Bendigo – Grace Kelly High Tea

Happy Sunday everyone :) Since working I definitely appreciate my weekends more and the time where I can just switch off and do nothing ~ Getting on with today’s post…do you have a celebrity that you admire or adore? I have to admit…there are many inspiring women that I admire to name a few Bethenny Frankel, Nigella Lawson, Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly.

That’s why when I found out there was a Grace Kelly Exhibition in Bendigo, I was super excited , especially since my Anonymous Sister absolutely LOVES Grace Kelly! She’s always told me how pretty and amazingly elegant she was. Too bad Anonymous Sister lives in HK so we couldn’t go together, and none of my other friends seemed interested…so I ended up dragging the one and only Mr Bao :) LOL Even I feel sorry for this poor guy sometimes being dragged around everywhere hehe

Even though I would’ve gone to Bendigo just for the exhibition, when I found out that there was a Grace Kelly High Tea package for $60 per person  which includes tickets to the exhibition and high tea at Hotel Shamrock, I was immediately sold :) I called up the next day, made a booking and within a week Mr Bao and I were in a car off to Bendigo for the day.

We weren’t allowed to take photos inside the exhibition, so I can’t show you anything that I saw inside, but it was quite interesting see all the photos of Grace Kelly, from when she was baby all the way to her fifties :) It’s really quite amazing how she turned from acting as a Princess in her movies into the Princess of Monaco in real life! She really is so beautiful and her fashion-sense is just divine… now lol I want a Kelly bag too :P

Anyhow, we left the exhibition at around 1:15pm and we were heading to the Hotel Shamrock…but Lianne from Food Made With Love suggested on Twitter that I’d had to go visit The Good Loaf Sourdough Cafe and try their french toast. So we rushed over and had some food before going to our high tea ~ I will write up that post soon but lets just say the french toast was deathly sweet and delicious :P in the mean time check out Lianne’s post on this cafe :)

We got to the Hotel Shamrock at around 2:30pm (oops we were late), I was quite surprised to learn that the late Princess Diana had visited Hotel Shamrock in the early 80s with Prince Charles and there was a photo of them in the hotel lobby. We were immediately led to our table on the balcony, overlooking one of the main street.

Complimentary Bubblies ~

The high tea included a glass of complimentary champagne and unlimited tea and coffee. So happy since I haven’t had a proper drink for a while now hehe but poor Mr Bao he had to drive, so he only had half ~

High Tea Set ~

Shortly afterwards the waiter brought over our 3-tier high tea set :) Very traditional looking high tea, with scones, sandwiches and sweets ~ but this time the scones were up the top and sandwiches at the bottom.

Plain scones ~

We started with the scones at the top, but then realised they hadn’t given us our jam or cream…to me that’s not really acceptable because you NEED to have them with scones! So we had to act and wait a good 5 minutes for them to bring the jam and cream to us.

Jam and Whipped Cream

I was immediately disappointed when I saw the ‘whipped’ cream, it was obvious it wasn’t ‘clotted’ cream and honestly it looked like whipped cream from one of those cans where you just squirt and whipped cream comes out… while the jam was once again store-bought and so sweet that even for me it was a bit too much :(

But the worse would have to be the actual ‘scones’, they were SO dry… no matter how much cream or jam you put on them…it would dry your whole mouth out…they tasted more like overcooked biscuits more than scones. To me scones are one of the key elements of high tea and its always horrible when the scones aren’t good sighhh disappointment number 1.

Finger Sandwiches

We then moved on to the sandwiches, thank gosh they were alright! Nothing too special they had an egg sandwich, salmon sandwich, ham and cheese and chicken and avocado sandwich.

Mr Bao really liked the chicken and avocado sandwich ~ saying it was really well-seasoned…lol I was still sulking over the bad scones so I only tried one of the sandwiches hehe and Mr Bao was hungry so I gave him the rest to finish off :P

Sweets ~

Now to the sweets ~ there were four types two of each.

Left – Mini Lemon Tart
Right – Profiteroles filled with whipped cream

I started off with the mini lemon tart ~ as soon as I saw them…I had a gut feeling that I’ve seen them before…I think if I’m not wrong, I’ve seen them at Woolworths or Coles before in the ‘pre-made’ section. Anyway, I kept an open mind when trying them but it was just as bad as I thought they would be. The pastry case was stale and the worse was the filling…it had no lemon tart taste, it was more like an eggy custard – disappointment number 2. The profiterole filled with whipped cream was just as bad, the choux pastry was so chewy, and the icing just stuck to my teeth sighhh not happy – disappointment number 3.

Left – Chocolate Brownie
Right – Mini Lamington

The chocolate brownie (left) wasn’t too bad, but I think it was a little overcooked as it was slightly dry – Disappointment number 4. The last sweet was the mini lamington on the (right). By now I was 100% convinced that all sweets were store bought…the lamington wasn’t all that bad…just wasn’t great either – Disappointment number 5.

Not worth it for $45 per person…

Overall, I was disappointed 5 times throughout the whole high tea. None of the food was outstanding and the worse would have to be the scones and sweets. I think it’s quite unreasonable to charge $45 per head just for the high tea and not spending the time and effort to make the sweets and simply providing customers with supermarket-bought sweets is just not right.

The Grace Kelly Exhibition is ending soon on the 17th of June, so if you’re interested in having a look I highly recommend you booking a session :) But definitely SKIP the high tea and go somewhere else for brunch or lunch!

