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. Now that might seem like a ‘duh’ thing to say, but it’s not because price doesn’t always dictate quality, unfortunately.
If you prefer to watch YouTube, watch my visit at the end of this blog post.
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 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 as not many places have tea as a morning option. Good for morning gatherings!
The menu consists of the ‘chef’s choice’, a selection of pastries and savouries made by the hotel. Personally, the quality of the food surpassed many other high teas that I’ve had in recent years. A mixture of sandwiches, puddings and cakes with a twist. At R245 it’s not cheap, but it is worth every cent. Also, exclusivity – you’re not competing with dozens and dozens of other people. This is a definitely plus.
Pook decided to eat less of the savouries to start so that she wouldn’t ruin ‘space’ for the deserts. I thought it was so silly until I got to the last item – I was SO full! Some of the treats included traditional elements such as sandwiches and scones, which never get old for me. In fact, if they’re not available at a tea then I tend to feel slightly robbed!
The sandwich selection this day 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.
I then indulged in the scones. Interestingly, the hotel only gave us cream and jam for the scones. I was a bit let down by this – until I tasted the scones. WOW! Beautifully buttery! I recently learnt that scones do include butter…but clearly not enough! (Which is why we always add more.) The scones at the 12 Apostles do NOT need butter. Cream and jam (there were pots of jam as well as a touch a raspberry gel, I think) are perfect accompaniments.
Baked Goods Included:
Bea’s cheesecake – No eggy/no baking powder taste, well done kitchen! This was a good cheese cake, smooth.
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 Prices
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.
The reason why this is one of the best high teas that I’ve ever had is because of the balance. None of the savouries were too sweet, and as a ‘meal’ overall it was really well balanced.
The 12 Apostles also has a buffet high tea, but I think it’s served somewhere else as I didn’t see it. I would really recommend this tea for a very small party. While the lounge has space, it’s better in a smaller group due to how the couches and chairs are arranged. It’s just a bit more of an intimate setting.