the conservatory, the hyatt
There’s not many ‘girls exclusive’ activities in this day and age of metrosexuals, we share everything with the boys! Along with housework (hehe) we share make up, clothes (erm, skinny jeans anyone?) and even hair straighteners have gotten in on the deal.
But. There is the old tradition of high tea – we girls still squeal over the delightful finger sandwiches and bottomless loose leaf tea. It’s elegant. And it’s usually just for us girls. =)
So after a spot of shopping, Jess and I sink into a deep sofa at the Hyatt’s Conservatory. The Conservatory’s obelisk and elephants fountain casts a colonial elegance and live music drifts over from the Cafe. Waiters dressed neatly in pressed and starched aprons mill around, tending to the high tea. We were hoping to try the Conservatory’s high tea, but we soon find out that the high tea session has been booked by a party and instead, we settle for an afternoon set tea.
The Conservatory’s high tea has changed from being a normal set high tea, to a high tea buffet – where finger sandwiches are served on demand and desserts are self served from the Cafe’s dessert station. The buffet format is a little strange, as the ‘all you can eat’ enthusiasm can diminish the occasion’s elegance and cheapen the tradition. As someone said of the Hyatt high tea buffet “It can be a little push and shove.” But it’s a great opportunity to sample the pastry chef’s skills and good value for dessert fiends (I’m sure one day we will come back to try the high tea buffet!).
In the meanwhile, two pots of tea arrive and as we are sipping and chatting, 2 plates of neat finger sandwiches and sweets quietly appear. The afternoon set tea is merely a small version of high tea. If anything I prefer this version, it allows for good conversation without being preoccupied about the dessert station! It’s hard to find fault with the set tea. The finger sandwiches are dainty and tasty. The desserts are petite and delicious. Two mango cheesecakes, a chocolate tart and miniature fruit flan satiate the sweet tooth. It’s the perfect serving size for an afternoon tea.
The buzz of the lunching ladies, live music and the rush of the fountain make a relaxed setting. The set tea is a level up from the usual coffee and cake, and the Conservatory is almost an escape from city life. We’ll be back.
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