I was never one for frilly dresses and tea parties growing up. I was much more snails and puppy dog tails, but as I got older, perhaps the hormones finally kicked in. I found myself much more enamoured by the idea of stylish ladies delicately sipping tea from ornately decorated cups, pinky fingers propped up like a ship’s mast and enjoying each other’s company.
This mild obsession is shared with a group of close girlfriends, so when one decided to make the trek down under from the motherland on a visit, I was determined we should share a genuine tea experience.
Brisbane Devoured reviewed Tea And Niceties some time ago and it seemed the perfect venue to add to the itinerary.
After making reservations (it’s essential), I was nervous about whether Tea And Niceties would deliver on the experience. The SO and I had never been to Tea And Niceties before, so this was sight unseen and I wanted this to be different from anything available back in Singapore.
Tea And Niceties is not far from the main Mt Tamourine Gallery Walk. Driving down this quiet street lined with mature lush trees set the mood for a serene early afternoon. On-street parking was easy and you might miss it if you’re not careful, as the greenery adds a sense of seclusion for this corner shop.
But it was when we walked up the pavers to Tea And Niceties that our jaws dropped.
Several ivy-motif white garden tables and chairs reflected the bright morning sunshine in the outdoor courtyard. A pot of blooms is propped on each table and would have made the perfect backdrop for an elegant tea party, had the weather been a touch cooler.
The attention to detail inside Tea And Niceties is stunning. White dressed tables were accessorised with pale powder pink rose centrepieces and each place setting is perfectly set with floral tea ware.
The high tea menu is simple: it’s either the traditional high tea (AUD$40) or the elegant high tea (AUD$45). The elegant high tea has several additional items, but the SO (who was famished) and our friend had a lot of difficulty finishing it. Our friend had to get a doggy bag and it seems the done thing at Tea And Niceties. I had less trouble with my traditional high tea, but still couldn’t fit in one last piece, which was added to the above mentioned doggy bag.
Both high tea selections arrive on three-tiered stands and should you order in even numbers, 2 portions would be laid in mirror-image of each other per stand.
The tea selection at Tea And Niceties is as impressive as I’ve seen. I opted for the Japanese lime tea, a very refreshing green tea with lemon, lime peel and daisy flowers, that is delicious with the citrus aromas and can go without tea and sugar. The SO chose the classic smooth Scottish Breakfast, and our friend went with the Chai, a black tea with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and rose petals.
The teas are loose leaf and arrive in gorgeous tall silver tea pots. I did however, learn the hard way that those silver handles can get quite hot and while it might be improper high-tea etiquette, using a napkin to protect one’s hand while pouring tea is not a bad idea.
Personally I particularly enjoyed the sundried tomato muffins (great sundried tomato flavour without being overpowering), the spinach and cheese puffs (would’ve loved bigger puffs), the incredibly fluffy light plain scones and the white chocolate curls covered cake with the drop of tangy lemon curd on top.
Not so stellar were the cucumber sandwiches (never been a fan of those) and the cold chicken sandwich (would’ve preferred if the chicken was warmer).
Also we eavesdropped on another table’s conversation with the owner and changes to the high tea selection is not generally allowed. I suppose swapsies with your high tea partners in crime would be in order, if you don’t particularly like anything.
Tea And Niceties is quite simply a beautifully relaxing and intimate experience, so I cannot wait to share it again with family and friends.