My friend Joan Holloway aka Tess sits in the cream leather chair facing the water. She's wearing an elegant cream dress and tall black suede heels and a black swing coat. I'm not fortunate enough to resemble any of the Mad Men cast and I am late. So very unchic. After two well placed air kisses we heads towards the Harbour Kitchen and Bar. It's early at 11am and we're here for morning tea.
The Park Hyatt was where Mr NQN and I spent our wedding night and it always holds very fond memories for me. It's the kind of place where people feel soothed and pampered. Except for when we sit down and are handed the menus. There is no high tea at this hour here and I am dejected at missing out on something I was looking forward to for days. The waitress is firm that there will be no high tea for us.
"Please excuse me, I'm just going to the ladies" Joan Holloway says. Using her best Joan Holloway powers of persuasion she somehow sweet talks the restaurant manager into letting us have High Tea. I think channelling Joan will just about get you anything from a seat in first class to the best table at a restaurant. We have to wait for an hour while they prepare everything fresh but when there's good company and girly gossip to catch up an hour flies by.
They bring us the three tier stand and suggest that we start with the middle sandwich tier. There is a smoked salmon and cucumber sandwich with a slight crust on it from being exposed to the air. The chicken breast wrap is delicious with some delicate fans of avocado and there is also a goat's cheese and tomato bruschetta which is crunchy and gives a textural break.
Our top layer has sweet fruit tart with a nice, short pastry cup. The caramel profiterole is gorgeous and filled with caramel custard with the toffee perfectly crunchy. The chai latte macaron is good with a distinct chocolate and chai flavour.
On the bottom tier is a coffee tart where the cup is slightly soft. The madeleine although not in a traditional madeleine shape is moist and eggy and topped with a simple icing and gold leaf (a lovely touch). The pistachio friand is also not in the traditional friand shape but I love the fact that it tastes like pistachio and not almond as so often pistachio things do.
The scones sit on a separate plate and have a dusting of pearl sugar which Joan/Tess doesn't like and I agree isn't that necessary. It comes with a thick raspberry jam and whipped cream whereas I like clotted cream with mine. The scones aren't bad they slightly rough in texture and they do need the thickness of a clotted cream.
Crisis averted and sweets eaten I lean over and ask Joan/Tess
"How did you manage to get them to give us the High Tea?"
"I just asked nicely and said please" she says flirtatiously batting her eyelids.
Joan Holloway would be so proud.
So tell me Dear Reader, who do you like to channel when you want something?
Park Hyatt Sydney
7 Hickson Road, Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: +61 (02) 9241 1234