No recipe today just a bunch of photos and a review of kinds...i guess....
My baby sister turned 23 this week. I had no clue what to gift her so we somehow ended up going out to tea. I love high teas. Its so nice to be able to recline back in a chintz chair and discuss scatterbrained ideas over Darjeeling, petit fours and cucumber sandwiches. My first high tea came with scones, my best girls and a palm reader who told me to never introduce any prospective lovers to my father and that my palm was psychically linked with my oldest friend. I wanted to give my sister something similar. the girl loves tea and cake so I listed off a few places and she chose the Hydro.
The Hydro Majestic - one of the Blue Mountains more iconic hotels and one with ghosts and history practically seeping out of its walls. We used to visit the Hydro when I was little, a grand pit stop for average coffee and cake but it has been closed for so long it sort of faded into obscurity.
It began as the Belgravia hotel in 1891 and was purchased in 1904, and has since changed hands multiple times. It began as ahealth retreat where people could come to "take the waters". Methods of rejuvenation included drinking foul mineral water shipped from Germany in metal containers and lying in a box surrounded by light globes. I heard it mentioned that it was one of the first buildings in Australia to convert to electricity. In World War II is was transformed into a hospital for US Soldiers.
Since it has been opened loads of interesting people have stayed here. Authors (Sie Arthur Conan Doyle for instance- please excuse me while I have a fan girl moment), heiresses, politicians, Dames and actors. Apparently Australia's first Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton died of a heart attack here. Rumors abound that he was found in the bath surrounded by prostitutes.
We just had to explore and spent ages oohing and ahhing over the view. Funnily enough we have a similar view from our deck at home. It is the same valley I have spent hours staring at growing up yet for some reason I never get tired of it.
We went with the standard high tea at $65.00 a head ($55.00 on Weekdays). Mama and Charlote chose a Vietnamese Green tea flavoured with lychee, banana and daisy flowers. I went for the Jardin Blue, a black tea flavoured with wild strawberries, sunflower and cornflower petals. It smelled sweet and tasted heavenly. I swear the teapot was bottomless too, the waitresses topped it up pretty routinely.
The scones were heavy and dense. The fruit scones were tasty, the jam was local and had chunks of strawberry through it but there wasn't enough jam for four scones - not by a long shot. Once the plain scone went cold, it dried out and was better used for throwing at passing traffic than ingesting.
Delicious little crustless sandwiches (who wants curly hair anyways) which are an iconic layer to any high tea. Egg salad, chicken salad and a roast beef were on offer. Little savoury vol au vents were also on offer, with a strange but not unpleasant whipped cheese filling and a little salmon, caviar and creme fraiche option these were crazy delicious.
The top and arguably most important tier consisted of a little chocolate cup and chocolate cone each filled with a spiced cream, a delicate macaron each (coffee for Mam, Salted caramel for Charlotte, and raspberry for me) and a chocolate dipped fruit thing that none of us could quite make out. It was horrible though - a hybrid grape, glace cherry thing dipped in chocolate that tasted a little bit like a fart.
The high tea itself was just alright and definitely overpriced but you are not just paying for tea and petit fours. You are paying for history and a breathtaking view. We spent three hours there, chatting, eating, drinking and exploring. The renovations that have been carried out recently are excellent and it is so nice to see part of your childhood and part of your hometowns history lovingly restored.
The Hydro Majestic Hotel
Address: 52-88 Great Western Highway,
Medlow Bath, NSW 2780
Telephone: +612 4782 6885