Juji’s 21st birthday morning tea
The Leaf Tea Merchants has closed down.
Today, we belatedly celebrated my sister Juji’s 21st birthday with morning tea at the Leaf Tea Merchants in Mount Lawley. We all had the Parisian Rose Morning Tea (AU$25 per person). This post is subtitled: Ohhhhhh, the sugar…
The Morning Tea came with Parisian Rose tea as standard, but we were free to select any other tea from the menu instead. Juji and I shared a pot for two of Great Grandfather’s tea, which we both took with soy milk. The menu describes this tea as “Highly sought after in Europe. A strong, aromatic single estate tea from Sri Lanka’s Western Highlands. 100 years of family tradition.”
I must admit, I don’t know very much about tea. All I know is I prefer black teas to herbal teas. No, that’s not my reflection in the teapot lid. :) Juji’s tea service was so very civilised, but we knew there would soon be unrestrained grabbing going on.
Jac decided to stick with the Parisian Rose tea, as she’s always keen to try new or interesting-sounding things.
The rose tea came with a strainer, but as you can see, Jac still managed to get a rosebud in her tea cup! She freely admitted it was a result of user error, rather than a fault with the supplied equipment!
I am definitely a tea idiot. I had my first few sips and declared I couldn’t taste much difference between Great Grandfather’s and Liptons. (Tea appreciators everywhere will be horrified!). It was lovely tea. I do realise the distinct flavour of the tea would be more evident if I were to drink it without milk (soy milk, in this case). Not all black teas taste the same to me though – I can’t stand Earl Grey!
These were my eldest sister’s and her hubby’s teas. I can’t remember what kinds they had – I think one (and don’t know which) was the Keemun Congou, “The major ingredient in this famous Prince of Wales blend, this black China tea from the Anhui province is famous for its mild, sweet taste.” Juji’s boyfriend had the Cherry Blossom tea, which I sampled – it was tasted cherry lollies to me.
By the time the food was brought out, it was almost an hour since Jac and I had first arrived – and we were ravenous! Each of these three-tiered cake stands was to be shared between two! Between twelve people, there were six of these placed strategically on the table. We didn’t stick strictly to a cake stand between two people – we just plucked items off trays on the table as we liked. And so here goes – lots of photos of our morning tea…
The top tier featured Turkish delight, meringues and fresh strawberries.
The second tier featured a selection of more sweet things.
The bottom tier featured a selection of baby quiches and cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches. I chose a mushroom quiche first of all, and grabbed myself one of the very delicate sandwiches. There were sandwiches made with white as well as brown bread. All up I think I ate three of those sandwiches. I love little sandwiches like this, with the crusts cut off.
The quiches were lovely and warm, with crisp shortcrust pastry. They were a favourite around the table.
I had my eye on the cupcake with pink and white icing (Juji told me they make all their own pastries and cakes at the Leaf Tea Merchant) … while Jac zoomed in on the salmon bite – smoked salmon with horseradish cream in a little tartlet shell.
While they were still warm, Jac and I shared a tomato baby quiche.
So good. There was a third quiche variety, roasted pumpkin – but I didn’t realise this until they were all gone.
There were a couple of kinds of mini muffins.
There was raspberry, garnished with flaked almonds…
…and coconut, garnished with banana. I must say I was most surprised when I bit into this – I quite expected it to taste like banana because of the banana on top, but it turned out to be coconut-flavoured instead! It was lovely though.
The cupcakes were vanilla-flavoured, sweet and light, topped with sugary icing. I shared one with Jac.
The chocolate cakes were the largest items included in the morning tea.
In the end, we cut them into smaller pieces. The thought of tackling a whole one was just too much! I thought they’d have a really strong chocolate flavour, but they were more sweet than chocolatey. They had a gorgeously moist texture though, and the icing was delicious!
I loved this tart lemon tart – actually, I think the menu calls them “lemon bites”. I liked them so much I wished they’d been “lemon mouthfuls”.
