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High tea at Rochelle Adonis, Highgate

When I arrived at Rochelle Adonis’ studio in Highgate, one thing was immediately noticeable: everyone waiting for the start of the 2pm high tea session was female. I felt conspicuously, disgracefully tomboyish for not wearing a summer frock or carrying a handbag. All around me, non-stop chatter. I don’t do girly glamour but I can talk!

My friend Crystal and I had discussed catching up over high tea ever since Rochelle Adonis and her team moved into their new studio on Beaufort Street last winter, but we only managed to get our act together last month, finally agreeing on a date and making a reservation.

A gauzy curtain was drawn across the entrance to the dining room while final preparations were made for our high tea. Still, I couldn’t resist peeping through the gap and poking my camera lens through for a picture.

Anticipation Anticipation

High tea is AU$49 per person and served as two courses – savoury, then sweet, with a palate cleanser in between. It is an indulgent two hours of decadent treats, served to guests sitting around two high marble-topped communal tables. The cutlery and crockery are deliberately mismatched and elegantly vintage; water is served in crystal jugs and decanters at the table. Included in the high tea are two pots of loose-leaf tea (black, green and herbal varieties) or French press coffee. Our tea orders were taken shortly after we were seated, and we were asked for our choices for the second pot of tea before the sweet course was served. Note: there’s no soy or skinny milk.

Rochelle Adonis’ high tea is renowned around Perth, and my expectations were exceeded. The food was exquisite and delicious. The menu varies daily. No scones, but there were cucumber sandwiches spread generously with dill aioli, made with soft fresh bread. The exclusively blended Vanilla Berry ‘Queen of Hearts’ was superb, with flavours of lemongrass, vanilla beans, juniper, raspberry leaf, rosehips, blueberries, elderberries, pomegranate flowers and hibiscus. For such a complex blend, it was subtle and a wonderful accompaniment to the savoury course.

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CelebrationsThere were a few celebrations going on, including in the private dining room, which seats up to 16 people.

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Cucumber and dill aioli sandwiches Cucumber and dill aioli sandwiches with generously and meticulously layered slices of cucumber

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Smoked cod cone on potato salad Smoked cod cone on potato salad

Chilli, avocado and cracker Chilli (with chunks of tomato and beans), avocado and cracker

Pea puree and potato galette Pea puree and potato galette

Chicken nugget with corn puree and parmesan The chicken nugget with corn puree and parmesan reminded me of Ferrero Rocher – just in looks, not taste!

Tutti frutti palette cleanser Tutti frutti palette cleanser popsicles served in a chilled dish

Caramel sundae Caramel sundae, with housemade ice cream and a surprise at the bottom – sundaes are also available to walk-in customers, served in the courtyard

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Peach galettePeach galette garnished with rose petals and fresh strawberries

Such buttery, crisp flaky pastry Every bite a buttery, flaky pleasure

Mango and coconut rice pudding Mango and coconut rice pudding, with (I think) a rogue piece of popcorn

Chocolate and hazelnut cake Chocolate and hazelnut cake – gooey, soft and rich, leaving a temptingly lickable imprint on the crisp crinkled paper

More sweet treats on display More sweet treats on display – on their way out, many high tea guests bought more sweets to take away

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It was the perfect setting for friends to catch up. All we had to do was relax and enjoy; the only decisions were which teas to have, which item to eat first and which item to eat next. There were things to surprise and delight us in each course. Everything tasted fresh, not a hint of ‘fridgey-ness’. We thought the serving sizes were well measured – we finished everything without feeling like we’d have to force the final items down to get our money’s worth.

The only minor criticism I have about the high tea is that it felt rushed towards the end of the allotted two hours. We managed to have just a cup from our second pots of tea, hastily downed after a gentle reminder about the time, delivered 10 minutes before the end of our session – understandably, the staff needed to get ready for the final session at 4pm. Perhaps the way to avoid this is to book for the final session instead (though obviously we can’t all do that). Having said all that, there was no need to bolt down the last piece of cake; we were offered the option of having any uneaten items packaged up to take away.

Out of all the high teas I have experienced, this was easily one of the best.

Rochelle Adonis
Telephone: (08) 9227 0007
2 St Albans Avenue (corner Beaufort Street)
Highgate WA 6003
Open Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 5pm
High tea is served:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 12pm and 2pm
Saturdays and Sundays at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm.
Bookings for high tea are essential. A 50% deposit is required at booking.
BYO champagne only for AU$10 per bottle
High tea FAQs

Rochelle Adonis Cakes + Confections on Urbanspoon

Crystal and I had lots to talk about – we each had news to share. I told her about my plans for the year ahead – photographic, travel and culinary adventures await. More on that soon, I promise.

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  • Priscilla Clapson

    Another post with divine photos! Having high tea at Rochelle Adonis has been on my wish list for ages. Really need to get this organised! May I ask too please, which lens did you use to shoot these? And what is your go-to lens for food vs people?

    • http://thefoodpornographer.com thefoodpornographer

      Priscilla, I used my Fuji X-E1 with 23mm lens for these shots. These days, generally speaking I use the 23mm for shots at the table e.g. when we’re in a restaurant. For events, markets, and walking around when there’s no guarantee I will be able to get close enough to my subjects, I use the 18-55mm zoom lens. I used the 18-55mm lens at our family’s Chinese New Year meal this year – the first time I used the Fuji X-E1 to photograph an important family event with the fast-moving kids. Usually I use my Nikon D600 DSLR but I decided to try the Fuji for a change – it’s a nicer camera to use and much lighter – I love it.

      • Priscilla Clapson

        That’s great to know. Thanks for the tips!

  • milkteaxx

    lovely pictures! the choc and hazelnut cake looks amazing!

    • http://thefoodpornographer.com thefoodpornographer

      Thanks, milkteaxx. The choc and hazelnut cake was so soft and smooth. I want another piece just thinking it about it now.

  • Maureen Shaw

    All this gorgeous food. I’m such a fail with the pretty little frock thing.

    • http://thefoodpornographer.com thefoodpornographer

      Maureen,
      Yep, I can’t do frocks. I feel uncomfortable the whole time, like I’m in drag.

      • Dea

        I rarely do frocks too! It’s just a pain to move around in them. I do dress like a girl though, just in pants. :P

  • http://whatshouldieatforbreakfasttoday.com/ What should I eat for breakfas

    It sounds like something for ladies and all this food. I am not sure if I’d behave like a lady, most probably I’d eat far too much ;)

    • http://thefoodpornographer.com thefoodpornographer

      Haha – well, it’s good manners to eat what your host serves you – so we ate it all with no hesitation!

  • Dea

    it looks exquisite and delicious. I rather like the look of those cute little popsicles. what a lovely little palate cleanser. the savoury course looks really good too, this is my terrible salt tooth speaking, of course!

    • http://thefoodpornographer.com thefoodpornographer

      Dea,
      The savoury course was one of the reasons I was keen to come here for high tea – I’ve seen some delicious original savouries at others’ blog posts. It was even better than I had hoped.

  • http://www.gourmanda.me/ Amanda @ Gourmanda.me

    I love the crockery and decor – it’s all so very dainty and quaint. You could almost imagine yourself back a hundred years going through the daily ritual of afternoon tea!

    • http://thefoodpornographer.com thefoodpornographer

      Amanda, yes! Although the decor of the place is understated, you get so much character presented to you – in the crockery and the food. Memorable and special.