The words “high tea” bring to mind a classy, elegant affair. We consider it an indulgence, a special treat, and hardly an everyday activity. Passiontree Velvet seeks to break down these preconceptions and make high tea something we can enjoy on a regular basis.
At Passiontree Velvet, you can enjoy quality delicacies and premium teas at affordable prices. They are an English tea house, a Parisian patisserie, and a Belgian chocolatier all wrapped up in one luxurious experience, all the while remaining approachable and casual.
"I think exclusive dessert restaurants and cafes are becoming more popular because they give us the opportunity to slow down, socialise face-to-face, and appreciate the finer things in life,” said co-founder Chris Sheldrick.
"Dessert is not about sustenance, it is about socialising, enjoying quality delicacies, and creating memories with friends."
Following their success in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, the team at Passiontree Velvet decided it was time to make their way to Sydney. On Monday, 20 April 2015, the new Macquarie Centre store opened to the public.
Unlike the majority of high tea venues, this new location sits in the open area just outside Coles, surrounded on all sides by bustling shoppers looking to buy groceries and grab a quick coffee. All eyes turn to the gorgeous array of desserts on display in their brightly-lit cabinet.
Some of the desserts you will see include their couverture chocolates, crafted by their very own chocolatier, and full of rich, creamy flavour. Chris explains that most chocolates on the market shape the shells first and add filling later, which creates a thicker, harder shell. Theirs is the opposite — they coat the filling very thinly, to produce a fine, brittle shell with a high-gloss sheen.
High tea at Passiontree Velvet is a beautiful display of gorgeous desserts, and delicate savouries, accompanied by a selection of premium quality tea from Harney & Sons. There are three to choose from: the Devonshire Cream Tea, the Chocolatiers High Tea, and the Duchess Full High Tea. Each one showcases different aspects of their menu; classic British scones, luxuriously delicate desserts, or a healthy mix of both. The desserts change depending on what is being served on the day, for a bit of variety.
The selection in the Duchess High Tea is deceptively small, but you must not underestimate the portions. By the time you have savoured the sandwiches and licked the last of the jam and cream from the scones, you’ll need a short break before turning to the desserts. Pacing is key.
The teaware is gorgeous; glass pots on a wooden board, with simple, elegant cups to finish off the display. The available selection includes black teas, herbal teas, and green teas; coffee is also available for those such inclined. We tried one of each: a cinnamon tea, peppermint, and gunpowder green, and were thoroughly impressed by the amazing flavours.
Overall, we enjoyed a terrific early Mother’s Day high tea experience at Passiontree Velvet, and were so full by the time we finished our second tier that we had to ask for the desserts to be packed away to savour at home. We walked away with two boxes of cakes, and a mental list of everything else we will be trying on our next visit, including chocolates, truffles, and macarons. Their teas can also be purchased in tins, which we will definitely be doing next time.
These are all cakes.
To book your own high tea experience, visit the Passiontree Velvet website. You can also order their specialty cakes and macaron towers for your next event, and enjoy these delicacies at home.