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