Who needs romance when you have best friends, right? Valentine’s Day is all about love, respect and celebrating the meaningful relationships in your life – and your girlfriends definitely fit that description.
High tea on a beautiful summer’s day is cute and chic, especially when accompanied by a #winningview, bite-sized treats and bubbles. Plus, dressing up in the appropriate attire – think picnic-chic meets ethereal-glam – definitely means double taps on your Insta post for the day.
If you’re in the Mother City
I recently treated my newly engaged sister to an afternoon tea at the President Hotel in Bantry Bay, Cape Town and couldn’t believe our luck when we were shown to our seats – the view of the Atlantic sparkling in the afternoon sun, with Table Mountain behind us, was more than I had expected.
On arrival we were given a choice of tea or bubbles to start – we chose to indulge in the latter first, and saved the tea to go with the mountain of savoury and sweet treats that was placed before us in due time. The enormous cake stand included all the mini milk tarts, macaroons, Millionaire’s shortbread and baked cheesecakes your sweet tooth can handle, as well as a selection of scones and toppings, salmon and trout caviar blinis, and cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches.
For just R195 each, we felt like we got a full day’s worth at this beautiful venue, and the live music really added to our wonderful experience. If you’re in Cape Town, high tea and bubbles on the deck of the President is exactly where you should plan to have your Valentine’s Day celebration. The President High Tea takes place on the last Saturday of every month, so you still have plenty of time to get your ducks in a row (booking is essential).
If you’re in sunny Durbs
It should come as no surprise that The Oyster Box is the place to go for the ultimate high tea experience in Durban. The Palm Court at The Oyster Box, where afternoon high tea is held, is probably one of the most beautiful spaces I have ever seen. The architecture, the lush green palms and hanging plants, the Instagram-worthy chequered floor… I could go on.
It may seem a little on the pricier side at R365 per person, but what you get for that makes it entirely worth it: live piano music throughout, an extensive menu that includes chocolate gateaux, fresh cream and strawberry cake, chocolate fudge cake and lemon cream cake, plus a selection of muffins and scones, shortbread and Lindt chocolate brownies.
The Oyster Box High Tea is a buffet-style offering and is available daily between 2.30pm and 5pm. If you plan on celebrating V-day here, we’d highly recommend you book right now.
If you’re in Jozi
The Crabtree and Evelyn Tea Room at Design Quarter offers an afternoon tea that is so quintessentially English, it will transport you out of the buzzing city to an English country kitchen. Decorated with a mix of antique furniture and contemporary art and visuals, The Tea Room offers an escape from reality and a place to indulge in everything homey and comforting.
For R250 a person, the menu includes a selection of sandwiches, savoury cheese tartlets and scones, sponge cake and tarts, bubbles and cordials and, of course, Crabtree & Evelyn tea or coffee. Booking in advance is essential at this popular venue, but the good news is that they’re open on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
Never mind the roses, heart-shaped chocolates and teddy bears; gather your squad, and find a spot for afternoon tea and bubbles instead: Valentine’s Day made easy.