little, dark chocolate balls on top. The dark chocolate slightly overshadowed the subtle taste, I think using a few less may be better. It was delicious none the less.
After sourcing the menu, it’s something called namelaka – “Namelaka, meaning “creamy texture” in Japanese, is a ganache, whipped with gelatin to create a firm yet creamy dessert.” – PopSugar.com
12 Apostles High Tea Final Thoughts…
The 12 Apostles High Tea was one of my favourites to date because of the balance of textures and flavours included. None of the savouries were too dry, none of the sweets were too sickly.
A mixture of sandwiches, puddings and cakes with a twist, I found the quality of the food surpassed many other high teas that I’ve had in recent years. At R245 per person, it’s a fair price for the offering (being more expensive, yet less expensive than other high teas). The hotel also offers smaller combinations such as:
- Pot of tea or coffee and one treat for R80.
- Pot of tea or coffee with two treats for R95.
- Pot of tea or coffee with biscuits for R75.
An added bonus is that the Leopard Lounge is quite small so competing with hordes of people is not an issue.
I would recommend this high tea for a small party or couple looking for a relaxing afternoon away from the hustle and bustle of the city.