The Rialto's Intercontinental Melbourne high tea experience has undergone quite a drastic makeover, recently re-emerging as the Clarke sisters' tea party.
It's a high tea like none other I have experienced to date, and while priced at the upper range for high tea, you certainly get what you pay for with an additional plated savoury main course, a dessert trolley filled with plenty of 'local' goodies to select from (more on this in a tick), and a hands-on deconstructed champagne cocktail experience to get things rolling. I really do seem to get excited over lab equipment, in this case pipettes, when encountered outside the lab setting...! With an added main (we opted for the King oyster mushroom tart), the savoury proportion of the meal was quite substantial compared to the usual sandwiches and savoury bites served at other high teas. Then came the scones. You WILL want to finish every bite of the two scones as these were amongst the best I've tried to date. A perfect firm crust with a filling that was neither overly sweet nor dry. And perhaps the star of the show, especially if you have a massive sweet tooth, is the Rialto Precinct Dessert Trolley that they wheel over at the end. Selections from the trolley include petit four-sized desserts (mini eclairs, anyone?), and some famed desserts from the vicinity including Vue de Monde, Le Petit Gateau and Merchant Osteria Venice. Save some room for Vue de Monde's lamington... bring your stretchy pants/flowy dress if need be...
Deconstructed champagne cocktail
Rare roast beef finger sandwich
Open face cucumber sandwich
Salmon and cream cheese mini bagel
Mini duck liver pate en croute
Bay bugs on mini brioche roll
King oyster mushroom tart with pumpkin pulse
Freshly baked buttermilk scone with strawberry jam and double cream
Freshly baked fruit scone with butter
The Rialto Precinct Dessert Trolley:
Le Petit Gateau - lemon tart / berry tart
Merchant Osteria Venice - white choc cheesecake / flourless choc cake
Vue de Monde - lamington
The Clarke Sisters' Tea Party
Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto
495 Collins St,
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000.
(03) 8627 1400
Disclosure: We partly dined as a guest of Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto. All opinions expressed in this post are based entirely on my experience and observations made during the time of my visit.