A heavenly high tea at newly rebranded The Brunswick Tea Room (formerly Impala & Peacock)
558 Sydney Road, Brunswick VIC
One of life’s most beautiful indulgences is sitting down for a fancy high tea. I always feel so cultured and classy sipping from a matching cup and saucer and delicately nibbling at each dainty delicacy like something straight out of Downton Abbey, daaaaaaarling! But having become increasingly gluten free and mildly lactose intolerant over the past few years, high tea is now one of the least suitable dining experiences for me so I don’t enjoy them as often as I once did. That was, of course, until the other day when my beautiful friend Sarah invited me to her gorgeous tea house, The Brunswick Tea Room, for a heavenly high tea which could easily be tailored to suit my dietary requirements – win!
I’ve been burning the midnight oil a bit too much over the past few weeks (for a change) and Sarah’s invitation couldn’t have come at a better time. I was in desperate need of a little relaxation to unwind, so was overjoyed to hear my visit would include a massage from the lovely Joey of Still Beauty who would then join us for high tea afterwards – I know, how spoilt am I!? I had visited Sarah’s gorgeous tea house before, formerly known as Impala & Peacock, but had never realised the beautiful space houses practising rooms upstairs (occupied by Joey on Tuesdays) in addition to all the carefully crafted artisan teas and delicious accompaniments on offer in the main shop front. My usual intense reluctance to cross the river dissipated very quickly and I was in Brunswick quicker than you can say “tea time!”
I have no words to describe the zen zone I was lulled into during my hour-long massage with Joey in the lovely airy space upstairs. I hovered somewhere between consciousness and deep sleep the whole time, and could feel all my tension and stress melting away for the first time in weeks. I had forgotten (yet again) how valuable “me time” can be, and how important it is to slow down every now and then. And what better way to chase up a pamper session (despite the slightly oily hair and total “stoner” look plastered on my face by the end of it)? A DELICIOUS high tea showcasing Sarah’s incredible artisan range, all hand-picked and blended by the tea sommelier herself paired with delectable sweet and savoury nibblies including gluten free versions of everything so I wouldn’t miss out!
Having given up coffee a few years ago, I am ALL about the quali-tea. Tea bags cut it when there is nothing else on offer, but no-one brews a real tea like Sarah. She is a qualified Tea Sommelier with training in traditional teas and herbal tisanes and recently advanced her ‘nose’ training in Grasse, France where she has refined her expertise in identifying and working with aromas and flavours. While the space has been rebranded as The Brunswick Tea Room, her carefully crafted tea range still maintains the Impala & Peacock name. The Signature High Tea pairs five different teas to match the food offering and everything we enjoyed is listed below. For what seemed like hours, the three of us worked our way through everything like ladies of leisure – what a perfect afternoon.
I would highly recommend a visit to anyone in or visiting Melbourne – there’s nothing quite like a high tea that actually focuses on the tea (and which also offers gluten free and vegetarian versions of each item!) It is a truly unique experience, pairing the splendour and sophistication of the high tea experience with a more relaxed and inviting environment than traditional high tea locations. Not only is each tea designed by Sarah, each food item has also been created by her to match each blend and create a deliciously harmonious overall experience. I left feeling delightfully satisfied, but not sickeningly stuffed (which is rare for this little piggy)! You can also book in tea tastings and other workshops here or check out Joey from Still Beauty‘s other locations and info here.
Traditional ribbon sandwiches (cucumber, dill, mint butter)
Open ribbon sandwich (Homemade roasted beetroot & cashew dip, roasted pumpkin, sprouts, feta)
Mushroom cap with pink peppercorns, quinoa, tomatoes finished with fresh herb salsa
Sweet potato and cherry tomato frittata with cashew dukkah
Polenta with mushrooms & eggplant topping
Golden Bud: A Yunnan specialty tea grown at a high altitude. Over winter the tea leaves naturally develop a protective down to guard themselves from the cold. Captured its silky seal in an elegant bud that yields a golden tea with nuances of honey and mouth filling caramel.
Brunswick Breakfast: Our very own breakfast tea blended from 4 premium black teas. This tea weaves a complex fabric of flavours to suit a dash of milk or straight black brew.
Passionfruit & poppyseed mousse cake
Gluten free pistachio friand with raspberry frosting
fig & ginger tea cake
Baked raspberry cheesecake
Aromatherapy: A sophisticated blend of peppermint, spearmint, lemongrass, lemon balm, lemon verbena, and provincial lavender. The flavour is fresh, brisk, bright with a subtle floral note leaving a refreshing finish on the palette.
Detox: A cleansing blend traditionally used to help the body expel toxins and support healthy functioning of organs and digestion.
Fresh Seasonal Fruit
Blossoming Tea: A marigold flower wrapped in white tea leaves that sits in a bed of jasmine flowers. A light and floral flavour.