Afternoon tea in the Lobby Lounge at the Intercontinental Hotel in Wellington is a tried and true, reliable destination for fabulous food served in beautiful Cristina Re teaware.
With a smaller group, you're more likely to be seated in the ambient lobby area but on this occasion we enjoyed the modern, naturally lit space in the Chameleon Restaurant.
Every guest's place was set with the usual suspects - napkin, cake fork and crockery as well as a full menu of the high tea items that were to be served, along with the range of T2 teas available. I noted the change to T2 from the TWG range they used to serve, and missed my cup of TWG vanilla bourbon tea that I would order without fail every time I visited here. In place of that, Rooibos was the pick of the day but I was tempted by the lemongrass and ginger or the strawberries and cream options selected by my neighbours!
Our tea service and food took much longer to be brought out than I have come to expect from the Lobby Lounge - we did have a few guests ordering off the menu in place of the high tea and we were a big group so maybe that's why? It didn't matter too much as we filled the restaurant with chitter chatter - catching up on what had been months since our last organised event.
I have come to be famiiar with the reaction when the Lobby Lounge high tea is brought to the table. Phone camersas are whipped out in an attempt to capture a photo of the picture perfect tiers before fingers reach for the feast of treats and disrupt them!
The menu hasn't detoured over the years and this is not a bad thing at all. The pumpernickel and blue cheese, BLT slider, salmon blinis, scones, popping candy and macarons are reliable favourites. The photographs of what is on offer really speak for themselves.
What you won't find after high tea at The Lobby Lounge, are any guests leaving hungry - that I can assure you. The high tea is a generous amount and more often than not - more than we can finish and we're often packing up leftovers to enjoy those later on.
I stand by high tea at The Lobby Lounge being one of the top 3 experiences for high tea in Wellington, and it is often where you will find me defaulting too when I have a special occasion to treat a girlfriend to.