Thoughts of scones, tiny cucumber sandwiches, fine pastries, mini quiches and English Breakfast would come to most people’s minds when thinking of High Tea. Most people would go to the Victoria Room in Darlinghurst or the QVB Tea Rooms and some may even contemplate an extravagant celebration at the Dorchester, London to have a bit of High Tea. But when my sister recently enquired as to whereabouts in Sydney serves High Tea at night, it reminded me that not everyone knows about my type of High Tea.
This is a high tea which still involves pots of EBT served at the door in teapots of all sorts but secret squirrels replace scones and sandwiches and somewhere in a Surry Hills, Sydney location there are 100 or so people on a Thursday night who come together and unite over a shared love of music. Seated on cushions or lounges and cooling off under a paper fan, musicians take an acoustic stage and croon or play songs to their heart’s content. Suddenly the High Tea that is usually associated with high-end hotels hailing from the British Empire takes on a dramatic new light.
It was on a summer’s night in early 2010 when I went to my first High Tea for the year not having heard of this musician before or knowing what his music was like. Walking into the room, there was warm candlelight and people already chatting when I arrived and the ambience had an immediate electricity. When Renny Field moved across to the piano and started singing “Your Eyes”, I felt time stop for the duration of the song. His words brought tears to my eyes as I listened to the beautiful melody. And when I listen to the song now, it takes me right back to that moment at High Tea that I shared with the others in the room that night.
So come and find me at High Tea; I will be there tonight listening to Sam Buckingham. There may be no scones but this is a secret worth discovering for yourself!