Updated on 24 September 2021
With those tiny sandwiches, glinting cake stands and endless pots of steaming tea, there are few things more sophisticated than high tea. It’s also perfect for special occasions: bachelorette parties, baby showers or birthdays. So we’ve rounded up some of our favourite and fanciest high teas in Cape Town and the Winelands.
The Mount Nelson is synonymous with high tea in Cape Town, and it’s no surprise why – their generous afternoon teas never disappoint. Join them for a luxury afternoon tea for R395, where savouries such as finger sandwiches and quiches are brought to your table on a classic stand, along with heaps of sweet goodies. Tea is served on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 12 and 2pm or from 3 to 5pm. Booking in advance is encouraged.
Treat yourself to a special day out at the Silo with their afternoon tea. Plop yourself into one of the plush leather couches and take in the view while you enjoy the Silo’s signature Royal Tea, which features intricate petit gateux, salmon and dill finger sandwiches, scones and even petit fours for R325 per person. Afternoon tea is served from Thursday to Sunday, between 2:30pm and 5pm.
The Table Bay Hotel’s high tea is truly one of the best in Cape Town. For R320, you get a traditional four-course tea set-up that starts with a delectable selection of canapés served at your table. Then you move on to a platter of warm, freshly baked scones, a luscious dessert course boasting caramel tarts, mini opera gateaux, chocolate-dipped madeleines and much more, before ending with a selection of local cheeses. Their varied tea menu comes complete with expert tea recommendations from a knowledgeable server. Afternoon tea is served on Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 2 and 3:30pm and 4 and 5:30pm.
Easily one of the most scenic spots in Cape Town, the 12 Apostles Hotel puts together one of the most well-loved afternoon teas, too. Sit back in either the snug Conservatory or the Leopard Bar while you snack on the generous offering of freshly made macarons, scones and sandwiches, and sip on carefully selected teas and coffees. All refreshments are replenished, too, so you can eat to your heart’s (and stomach’s) content. Vegans are also well-looked after here – there’s a fully vegan tea menu available. Morning tea is from 10am to 12:30pm and afternoon tea runs from 3pm to 5:30pm. Tea is R375 per person from Monday to Friday and R475 per person on weekends.
Coco Safar prides itself on their high tea, which they’ve dubbed a multi-sensory culinary journey that aims to transport palates to different cities around the world. Their tea menu honours distinct ingredients and flavours from Cape Town to Paris, Istanbul and Shanghai. Expect some delightful drama as Coco Safar often features nitrogen as part of their presentation for drinks and food. Book your journey for Friday, Saturday or Sunday afternoons or by special request during the week at R696 per person. Book via WhatsApp on 082 055 5721. Minimum two people per booking.
Take a scenic drive through Franschhoek and make a refreshment pit stop at this French Corner hot spot that’s famous for its incredible MCC. Afternoon tea takes place in the aesthetically pleasing Orangerie Restaurant and begins with a flute of their famous MCC. For R320 per person, you can tuck into traditional sandwiches like smoked Franschhoek trout and caper cream cheese, cucumber and dill, rare roast beef and whipped goat’s cheese baguettes. Their dessert offering is generously laden with salted caramel profiteroles, macaroons, double chocolate lamingtons, madeleines and much more. Available daily from 10am to 5pm.
This Stellenbosch wine farm restaurant boasts the most elegant Russian-inspired tea offering in the Western Cape. For R395 per person, indulge in a traditional ceremony served from a samovar – a Russian tea urn that brews bottomless quantities of tea that can last the entire duration of your tea date. Take in the authentic décor characterised by hand-painted murals and crystal chandeliers synonymous with the grandeur of Russian nobility. Expect authentic Russian fare like oladyi, a crumpet with smoked salmon trout, dill and sour cream, and beef piroshok, which is a fried pastry filled with braised beef, onion spinach and cheese. For dessert, try medovik (a honey cake) and sharlotka (a sumptuous apple cake). The Russian Tea Ceremony is presented from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10am to 5pm (last booking at 3pm). Vegan and vegetarian-friendly, plus gluten-free and kiddies’ menus are available.
You really can’t go wrong with a day spent at the Vineyard. The generous tea menu includes a roast beef on brioche with horseradish crème fraîche, mini chicken Caesar wraps and, of course, cucumber sandwiches. On the sweeter side of things, you can look forward to fresh scones with jam and cream, chocolate brownies and vanilla custard tartlets. Get all this for just R245 per person. Afternoon tea is served on Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 3:30pm and 5:30pm.
Did we miss your favourite spot for high tea in Cape Town? Let us know in the comments below.