A high tea is an underrated, but long-standing dining experience that has experienced a bit of a renaissance in recent times.
In part, it’s because the tradition, which generally involves tea, a glass of bubbles and a tiered display of bite-size morning or afternoon tea treats, has been given a modern-day makeover.
A combination of forward-thinking expertise from creative chefs and just the right ambiance from providers – often top hotel restaurants – means the experience makes an appealing occasion for a friend catch-up, relaxed baby shower, hen’s do or family celebration.
That’s certainly the case for Auckland’s newest high tea offering, ‘Kisses by Hilton’, where the Hilton Auckland has teamed up with natural lipstick queen Karen Murrell to offer a themed afternoon tea based around Murrell’s iconic lipsticks. And yes, you do get to take a special lipstick home with you.
Available at the hotel’s Bellini bar, with an inviting chic, but not stuffy, vibe and panoramic views of the city’s harbour, the afternoon tea is part of the Hilton Auckland’s move from seasonal updates of their high tea menu, to specific themed collaborations.
Each quarter the hotel is partnering with local brands and organisations. This is the second in the series following a ‘pink’ high tea themed around, and benefiting, Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.
The Hilton’s team, including culinary director Des Harris, executive chef Juan Patino and pastry chef Hiranya Ratnayake, paired with Murrell on ‘Kisses by Hilton’, to offer edible delights where the finest details have been tied into each creation.
Among more classic items like mini scones and chicken club sandwiches there’s a mille-feuille with a delicate touch of spice, including cinnamon, one of the key ingredients of the Murrell’s range, recognisable to fans of her popular lipsticks.
A ‘blush velvet’ bite, a twist on the classic red velvet cake, is a textural delight with surprising bursts of caramel pops to convey the texture of Karen Murrell’s lipsticks. Topped with a sparkly Rosé-flavoured jelly, it offers an experience reminiscent of finishing off with a glass of Rosé. A playful chocolate hazelnut tart is inspired by the elegant Karen Murrell lipstick casing.
The soft pink hues that adorn the sweet treats are reminiscent of the flattering rose-blush, suits-everyone shade of the ‘Kisses by Hilton’ lipstick each guest receives.
‘Kisses by Hilton’, $89 per person including lipstick, is available from Thursday to Sunday, 11am-4pm and runs until November 26.