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21 thoughts on “Bendigo – Grace Kelly High Tea

  1. Julie June 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm Reply

    :/ :/ oh the horror… unacceptable.. I would be so angry! I remember a certain restaurant serve us a chocolate cake and knowing my cakes it’s was god damn coles mud cake !! makes me angry thinking about it anyways :(sorry about the experience! I hope the one we go to with lianne makes up for it !!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm Reply

      I know I was SO angry! I barely ate the sweets and left so much on my plate…I felt bad but come on it’s just not right…you don’t charge people $45 and serve supermarket stuff! I’m sure our high tea experience is going to be SO much better WOOHOO can’t wait to finally meet you girlies!

  2. hotlyspiced June 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm Reply

    How disappointing. I thought the scone looked dreadful before I even read what you had to say about it. They should be baking their own goods not buying from supermarkets – that’s a disgrace, especially at those prices. And was the champagne flat? I can’t see any bubbles. And that really is shoddy seeing it was paired with a Grace Kelly exhibition – a woman with such style and elegance who I’m sure never ate cream from an aerosol can or sip flat champagne – it just doesn’t suit her image. Now, wears my Kelly bag???

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm Reply

      I’m so glad you thought the food looked horrible just by looking at it too! Because Mr Bao thought I was being a little snob and picky with the food…but no I wasn’t…it really was HORRIBLE :( And like how you feel…I expected more from the High Tea because it was sold as a package with the Grace Kelly exhibition sighhh I’m NEVER going back hehe :P

  3. hotlyspiced June 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm Reply

    Can you do me a favour and change ‘wears’ to ‘where’s’? How embarrassing! xx

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm Reply

      LOL it’s okay Charlie I make typos all the time ;) xoxo hope you have a great weekend~

  4. Michelle June 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm Reply

    It’s really expensive compare to the stuff you can have in hong kong!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 3, 2012 at 5:10 pm Reply

      Yeah a TOTAL rip off :( sighhh i’m still getting annoyed over it hehe ~

  5. Choc Chip Uru June 3, 2012 at 2:11 pm Reply

    That high tea sounds like VERY bad news! Im so sorry you had a disappointing calorie intake!
    The worst!
    But the grace Kelly exhibition sounds awesome!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm Reply

      Hi Uru :) The high tea really was HORRIBLE to say the least sigh thank gosh I didn’t eat much of it so lol but still a waste of calories :( but the Grace Kelly exhibition was good hehe ~

  6. Qiao Qian Tan June 3, 2012 at 3:31 pm Reply

    “Even I feel sorry for this poor guy sometimes being dragged around everywhere hehe”—–>AS IF….lol…

    Everything look so dry in the photo…

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm Reply

      Hahhaa I DON’T REALLY feel bad but lol anyhow :P everything was just as bad as it looks LOL

  7. That is disappointing. I went to a high tea in western Sydney and it was pretty much the same. We thought that all the sweets were store bought and the sandwiches were salad sandwiches you would find in a school lunch.
    I hope they read your post about the experience and fix it up. To charge $45 is a joke. You could buy all this store bought food for less than that, or make it yourself.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 4, 2012 at 8:48 am Reply

      Hi Kim :) I really hope they read this review and change what their doing too, because I really felt like it was a scam and how they could ask us to spend $45 for all supermarket bought sweets…that’s just bloody ridiculous. I’m sorry that you went through the same thing in western Sydney too :( SIGHHHHH these places really need to get their act together … or they’re not gonna be around for very long.

  8. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella June 3, 2012 at 8:28 pm Reply

    Oh what a shame! I bet you were in the mood for something really gorgeous and lovely after the exhibit too!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 4, 2012 at 8:52 am Reply

      Yes exactly Lorraine…I was in the mood for sweets and high tea and all but it turned out so horrible :(

  9. Jeno June 4, 2012 at 4:00 am Reply

    Sorry to hear the high tea was such a disappointment Daisy! To tell you the truth I probably would not have known any better after drinking the bubblies, and they were probably hoping for that that’s why the campaign was complimentary, haha!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 4, 2012 at 8:55 am Reply

      Hi Jeno :) Yes i know the high tea was just a total failure to be honest, but I’m glad we got bubblies and the exhibition was good but still I cannot get over the fact that they served supermarket bought food and charged us that amount >_<

  10. bakingaddict June 5, 2012 at 9:36 am Reply

    The Grace Kelly exhibition sounds great but sadly the high tea sounds like it was not worth it at all! I think it’s shocking that esteemed establishments use ready-made – they really should make everything from scratch in their kitchens! Lovely honest review as always – thanks :)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 5, 2012 at 1:43 pm Reply

      Hi Ros :) I totally agree with you that they should definitely make everything from scratch! I know some places that even make their own puff pastry, jam and everything! Now that’s what I call dedication! Gosh i’m still so annoyed but I’m glad you didn’t find my review too harsh hehe :D Enjoy your long weekend!

  11. Nami | Just One Cookbook June 6, 2012 at 7:15 am Reply

    I have been actually surprised about the not-so-good quality of high tea in HK. I always assumed that because of British influence (at least) high tea would be decent everywhere. When I go visit HK, I must do research (or come back here to make sure checking your review) first. I definitely don’t want to over pay or waste money on horrible high tea in HK! Great honest review Daisey!

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