Tired of simply sipping your tea in the kitchen? In Cape Town, a place of history and splendour, it’s a shame not to explore options for tea while out and about. We’ve compiled a list to help the tea connoisseur steep their tastebuds in a variety of blends on offer in the Mothercity. From classic to modern, options abound for every lover of tea.
Very High Tea
Cableway Wi-Fi Lounge, a trendy venue at the summit of Table Mountain, hosts a high tea with a difference. With panoramic views of the Mother City and its surrounds, this is a high tea experience taken literally.
To get to the top either hike in a group or go up in comfort with the cable car. Table Mountain, officially one of the 7 Wonders of Nature, is arguably South Africa’s most famous landmark. Where better to have high tea than at one of the highest places possible?
The Wi-Fi Lounge offers visitors a chance to recharge and refuel. Whether after a strenuous hike or taking in the beauty of Cape Town, the lounge allows a moment to breathe in and plugin.
The Very High Tea menu includes a range of treats, including a selection of Twinings teas, Peanut Butter Brownie Cheesecakes, Mini Lamb Yorkies and more.
Cost: R455 per person (inclusive of a Cableway ticket) | Time: Thursdays from 2pm to 4pm
Address: The Cableway Wi-Fi Lounge, Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, Tafelberg Rd, Cape Town
Tel: 021 424 0015 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: tablemountain.net
Facebook: @TableMountainCa | Twitter: @TableMountainCa | Instagram: @tablemountainca
Having established over 600 stores across Asia, and outlets in Canada and the USA, entrepreneurs Yixin Zhou and Jacob McGowan have now brought Royaltea to Cape Town. Here, it is possible to spend an afternoon tasting a new style of tea.
Starting in the city of Guangzhou in China, Royaltea is part of a new movement. Stepping away from typical bubble tea franchises, Royaltea seeks to create something more authentic and healthy.
McGowan and Zhou are bringing something new to Cape Town’s tea scene, with unique brews and bubble teas. Their cheese tea is a cold drink consisting of an oolong tea base that’s topped with a cream cheese foam and sprinkled with matcha (an antioxidant-rich green tea powder). While such a unique drink shows how Royaltea is changing things up, this is done with respect and reverence for the ancient traditions of Chinese tea culture by using high-grade tea leaves for all their fresh bases.
Aside from their standard ranges, Royaltea also offers the chance to peruse and buy handcrafted teaware at their Kloof Street store. Their teaware is all sourced from Jingdezhen, the porcelain capital of China. At their Kloof Store they also stock a selection of speciality loose-leaf teas and on Saturdays offer the chance to sample them at their loose-leaf tea tastings.
Cost: R45 to R65 | Time: Various
Belmond Mount Nelson Afternoon Tea
Tea is something to be enjoyed in splendour. At the Mount Nelson Hotel, this is to be expected.
While its Afternoon Tea is particularly renowned, the Mount Nelson also offers Morning Tea and Evening Tea. By offering tea times at different intervals, opportunities abound for informal business meetings, get-togethers with friends and family or even a romantic evening, the tea perhaps accompanied by a glass of sparkling wine.
At the Mount Nelson, South Africa’s first expertly trained tea sommelier is on hand for guidance through the hotels 40 different tea varieties. For a deeply brewed insight, he can also be joined on various ceremonies. These include a traditional Gongfu Tea Ceremony, dating back thousands of years, connecting guests in a calm and relaxing way with the tradition of drinking tea using high mountain oolong leaves in a fragrance and flavour-filled seven-step infusion process.
For those keen to learn more about pairing loose teas with fine dining cuisine, the Executive Head Chef and Tea Sommelier work together to pair five canapes and delicacies, such as macaroons or salmon, with accompanying tea from across the world to awaken all senses.
A local twist of afternoon tea can be found with their offering of milk tart. Also called ‘melktert’ in Afrikaans, this can be tasted alongside a cup of their special Mount Nelson tea. This is an expert blend of Darjeeling, Kenya, Assam, Keemun, Yunnan, Ceylon and rose petals from the Hotel’s garden.
Cost: R395 per adult | R595 per adult on special occasion days like Mother’s Day | R215 per child | Time: Morning Tea 9.30am to 11.30am | Afternoon Tea 1pm to 3pm and 3.30pm to 5.30pm | Evening Tea 6pm to 8.30pm
Address: Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, 76 Orange St, Gardens, Cape Town
Tel: 021 483 1000 | Email: email@example.com | Website: belmond.com/mountnelsonhotel
Facebook: @MountNelsonHotel | Twitter: @themountnelson | Instagram: @belmondmountnelsonhotel
Company’s Gardens Restaurant
What better way to enjoy a cup of tea than surrounded by history and nature? Company Gardens Restaurant offers just that.
Situated in the heart of the Mother City, within the richly historical Company’s Gardens, lies a restaurant built for children, families and visitors alike.
Inspired by nature and tales rooted in the past, this gentle space offers a point of peace within a buzzing urban metropolis. The daytime venue, and function venue by night, aims to please and enrich the guest with stories of the past and Eco-conscious designs of the future.
In addition to their Standard Menu, Company’s Gardens Restaurant offers a selection of speciality teas as well as gourmet sandwiches and wraps, available during the traditional High Tea period of the day.
Part of the City of Cape Town’s revitalisation project, the metamorphosis undergone by the iconic Company Gardens venue is a journey of transformation involving the hands of many – a collaboration for which Capetonians are reaping the rewards.
Cost: Tea prices from R20 to R50 | Time: Daily from 7am to 5pm
Address: The Company’s Garden Restaurant, 15 Queen Victoria St, Cape Town
Tel: 021 423 2919 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | For bookings | Website: www.thecompanysgarden.com
One & Only Cape Town
Afternoon Tea at the One&Only Cape Town has always been a sophisticated and decadent affair, all year-round. This winter sees the launch of a new Afternoon Tea Experience.
The Afternoon Tea Experience is held in One&Only’s Vista Bar & Lounge – an elegant restaurant with high ceilings, plush sofas, and a floor-to-ceiling glass wall showcasing the magnificent view of Table Mountain.
The resort has its own range of teas which can be ordered from an elegant tea trolley or special tea menu, from which guests can learn about and sample an unlimited selection.
The Resort’s Master Pâtissiers, Kyle Hickman and Jamie Jack, work with their teams to create a colourful and unique array of sweet and savoury spoils.
The afternoon feast is perfectly arranged on a custom-made One&Only tea stand, alongside which guests are served warm and fresh scones with cream and local jams.
Booking is essential. Gluten-free & Vegetarian options are available if pre-requested.
Cost: R520 per person | U12s half price | U4s free | Time: Daily from 2.30pm to 5.30pm
Address: One&Only Cape Town, Dock Rd, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Tel: 021 431 5888 | Email: Restaurant.Reservations@oneandonlycapetown.com | Website: oneandonlyresorts.com
Facebook: @OneOnlyResorts | Twitter: @OOResorts | Instagram: @ooresorts