The Nellie offers an evening tea to die for
THE famous afternoon teas at the Mount Nelson are ridiculously popular. Understandably so. The spread of cakes, tarts and pastries is spectacular and quite irresistible.
There are two sittings every day, but it’s still not enough. Guests have been begging for more and later in the day as well.
The Nellie has responded by introducing a new evening tea.
This could be called high tea, a term which usually refers to the evening meal or dinner of the British working class, typically eaten between 5 and 7pm. It would most likely consist of a hot dish, followed by cakes and bread, butter and jam.
Occasionally there are cold cuts such as ham salad.
The term was first used around 1825 and “high” is used in the sense of well-advanced (like high noon) to signify that it was taken later in the day.
Its origins have much to do with the division of classes and the convenient times for their meals.
That social hierarchy doesn’t necessarily come into play here, but as far as what is served this is to all intents and purposes a high tea, albeit a posh one.
A selection of savoury and sweet items are brought to the table on two- and three-tiered serving stands, as opposed to the afternoon tea buffet, and can be taken in the conservatory or outside on the patio.
The first wave includes tomato and basil pesto tart in flaky buttery pastry, rare roast beef and mustard ciabatta, Welsh rarebit, lamb kofta wrap, biltong and droewors, cold meats, chicken liver paté, smoked salmon in butter lettuce leaves, Mediterranean-style roasted vegetables with hummus, local cheeses with pickles and a basket of artisanal breads.
Personally I am more of a salty than sweet person, but the “desserts” are divine – warm scones with butter, cream, and jam, fruit cake, chocolate mud cake, mini carrot cake, baked cheesecake, vanilla shortbread and eclairs, fruit tartlets and a sparkly strawberry marshmallow.
● The evening tea is served every day from 6 till 8.30pm, with a choice of teas and coffees, for R295 a person. The Belmond Mount Nelson is at 76 Orange Street, Cape Town. For bookings call 021 4831948 or e-mail restaurantreservations.mnh@ belmond.com, although walk-ins are welcome too.