Disclosure: I attended courtesy of The Westin & Q Strategies.
I have been to rather a lot of afternoon teas in the past couple of years, so it’s always nice when I go to one that’s a little bit different.
The Westin is serving An Eclair Affair in the Lobby Lounge every afternoon until 30 June – and the point of difference? Instead of the usual little cakes and sandwiches, the afternoon tea comes with savoury and sweet eclairs. There are still scones (it wouldn’t be afternoon tea without them, right?) with accompanying jam and cream, but the stars on the stand are the eclairs.
Afternoon tea is served in the lobby of The Westin hotel, on comfy couches and armchairs, and the pastries come served on a modern black and silver three tiered stand.
Afternoon tea is served with Vittoria coffee, hot chocolate or Jing tea and a glass of Domaine Chandon ($49 without the sparkling wine, $59 with sparkling wine).
There’s quite a decent tea menu: a few kinds of green tea, fruit tea, white tea, iced tea, herbal tea, through to English breakfast or Earl Grey. I decided on a mild and fresh Oolong.
I’m more of a savoury person than a sweet person, and eagerly tucked in the savoury options:
– Mushroom pate with pickled shemiji
– Ham, comte cheese, confit tomato, grainy Dijon aioli
– Smoked duck, gorgonzola, pear, caramelized walnut, rocket
– Prawn, avocado, sweet chili jam
– Goat cheese with pesto
My favourite was the prawn, which had a hint of spiciness from the chilli jam.
For the sweet eclairs, the options were:
– Strawberry and lime
– Passion fruit and white chocolate
– Pistachio and fig
– Chocolate with caramel
The one I liked the most from the sweet eclairs was the chocolate and caramel. I thought I would like the pistachio one the most, but I found that it had a strange flavour. The other two were a tad sweet for my tastes.
Scones were decent. There was a plain vanilla scone as well as a fruit scone.
Choux pastry can be a bit tricky – it should be puffed up and light, but not taste dry and that can be hard to achieve when making small versions. While the sweet eclairs weren’t personally to my taste, on the whole they were done well and it was a nice change to the usual afternoon tea.
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The Westin Melbourne
205 Collins Street
Phone: 03 9635 2222