A British tradition said to have originated in the 19th century, High Tea is traditionally served at the table and is partaken while seated on high back chairs as opposed to afternoon tea that is served on low comfortable chairs or even in a garden setting. High tea offers a selection of elegant sandwiches, scones and a variety of cakes.
Today, it is offered in many hotels and restaurants in Sri Lanka and are served as both platters and buffets. In February 2021, we decided to visit The Shangri la Hotel. We recommend making a reservation for the hotel to prepare for your specific vegan or vegetarian needs.
The hotel offers two types of tea services and we opted to have the Afternoon High Tea. Served at the Sapphyr Lounge the ambience is charming and is further enhanced by the classical music played live by three young talented musicians.
The platters contained two sandwiches, four savouries, four sweets and scones and were beautifully presented in four tier gilded stands. In general we were quite impressed by the spread, presentation and of course taste. Needless to say, it was quite filling and most of us skipped our dinner.
In terms of presentation, our favourite would be the sandwiches that were presented with an eye for every minute detail. Thinly sliced veggies were placed in colour coordinated uniformity on the layered sandwich and were topped with a charming display of edible flower petals and grains. It was almost too pretty to eat. But we did and it did not disappoint us at all.
The grilled vegetable crostini was topped with a cheese disc and was crispy and filled with flavour. This was universally enjoyed by our group.
The savouries containing a mushroom pastry, vegetable cutlet, and the mini burger were all delicious and filling. While we were initially disappointed with the mini burger for its simplicity, the cream cheese, tomato and crispy iceberg lettuce combo was the perfect foil for the other savouries on offer and was light, fresh, and crisp.
Now, on to the sweets. All were collectively liked, but what we enjoyed the most were the scones. Light and crumbly, it was served with cream, raspberry jam and lemon curd. The lemon curd was a welcome surprise and as the pictures suggest, we kept dipping in for more.
From the ambience to food and service, Shangri La Hotel definitely delivered. The food was fresh, filling and very tasty and we had a very enjoyable evening. It is an experience we hope to repeat.