I’ve always loved having tea at the Belmond Mount Nelson hotel, it’s a real treat. The hotel is iconic and beautiful and quite frankly spending a few hours lazing around in their newly refurbished lounge sipping exquisite tea and nibbling on sweet and savoury snacks is kind of my perfect way to spend a few hours. If you are a visitor to Cape Town it’s a must-do experience to indulge in.
I’m passionate about tea and my descent into geekery has been gradual but consistent. I don’t drink coffee so the mystery and traditions surrounding tea appeal to my food obsessive self, giving me the opportunity to explore all its nuances. And there is a lot to explore. Knowing where it comes from, how it’s grown, how it’s made and then how best to steep it to get the best out of the leaves is truly fascinating.
I also love a good tea ceremony and at the Nellie, that’s exactly what you get. They have tea sommeliers that have trained with Mingwei Tsai of Nigiro Tea Merchants on hand to help guide you through their extensive tea menu and it’s worth it at this juncture to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. The tea is poured at your table in see-through teapots so you can watch it brew to the precise length of time.
You can take your tea either in their inside lounge, their outside terrace that looks onto the garden, or where I prefer, in their conservatory with palmed wallpaper, parlour palms and giant strelitzia. It’s a stunning space filled with light that creates a calm environment, which is perfect to enjoy a cup of tea.
The food service proceedings start out with a tiered stand of savoury treats brought to your table and followed by the most feathery-light scones, jam and cream. You are then free to graze through the extensive sweet tables inside the lounge for the rest of your allocated teatime. It’s quite agonizing to decide what to have and what to leave off but given my sweet tooth, I indulged to the point of a sugar rush. More tea and more cake and you are set for a beautiful afternoon. Or morning or evening actually since they now offer a morning tea menu, two afternoon sittings and one in the early evening. The menu for the morning and early evening will differ slightly from what I experienced as it’s created to better suit the time of day.
- Morning Tea: 9:30–11:30am
- Afternoon Tea: 1–3pm or 3:30–5:30pm
- Evening Tea: 6–8:30pm
- Tel: +27 21 483 1000
- Email: [email protected]
This is what it looked like.
*I was invited as a guest of the Belmond Mount Nelson
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