The heart shaped tea cake was ginger-flavoured.
I shared one with Jac.
I don’t care for smoked salmon, so I think Jac ate my share of the salmon bites. Unfortunately, the only close-up I took was of a lopsided one.
I don’t care for Turkish delight either, but from what I heard around the table this was very good.
The rose meringues were really crumbly and soft – hard to break into two to share. In the end I just had a bite of one and left the rest to Jac.
The strawberries were nice – more sweet than sour, so I didn’t pull a face when I ate them!
I made this arrangement of strawberry halves just for you. Then I said, “Farewell, strawberry.” Heh.
We collected the leftovers from all the cake stands while Juji went to request some takeaway containers.
We filled up three containers – to bursting! We voted that Juji, as birthday girl, and her boyfriend, as the most sweet-toothed person I know, should share the leftovers. There were no more savoury items left – Jac made sure the last salmon bites went to a
darker better place. :)
It was a very pleasant way to spend a late morning on a Saturday. We passed around a small photo album in which Mum had compiled photos of Juji from years past. Juji groaned when she saw the first photo and said, “Oh no! I bet the photo of me sitting on the toilet’s in here!” She was right, I think it was on the third page! She was maybe 2 years old, sitting on the throne, singing and looking most contented. Heheheh. Oh well, you only turn 21 once!
We did think the waitstaff took too long to come and take our order, and they could’ve taken control of things a little more assertively/effectively and actually explained that the rose tea was standard with the Parisian Rose Morning Tea, but we were free to choose whatever tea we wanted. When they started to take our tea orders, we were a little confused – why were they asking us what tea we wanted if, as the menu had indicated, the morning tea came with the rose tea? Would we get the tea we ordered and the rose tea? Would we then have to pay for the “extra” tea? Had the waitress heard us when we said we wanted to order the Parisian Rose Morning Tea (which we thought included rose tea)? This wasn’t a huge deal, but the confusion could’ve been so easily avoided. And because it had taken so long to take our order, we were a little antsy by the time the food arrived – most of us hadn’t had any breakfast and were ready to start gnawing on the table cloth (nooo, just kidding about the gnawing, but we were starving – and I know Jac was getting a little grumpy!).
Baby Ruby slept through most of the event, woke up for a couple of drinks at her personal milk bar, had a few cuddles with her adoring fans, dozed again, frowned, yawned, left a milk signature on Jay’s top, made fists and an assortment of interesting hand gestures, posed for the paparazzi, and then demanded a nappy change and more cuddles from her dad. I think Juji’s boyfriend’s parents thought I was weird because I kept taking photos of everything – I assured them that people from all over the world would enjoy looking at the photos on my website (so I hope you have!). ;) If you’re one of my “family” on Flickr, login to see all the photos I took at morning tea, of people and food (the link to the photo set is here.)
The Leaf Tea Merchant in Mount Lawley is located at 60 Walcott Street. They also have a store at 29 Napoleon Street in Cottesloe. There is a large range of tea to choose from. The Parisian Morning Tea is available every morning and high tea available every Sunday from midday. If these set teas are not your thing, there’s an a la carte menu to choose from. There is also a selection of teas and tea drinking paraphernalia on display and for sale. Despite the issues I’ve mentioned above, I had a good time and really enjoyed the morning tea (that was a cool idea, Juji!). The quality of the Leaf Tea Merchant’s morning tea was far superior to the high tea we had at The Atrium at Burswood last year. I’d like to actually see if Jac and I (or Juji and I, or anyone and I!) could finish a whole three-tiered cake stand’s worth of morning tea between us! I reckon I’d feel a little ill from all the sugar if I managed to get through it. :)
I was glad Jac and I had decided to catch the train to the city and walk from town to Mount Lawley. The walk back from Mount Lawley to the city was definitely required after all that eating, and it was such a lovely sunny day.