High Tea at the QVB

I visited The Tea Room in the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) at an opportunistic time late in the year. I met up with my mum at the Sydney airport two days after Christmas after our separate long flights and then made our way to our hotel in Surry Hills.

All that time while the bushfires were ongoing, the weather in the CBD (Central Business District aka downtown) of Sydney was spared from the smoke and that didn't deter many tourists from enjoying the Christmas holidays in the city.

I started off with dessert first, of course!
Christmas at the QVB
In order to reach The Tea Room QVB in time for our 1 pm reservation, we walked for 30 minutes from our hotel under the summer weather of Sydney, which was not as hot or humid as I thought. After a couple of short pitstops for photo opportunities, we finally rested our tiring feet at the top of the QVB. Finding the The Tea Room in the historic QVB building that is a joy to in itself since we first aimlessly gawked at a grandiose Christmas tree adorned with Swarovski crystals, glorious glass stained windows, uniquely crafted clock tower hanging on the roof of the building, and we then climbed an antique Romanesque staircase to get to the establishment.
A historic clock tower in QVB's shopping mall.
Of course, The Tea Room greeted us with the same grandeur with its muted light, beige walls, large, soaring ornate ceilings and, to top it off, Baccarat crystal chandeliers. Superbly refurbished and decorated, this historic establishment has become an icon in Sydney and is famous for its sumptuous morning and traditional afternoon tea service. The clientele is a mix of locals and tourists - from families to even a group of teenagers.
The Tea Room's glorious chandelier adorns the ballroom.

Albeit a more simple 2-course affair than other high tea places I've been to, The Tea Room offers dozens of tea selection from seasonal tea to infusions. I do wish that the wait staff offered to explain what would suit best for my mood-- I just came out of a 12 hour flight so I was looking for something highly caffeinated and ended up with a more familiar masala chai with almond milk.

I did learn from reading up online that The Tea Room uses the highest quality single estate loose leaf teas and tisanes sourced from China, India, Japan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Africa. This is important, especially for tea connoisseurs, because single estate teas guarantee the purest expression of flavor, place and quality.

The finger food and desserts, plated on colorful china accentuated in gold with red and yellow flowers, were both a hit and a miss. The savory starters that consisted of spinach puff pastry, potatoes, and avocado toast with shrimp were the best in the lot. While the mixed sandwiches - each filled with egg salad, salmon, turkey and cucumber - stuffed us to the brim, the scones lacked creaminess and warmth. Among the desserts, the tiramisu was the runaway winner.
The spinach puff pastry was my fave.

Which one should I pick first?
Thanks to the wait staff who were attentive in refilling our pot of tea with more hot water. I am so delighted that I was able to kick off our short trip to Sydney with a high tea since this has been sort of a tradition when both my mum and I travel together.

Disclaimer: The Tea Room provided my dining party a complimentary experience in exchange for an honest review. 

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