Mother’s Day is just around the corner and before it creeps up on you, it’s time to start planning how to spoil your mom (or wife) to show her just how highly she rates in your family’s eyes. One of the best ways to do this is to treat her to a delicious high tea in a wonderful setting. To help you find the perfect place, we’ve put together a list of South Africa’s favourite high tea spots – the hardest part will be deciding which one to choose.
Tea-time in Egoli
This hightea offers a wonderful collection of treats all laid out beautifully on three-tier cake stands and white damask tablecloths. Here in this elegant setting, your mother can select from over 20 sweet and savoury items, including pecan pie tartlets, Belgian chocolate tarts, mini cocktail croissants filled with salmon and cream cheese, and many more delectable items. To really celebrate the day, bring along your own champagne and enjoy it with a no corkage fee.
Our favourite: Mix sweet and savoury with the salted caramel cream puffs.
Tel: 011 326 0913
The Crabtree and Evelyn Tea Room (Fourways)
Now you can pamper your mom with more than Crabtree and Evelyn’s luxurious soaps and fragrant creams by taking her to their tearoom. Expect old-world charm and scented sophistication combined with everything a grand high team should contain. Ply your mom with bubbly, a selection of yummy sandwiches and their famous vanilla sponge cake. This high tea definitely needs to be booked in advance, so please phone ahead to avoid disappointment.
We love: The wonderful, scrumptious savoury cheese scones.
Tel: 011 465 8276
Toadbury Hall (Muldersdrift)
Toadbury Hall is located just beyond Muldersdrift and serves a marvellous tea, both indoors and outside. If the weather is good, nothing beats sitting in the magnificent rose and lavender gardens enjoying a great cup of loose leaf tea. Mom will love its country charm and delectable bite-size treats, which include salmon blinis, cucumber sandwiches and gourmet baguettes – yum!
Our pick: The exquisite mini pavlovas.
Tel: 010 593 7523
Other top high tea places in Johannesburg to spoil mum at:
- Contessa Tea Connoisseur in Rivonia
- 54 on Bath in Rosebank
- The Maslow Hotel in Sandton
- The Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton
- Fairlawns in Morningside
If you’re keen for a breakaway with mom over Mother’s Day, find that perfect Joburg place here.
High tea in the Mother City
Belmond Mount Nelson (City Bowl)
Nothing could spoil your mother more than an opulent afternoon spent enjoying the Mount Nelson’s famous high tea. Whether you choose to sit on the terrace and enjoy the gorgeous gardens, or take tea inside in the luxurious lounge, she’ll be completely spoilt for choice. Sip on Mount Nelson’s signature teas and tuck into sandwiches filled with salmon and rare roast beef, followed by lemon meringue, fresh scones with clotted cream, dark-chocolate cake and so much more – it really is confection heaven.
Top tip: Avoid eating lunch beforehand!
Tel: 021 483 1000
The Vineyard Hotel (Newlands)
Settle mom down in the Garden Lounge and serve her a tea fit for a lady. The Lady Anne’s Afternoon Tea features a three-tiered stand filled with cucumber, smoked salmon and peppered beef sandwiches, together with wraps, scones, vanilla rocky road cheesecake, and plenty more tasty morsels.
Can’t get enough of: The pink lemonade cupcakes – pure genius, really – and the gorgeous manicured gardens, perfect for a post-cake-eating stroll.
Tel: 021 657 4500
High Tea (Plumstead)
Create your own high tea from an excellent assortment of mini cakes (think carrot, lemon, apple and mocha, to name but a few) and other delicious treats and meals all made with love on the premises. High Tea is renowned for its tranquil gardens and laid-back atmosphere, where your mama can while away the hours, enjoying a pot of exotic tea.
Our favourite: The moist granadilla cake is to die for!
Tel: 021 797 1421
Other top high tea places in Cape Town to add to the list:
- Kirstenbosch Tea Room in Newlands
- The Leopard Bar and Conservatory at the 12 Apostles, Camps Bay
- Lady Bonin Tea Parlour in the City Bowl
- The Cape Grace Hotel, V&A Waterfront
- The Lounge at The Bay Hotel, Camps Bay
- One & Only, V&A Waterfront
Why not combine a wonderful high tea with a night away at one of these incredible Cape Town places?
A colonial high tea in KwaZulu-Natal
Two Acres Tea Room (Hillcrest)
This quaint, hidden gem of a tea room is famous for its gorgeous outdoor setting and country menu, where you can create a sumptuous high tea from an array of delicious savoury and sweet items, including salmon blinis and pies. If your mother wants something a little more colonial to go with her tea, there’s always their fabulous selection of gin.
Our pick: The creamy custard tarts.
Tel: 031 768 1957
Beverly Hills Hotel (Umhlanga)
Treat mom to something special: high tea at the famous Sugar Club where you’ll be serenaded by a violinist in a lovely setting. Every month has a different theme and with Mother’s Day coming up, we know they are going to do something really special. Be prepared for treats that are out of the ordinary as well as a wide range of teas from all over the world.
You have to try: The English butternut quiche is out of this world.
Tel: 031 561 2211
The Hilton Hotel (Durban)
The Hilton Hotel’s high tea is an elegant extravaganza served in the Coral Room. Featuring a mouth-watering range of savoury and sweet pastries, we also can’t not mention the bite-sized cakes and our absolute favourite: the fresh fruit and marshmallows which you get to dip into a rich chocolate ganache – a heavenly treat for anyone, especially your mother. If it’s decadence you seek, then you really don’t need to look any further.
Other top high tea places in the 031:
- The Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga
- Lola’s Coffee Shop in Umhlanga
- Jeera at the Suncoast Casino
Treat mom to a special night away at one of our fine KwaZulu-Natal places.
Well, if your mouth isn’t watering by now, we’re not sure what else we can do, other than suggest you book your Mother’s Day tea in advance. These popular places are going to get booked up pretty quickly as Sunday, May the 14th approaches, so best you get on that – mom (and her taste buds) will thank you.
Words by: Niki Tomlinson (watchnikiwrite)
Niki grew up in Natal, but visited Cape Town when she was 12 and knew she was a Capetonian at heart - and that one day she would be settled in this beautiful city. It took many years, however, before that premonition became a reality. She studied English and Journalism at Rhodes University and has always been a writer, spending most of her career in advertising. Niki's career and lust for travelling resulted in her spending eight years living in England and three years in Perth, before finally settling here in her favourite city in the world at the end of 2010. Along the way, she collected a husband in Johannesburg, had two daughters in England and acquired four "furry" South African additions too - two hairless cats and two dogs, a boxer and a pug. Her favourite pastimes include reading (at least one book a week), watching movies, following TV series, enjoying sundowners and eating out at Cape Town's many wonderful restaurants.