Savour the delicious delights of High Tea in the Mortlock Library

FIFTY+SA writer Dr Diana Carroll enjoyed a delightful High Tea experience in a unique setting at the State Library of South Australia.
Dr Diana Carroll

Like many people, I have always loved going out for High Tea – it always feels like such a special treat. There you are, all dressed up, sitting somewhere fancy, and sampling delicate little morsels of deliciousness. It’s how you imagine the Royals eat every day!

As a special promotion, the State Library has opened up the amazing Mortlock Chamber for High Tea on four Sundays from November 26 to December 17 with sittings at 10am and 2pm.

We attended the 10am sitting which felt extra special because the State Library itself doesn’t open until midday on a Sunday, so it was as if we had a personal invitation. The towering Christmas Tree in the Mortlock Library is just amazing and worth a look whenever you’re in the city.

The delightful high tea experience has been arranged in partnership with The Caterers, a local company based in Vale Park. The High Tea is set on the beautiful upper level balcony of the Mortlock Chamber. This really is a stunning library and has the olde-world ambience of a grand stately home. Each table is placed within an alcove of bookshelves so even though it was a full house it still felt very quiet and private. This is a moment for whispered conversations and polite chit chat.

With a glass of Longview bubbles served as you arrive, it’s time to peruse the sweet and savoury treats on offer, including little prawn sandwiches, fresh tomato bruschetta, and a really tasty caramelised onion, fig and goats curd tart – so good. The sweet treats include a delightful black tea cheesecake and a rich dark chocolate frangipani tart. And yes, there are the plain scones we always associate with High Tea, served with luscious Beerenberg jam and thick clotted cream.

These are all presented on the traditional three-tier High Tea serving stand, so the only decision you have to make is whether to have a pot of coffee or try one of the various T2 teas. Additional drinks, soft and alcoholic, are available for purchase. And children aren’t forgotten, with their own menu including sausage rolls, sliders, muffins, and pastries.

Even though this is a new initiative at the State Library, The Caterers are very experienced and say that High Tea is not just a meal; it’s an enchanting journey of flavours and elegance and a celebration of taste and refinement. And there really is something quite magical about being immersed in Christmas spirit at the Mortlock Library with the beautiful Tree, the ornate woodwork, and the feeling of exclusive access. $80 adults, $35 children 12 and under

High Tea at The Mortlock is $80 for adults and $35 for under-12s. The High Tea sessions are now fully booked, but all is not lost! The State Library is planning similar events for the New Year


slsa.sa.gov.au

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