Apart from health reasons, my family ties to the UK have always had me leaning towards being a tea-person rather than a coffee-person. And lately, with the growing wave of coffee culture rocking the shores of Cape Town, I won’t lie and say I’ve been feeling a little left out. Decaf coffee just doesn’t taste right and most cafes have a dismal tea collection of five roses English breakfast, rooibos tea and maybe green and chai tea if you’re lucky.
When I had the opportunity to meet and hear Toni Glass (of the Toni Glass Collection) speak in July this year, I was so inspired by her passion of bring a bigger tea culture to SA. I know that when I go to restaurant and I see that her range of teas are offered, I instantly breathe a sigh of relief because I know I have more options!
That being said, my friend Menzi has, as of late, also developed an incredible affinity towards tea as well. So when we were location scouting for a shoot of his that I was doing and we ended up at The Cape Grace hotel at the Waterfront, there was no surprise that we took a little break from shooting and indulged in a little tea time. And that’s what inspired me to start this new blog series! For those who are interested in finding some new places to drink some tea, or who want to have a high tea experience, or who just want to find spots that have a wider variety of tea to drink, I hope I can help you out!
So we begin with our recent(ish) adventure to The Cape Grace. When we entered the hotel, you could honestly feel the regality of the environment. It had the British feel to it, but if you didn’t want to lounge on couches, you had the option of sitting with a view of the marina – the sunlight warming your face as you decide on what to eat. I think what I appreciated the most about The Cape Grace was the variety of tea offers – between the hours of 12pm to 6pm, you could have various types of afternoon tea, depending on your cravings and your budget. The Cream Tea (which is featured below) is what we had, and along with your tea (or coffee), it came with four scones, strawberry jam and cream for R75. You could upscale that to the regular Afternoon Tea that came with scones, jam and cream, finger sandwiches and sweet treats for R185. Craving some bubbly? You can add an MCC or some French Champagne to the afternoon tea for a new total of R255 and R420 respectively. Or you can just get a slice of delicious cake for R50 and call it a day!
The tea in and of itself ranges from strawberry and kiwi fruit infusions (which is the beautiful pink tea I had) and to pure wild rooibos (which is what Menzi had), to pomegranate white tea and Jasmine Bao Hao oolong tea. With varying brewing times of these loose leave teas, you get to watch it infusion process in their glass tea pots.
And if you want to have a party instead of just a casual tea break, The Cape Grace makes special occasion cakes and pastries too – and you can also give high tea gift vouchers! You can view the tea menu here! And if you want to have tea on the weekends, preferably book first (call the Signal Restaurant on 021 410 7100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).