After improving the design of their lobby-level dining space The Gallery, luxe Sydney hotel Sheraton on the Park have flipped the ‘on’ switch to their new afternoon high tea experience, a decadent buffet-style approach to the elegant tradition. There aren’t many high tea offerings around Sydney which allow you access to a buffet, so this one is of particular interest, especially since the traditional approach is notoriously light on food.
The Gallery is easily accessible as soon as you walk off the street and immerse yourself into the grandeur of the hotel’s fascinating marble lobby. Turn yourself to the left and there it is, The Gallery – a contemporary-casual space that draws design elements from it’s natural locale: Hyde Park. There’s a silver popping 3D artwork on the feature wall featuring roots and of trees and intertwining branches, overlooking comfortable lounges and small tables, standing opposite large glass windows through which diners can look out to busy Elizabeth Street. It’s very much a scene befitting of a more casual high tea experience, unpretentious but elegant enough to maintain that authenticity.
Simply take a seat, order up some tea or start with a glass of Moet Chandon, and head on out for a little do-it-yourself plate-loading, there’s plenty of options here as opposed to the standard three-tiers of bites. Fluffy scones and jam feature side-by-side with cream and buns, a simple selection that sits opposite the lavish dessert set-up which feature various cakes, rhubarb apple crumble, lemon meringue pie, chocolate almond mille feuille, lime cheesecake, red velvet cupcakes, sticky date pudding, smaller treats, and candies (fill a bowl with jaffas and you’ve got yourself a winning share-snack). It’s enough to make anyone giddy with sugar-induced joy, especially when you realise you have two hours to work your way through by-the-slice delights. Though it’s tempting to start here, there’s savoury fare to be had first.
Various small sandwiches are lined up at The Gallery’s entrance, and while the bread isn’t quite as soft and fluffy as expected, they all hit the spot along with the other savouries – think meat pies, soups, and spring rolls. Sit back down with these and take a look through the loose-leaf tea selections, with brews like Italian Almond and Earl Grey served by the pot.
Though a better savoury variety would serve the buffet well, this is very much a sweet-treat affair. Once you’ve been civilised enough to go through a few sandwiches and pies head back on out and load up on those desserts, working your way through the main stall but also paying attention to the macarons, cheeses, and the creme brulee station, at which a staff member will gladly torch a big bowl of the winning custard-and-caramel combo right in front of you. You would be forgiven for visiting this station more than once.
While more traditional high tea – with custom made tree-shaped tiers and all – can be had through the week, it’s this weekend high tea buffet that is most valuable when it comes to Sheraton on the Park’s refocused food and beverage scene. It’s great value too, $55pp will get you access to a sitting plus one fresh cup of coffee or tea. There are two sittings each Saturday and Sunday (12pm-2pm and 2:30pm-4:30pm). For more information about the hotel’s different High Tea offerings click HERE.
Sheraton on the Park
Address: 161 Elizabeth Street, Sydney
Contact: 02 9286 6000
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm (Afternoon Tea Tree Stands); Sat-Sun 12pm-2pm + 2:30pm-4:30pm (Weekend Afternoon Tea Buffet)