It’s almost impossible to imagine a more serene and tranquil setting for afternoon tea than the gardens of The Cellars-Hohenort in Constantia. Tucked away in one of the most beautiful parts of Cape Town, this glorious manor house is surrounded by lush green lawns patrolled by cheeky white ducks, sheltered by enormous old trees, and girdled with a profusion of scented white roses. All of which create the sense that you’ve stepped onto the set of a gracious period piece film, and that you really should have brought a lace parasol and bonnet along.
Even better, high tea at The Conservatory is guilt-free. The tasty tidbits are all low-carb and made with xylitol instead of sugar, so you can sip your tea (or bubbly) smugly without worrying about your waistline. The treats come served in full splendour on a tiered tea tray that almost demands you start speaking with a hot potato accent.
The only problem with this (apart from the urge to fake a British accent) is that all the treats are so pretty and delicious that you do rather want more than just one of each. I gobbled my smoked salmon, chive and squid ink ciabatta while jealously eyeing my partner’s roast beef and horseradish finger sandwich. Later, I traded a fresh fruit panacotta for an extra scone with sugar free strawberry jam and whipped cream cheese.
However, both the crispy prawn Vietnamese rice paper rolls mysteriously vanished from the tray without my partner catching sight of them, and he may not have had a chance to notice, let alone taste, either of the dark chocolate and beetroot cupcakes. So, I’m afraid it turns out that my high tea wasn’t entirely guilt-free after all. It turned me into a cupcake crook.
High tea is served daily on the terrace or in the sun lounge between 11am and 5pm.