Before I left Cape Town to move to KwaZulu Natal last year, I arranged high tea at The Mount Nelson Hotel as a combination farewell for myself and a friends surprise baby shower. It seemed fitting then that when that friend and her now one year old daughter visited me on our farm near Stanger, that we enjoy another high tea; this time at the grand old dame of hotels, High Tea at The Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga…
The OBH (as it’s fondly known in this part of the world) is something quite special.
From the fat cat Skabenga who sits aloofly on the red carpet outside the hotel, to the lemon scented reception area and the striking black and white floor tiles (funnily enough we had the same tiles in our sunken lounge at home but the effect wasn’t quite as striking and as a result they have disappeared under a lick of white road paint!) you realize that the hotel is in a league of its own, and deserves its title of 2011 Best Luxury Hotel Country Winner in the World Luxury Hotel Awards.
We arrived at the Oyster Box Hotel punctually for our 14h30 booking (tea is served from 14h30 to 17h00) and were shown to our beautifully laid table, complete with a hand written card welcoming us to the hotel. We immediately ordered a pot of tea and a cup of coffee before taking it in turns to peruse the smorgasbord of tasty treats (both savoury and sweet).
There was a huge selection; mini samoosas and chilli bites, sandwiches, cheese and biscuits, fish cakes and cheese scones made up some of the savoury eats while the sweet side of things had all sort of delectable delights. I have a serious sweet tooth and was in absolute heaven with the array of gorgeous nibbles!
After sampling most of what was on offer on the savoury side, we soldiered on and started with mini cupcakes and tartlets. The red velvet cupcakes were delicious as were the blueberry sponge stacks and the little tarts with cashew nuts on a bed of caramel. We also tried the ‘shot glass’ trifles; sublime layers of cream, berries and chocolate served in a slightly larger than normal shot glass!
Although we made the most of our booking and stayed until pretty much 17h30, we still didn’t manage to get to the decadent looking chocolate mousse cake or any of the cupcakes – our bellies just couldn’t stretch anymore!
With the piano music in the background and the palatial surroundings, one can quite easily settle down for a good couple of hours; sipping tea, nibbling cakes and chatting the afternoon away, just as we did. We had a fabulous time and the R185 price tag was more than worth it. I can’t wait to go back again!
Contact the Oyster Box Hotel:
- The Oyster Box Hotel is found at 2 Lighthouse Road, Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu Natal
- Where to Stay: Stay at the Oyster Box Hotel or find accommodation in Umhlanga.