Plume Café- Taking Afternoon Tea to New Heights
I have to confess that I’ve never thought of myself as the High Tea ‘type’. I have a lifestyle that would not be accurately described as leisurely or luxurious, but I was not going to turn down the opportunity to try the High Tea offered at Plume Café. I had invited the ‘Sicilian Si-coeliac’ to join me and so arrived and offered Stephen, the manager, an apology wrapped in an assumption that a gluten-free High Tea was probably not an option.
How wrong I was – and how ready and able Manish, the pastry chef, was to oblige. We were more than happy to wait the little extra time needed to prepare the gluten-free menu (though I recommend and the chefs would greatly appreciate you calling ahead if you require the GF option).
Two cake stands arrived (one GF) and as tradition prescribes there were scones on the lower tier, savouries in the middle and sweets triumphant and glorious at the top.
Atesh, Plume’s head chef has put a creative spin on the classic High Tea and has fully utilised the talents of Plume’s in-house bakers. The intricacy of each item and the vibrancy of the colours are all classic Atesh.
My savoury scone was spinach, sundried tomato and feta and my sweet was vanilla and rosewater. The GF savoury ‘scone’ was made with almonds and feta. It was unlike anything we had tried before and we absolutely loved it. The sweet GF scone was coconut and vanilla flavoured, with a lovely light texture.
We moved up a tier to the puffy miniature brioche filled with pumpkin puree and goats cheese (the best chevre I’ve tasted since my chevre-obsessed trip to France last year), plus smoked salmon on Turkish pide with citrus crème. The tender roast beef on melba toast with a delicious grainy horseradish cream was my favourite, until I tried the creamy chicken curry filled baby ciabatta. Delicious! (The GF fillings were common to both stands but GF bread replaces the usual breads).
I was greeted at the top by vanilla panna cotta with berry coulis, blocks of chocolate pavé (stepping stones to heaven), a red velvet cupcake and a classic wee fruit custard tart. The Sicilian’s top tier included some of the same but also chocolate-dipped strawberries, a spicy light carrot cake and a beautifully moist orange almond cake.
We arrived thinking that we were not really High Tea types, but we left utterly charmed by the whole experience and resolved to let little more luxury into our lives. We were particularly impressed by Plume’s GF options, and we want the recipes – so I’ll be sending the Sicilian back for a ‘chat’ with the chefs.
High Tea at Plume Cafe
Available : 10am-2pm weekdays or after 2pm on Saturdays (for groups of 10 or more and bookings required)
$59 for two
Gluten Free highly recommended but best to call ahead.