The Block Arcade, Melbourne CBD ph : (03) 9650 2777
I love having a wander through The Block Arcade and we've walked past The Hopetoun Tea Rooms countless number of times. Mini Me and Macaron Monster both always ask to have a break here but we've always been discouraged by the long line of people queuing for a table out front. On this slightly cooler summer morning I organised babysitting for Bubs and took the older 2 here for morning tea.
|The line for a table starting to build|
Before going inside to sit down, we checked out all the goodies in the window. There are usually about 2-3 camera wielding
tourists people taking happy snaps of the gorgeous, traditional sweet goodies at any one time and it's often hard to even get near the window on busy weekends!
It was seriously baked-goods-heaven and as you can see, I couldn't stop taking pictures either!
I always imagined that Hopetoun Tea Rooms is the type of place to go when grandmothers caught up with their uni-attending grand-daughters for tea in the city (yes, table on our left), and for ladies to meet up and chat over old fashioned delights (table behind us). And yes, a generous helping of interstate and overseas visitors kept the tables filled.
We didn't bring Bubs as bringing a stroller into this popular, crowded tea room would be seriously pushing the friendship. Fortunately we beat the crowds and got a little table for the 3 of us without a significant wait.
The menu offered savoury breakfast dishes as well as the goodies on display. We all had our eye on the yummy sweet stuff so did not try the breakfast fare and went straight to the treats. (I sound like such a bad Mummy! They did have a normal cereal-breakfast earlier, this is morning tea after all!) We admired the interior of the tea rooms while we waited, it was very Old-English, with draped ceilings, opulent lighting and floral wall papered walls.
The kids shared a big ice chocolate, old fashioned style, in a tall glass with plenty of cream and vanilla ice-cream.
I went for a traditional English Breakfast Tea for this occasion, of course.
The Pavlova was heavenly with fresh and tangy fruit offsetting a fantastically light meringue with a lovely slightly chewy centre.
The Portuguese Tart was a highlight for Mini Me. I have to agree it's pretty good, as the pastry was light and crispy, which I don't always get with my recipe.
The low light was the macarons unfortunately. They looked lovely piled high in the windows, but on the plate they were dry, hard, powdery and crunchy. Macaron Monster has been starved of macarons as we haven't made any recently, but even so could only manage to eat part of the strawberry one. Even at $2.5 each I couldn't bring myself to finish the unappetising cookies, quite possibly the worst I've ever tasted.
Eat.Play.Shop. says - Go for the gorgeous pavlova, take-away a Portuguese tart, and leave those macarons for display only.
Toilets - The arcade has some
Highchairs - No