Saturday, 21 April 2012

Have a cup of tea and let your heart waltz with Crosby

If in London, I would go to the country side and relish the lush green fields, stay in a fine brick cottage, and delve into some tea and scones in a quaint little tea house. If in Rome again, I would search for cafés in narrow alleyways and find my cure in a cup of cioccolata calda. For it is in the humblest feature that I rest in the warmth my heart needs, and it is in the most hidden quiet places that I find the greatest luxury and serenity I desire.

The cold clammy season is gradually easing in, and in no surprise cafés get twice the buzz with people flocking in for some  good warmth in a cup. It however seems considerably rare to find a tea room or café that imposes the feel of being in a different yet familiar place your essential nature least, for a curious shell like me. Sydney is my home, and in many ways despite the incredible buzz it can make, it never ceases to inspire and surprise me. In saying so, there is a solitary place where you can indulge in heavenly sweets, endless rounds of tea and a pampering ambiance. Such is the remarkable Tea Parlour, a rare hidden gem in the heart of Sydney.

As a food and tea enthusiast, I search for places one can have an exceptional experience that is worth every penny. From a fortunate degree, stumbling upon Tea Parlour is one that I consider historical. I feel, think and talk about it after a fruitful validation of its excellence. Perhaps you might too ☺

Walking into Tea Parlour is like stepping into the glorious Victorian era, mature and delicately feminine in its prime. The small room is blooming in sophistication, from antique mahogany upholstered chairs to fine bone china. It was utterly beautiful and astonishing, just like the owner Amelia Ruby Hepburn who has painstakingly collected every detail in the room.

Amelia. Photo by Ken Hughes-Parry

floral drop arm sofas 
ivory drapes on the ceiling
a crystal chandelier...

and menus in hardbound classic novels 
*very clever!

High tea is of course the parlour's specialty. For $20pp you get a lovely big scone, a selection of delicious cakes and pastries, cucumber sandwiches, and bottomless tea. Bottomless tea??? Oh life is sweet! This is by far the only place I know that is very generous with food and hot water. I could not help but knit brows when I get served a pot that only gives me a cup and a half of tea for more than $4!  But in Tea Parlour, not only can that amount serve about six cups of tea, but there is also over eighteen exotic blends to choose from! I might add another wonder about this place. Aside from running the business on her own, Amelia also cooks and prepares everything by herself ☺

High Tea for two: A humble triumph on a plate

These carefully molded scones were almost as big as my palm! With some homemade strawberry jam and fluffy cream, these soft and delicate scones simply melt in your mouth. A delightful experience in every bite! Monk pear tea goes incredibly well with scones too.  Influenced by my Scottish friend, I have made Earl Grey a staple at home and out. But now I must say, I am loving monk pear all the same! A subtle fruity blend of light bergamot, jasmine blossoms and crisp pear flavours. Hmmmmm!

Homemade and heavenly

The beautiful Amelia always wears a smile on her face, especially when she laid this two-tier cake stand filled with her delectable creations on our table. It stands with pride, and so it should.

Indulge! Whatever is left, you can take home ☺

Lemon tart. Love at first bite ♥

Nestled within the border of a vintage-y stylish suburb Surry Hills, Tea Parlour extends the entire experience of vintage with cruising harmony and melodious vocals. Aaaah! My heart flutters as I sip my tea and hear the charming Bing Crosby! I knew only too well the bliss in that moment. It truly transports you to the olden days where women are ever so modest in their elegant frocks, and fine men so earnest in their love for a woman and their country. It transports me to the colourful and happy days of my grandparents  very meaningful.

There is a rare sense of satisfaction in the depth of my perception. Amelia has inspired me to continue my teacup collection and hopefully own a café in the future. Her passion resonates in every corner of the parlour. Her collection, independence, cooking, and generous serving make Tea Parlour a genuine treat for the humble soul.

Tea Parlour
569 Elizabeth Street, Redfern NSW 2016
0414 335 224
Open Friday-Sunday *weekends by appointment only

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