Friday, August 23, 2013

High Tea at the Tea Room, Gunners Barracks

Good day my dear readers. Imagine me saying that in my best English accent haha.
So Gaffa and I had enquired about having our wedding reception at Gunners Barracks as we loved the idea of high tea and the beautiful views there but unfortunately we couldn't make the numbers. My SIL (offically now) went there for high tea with a friend and told me that they did a gluten free option. So I booked Gaffa and I in for afternoon tea on the first weekend he was back from his initial training period with the Australian Navy.

They gave us a time slot from 12.30pm - 2.30pm for high tea and I had originally booked for 2 gluten free high teas but then later decided to just have one gluten free and one regular, so we were able to compare the two. I had also confirmed with them that our table would be outside, undercover but with a very nice view of the city and surrounding headland.

In our usual fashion, Gaffa and I were running late. We went to the Sands Hotel to check our rooms for our wedding, then to the ceremony location to measure out how long we needed the carpet, then finally stopped into Dee Why discount vitamins to pick up a few things. All that and traffic included, we didn't get to Gunner Barracks until about 12.50pm. We did however call to say we were running late. Be aware that there are 2 Tea Room locations, one in QVB in the city and the other at Gunners Barracks in Mosman.  When you call them on the weekend you are directed to a main switchboard so make sure you specify which location you're after.

When we arrived at the Gunners Barracks we waited to be seated. But for some unknown reason someone had already been seated for the booking I made under my name. Strange considering I have an unusual name but Asians can be quite sneaky. They finally sorted it out and seated us outside with a gorgeous view of the harbour through the plastic sheets protecting us from the cold wind.

We looked through the tea selection menu and Gaffa decided on the gyokuro green tea which is only harvest once year, (his favourite) and I picked the Heaven and Earth green tea from China which was strawberries, kiwis and delicate tangy aroma of Japanese sencha.

Our 3 tiers of mini treats arrived shortly afterwards and we were explained by the waiter what each of the items were. We started off with the sandwiches first and you could instantly tell that the gluten free bread was very dry. If you've ever eaten gluten free bread you'll know what I'm talking about. The regular sandwiches were soft and moist where as the gluten free ones were not. Gaffa nicely let me eat the entire smoked salmon sandwich because he knows that I love salmon! The sandwich fillings were salmon, cucumber and cream cheese, egg and mayo and a chicken salad.

Next up we tried the pastries and scones. On the regular plate there was a quiche and a samosa with a side of dipping sauce. On the gluten free plate there was a small ball of something with quinoa in it, that was not worth remembering. The gluten free scone was quite hard, so much that Gaffa asked for a knife to cut it in half. The home made jam was very tasty and was runnier than normal store bought jams. The cream was fresh and there was enough in the pot for both scones. If only they included 2 scones per serving, it would've been nice with a fruit scone also.

Lastly we dug into the sweet cakes and desserts. Some were the same. But our two favourites were on the gluten free plate: the flourless chocolate cake and chocolate mousse. Delicious. My macaron did not look as good as Gaffa's and I wonder why they would even serve this out to a customer. But it tasted ok, not the best macarons I've tasted. 

Don't forget to ask for hot water to top up your tea so you can enjoy it for longer. The traditional afternoon tea and gluten free sfternoon tea are both $44  each on weekends and $40 on weekdays.  For a little bit extra ($6 on weekends and $5 on weekdays) you can also enjoy a glass of bubbly with your high tea.
I would high recommend the high tea at the Gunners Barracks because the view is just amazing. But the food wasn't on par with the view, not sure if it was because we went on the weekend and there was a full house. But the high tea I had at the Observatory Hotel a few years ago was alot better in terms of food quality.

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