Our group of 15 occupied the only table set for high tea on a Sunday afternoon. With colourful flower arrangements, sparkling stemware, lovely china and crisp white tablecloths, our table was set up behind the wine tasting area and certainly looked the part.
To kick things off we indulged in some wine tasting, and I fell in love with the sparkling pink made from malbec and cabernet sauvignon grapes. We also sampled the best-selling sparkling imbued with flecks of gold, but this was a bit too dry for my palate.
Our high tea at $40 included a glass of bubbly (of the non-gold gold leaf variety), filter coffee, English Breakfast, Chamomile or Earl Gray teas, and two-tiered plates of delicacies.
The lower tier featured heart-shaped open cucumber sandwiches, mushroom pastries (unseasoned and tasteless) and scones with jam and cream (perfect).
The top tier presented brownies, orange almond cakes (the best of the bunch), tiny chocolate tarts (strange tasting chocolate), melting moments and cream buns that looked light and fluffy but suffered from a heavy hand and were disappointingly chewy.
All of the elements indicated that we were in for a fabulous high tea afternoon. The ladies who served us and presided over the wine tastings, were friendly and welcoming. Our table was beautifully set. The scones were perfect – light and fluffy and freshly baked. The orange almond cakes were moist and delicious. The other offerings however, were sadly unimpressive. For $40 a head you expect something quite special – various sandwich fingers, mini quiches, tarts, a variety of mini cakes and more of a balance between sweet and savoury. From other reviews of the food at Jane Brook, it seems that the non-high tea meals are of a much higher quality. I’d recommend skipping the high tea and going for lunch and wine tastings, while enjoying Jane Brook’s hospitality and the views over the vineyard.