Let me say at the outset the reason this review is a NOT is not because the Park Hyatt‘s afternoon tea is bad. Unfortunately it just pales in comparison with some of the other afternoon teas I’ve sampled in Melbourne, such as those with an expansive dessert buffet or presented in an unusual location or are amazingly good value.
The Park Hyatt’s afternoon tea is held in their Lobby Lounge, a quiet nook with huge sofas in the lobby overlooking manicured garden views along one side. On weekends a pianist plays classical music on the grand piano, lending a refined, calming aura to the occasion.
You get a choice of tea and coffee and a glass of sparkling with your traditional three tier tea tray. The loose leaf tea choice comes from Jing and I ordered a hand-tied flowering white peony tea (normally $8) which they’ll happily refill with hot water for further infusions.
The afternoon tea comprised classic morsels of finger sandwiches, scones and small savouries and sweets. I found most of the portions to be on the small side though everything was fresh and finely turned out.
The sandwiches were classics with a twist – egg mayonnaise and watercress, smoked chicken with salted ricotta, pomegranate and micro coriander, corned beef with onion jam and grain mustard mayo and smoked salmon with avocado and flying fish roe.
The pastries and petit fours included a pomegranate jelly, miniature doughnut, pillowy marshmallow, an apple crumble tart, a miniature creme brulee with an impressively crackling lid, with the only savoury being a goats cheese tartlet.
The highlight of any afternoon tea are the scones and the Park Hyatt‘s versions were fresh from the oven, crusty on the outside and fluffy in the middle, but quite small. The best thing about them though was the disproportionately generous helpings of fruity jam and marmalade – I wish they’d provided an extra scone or two.
My view is that afternoon tea is a treat and if you’re only going to do it once in a while then it’s better to spend your money and time enjoying it somewhere amazing. And while the Park Hyatt experience was pleasant and the food was on the whole good, I would still rather spend my $55 elsewhere in Melbourne.
Park Hyatt Afternoon Tea, 1 St Andrews Pl, Melbourne +613 9224 1234
Afternoon Tea Monday to Sunday 2.30 pm – 5.00 pm