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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Lenotre Afternoon Tea, Sofitel Wentworth Sydney

chocolate cone

In what appears to be a continuing tradition, three Scorpio sweet tooths gathered for a (belated) birthday celebration over a decadent afternoon tea.

I was keen to sample the Lenotre afternoon tea at the Sofitel Wentworth, and bowb and Saffron didn't take much convincing.

lenotre afternoon tea
Lenotre high tea

Lenotre is a professional culinary cooking school in Paris, and Sofitel chef Mark Stone has recently received Lenotre certification in cakes, pastries and desserts (the only chef in Australia to do so).

We take our seats in a rather empty lounge room, and before long we are courteously attend to. At first our waiter tries to convince us to share a tiered tea for two between the three of us, explaining that the tiers are quite big and take up much room on our table. We politely pretend to think about this before reassuring him that no, three high teas would be quite alright really.

The stand-for-two does not contain exactly double that which is on the single. Both stands contains two sandwiches, two scones and two chocolate cones which we find rather puzzling ("it's how the stands are made", our waiter shrugs) but between them both we have all desserts covered. We are infinitely pleased.

finger sandwiches
Finger sandwiches
smoked salmon and cream cheese, and
ham, cheese and salad

I'm not a big fan of sandwiches, but a good sandwich... why that is another thing altogether. These are sublime. Soft and fluffy yet substantial white bread wrapped around quality and generous fillings that are enhanced by tasty spreads and seasonings.

Traditionally baked scones

The scones are light and fluffy, the cream is airily whipped as well. We probably could have done with a little more jam (scraping desperately to extricate every last drop) and although I am impressed by the delicacy of the cream at first, I eventually agree with bowb and Saffron that its airiness prevents the creamy sense of decadence that comes with a heavy dollop of double cream.

jam and cream
Homemade jam and cream for scones

Our dizzying array of desserts has us contemplating quite seriously over the correct order in which they should be consumed. By now we are on our second pots of tea--unfortunately they are out of the Mariage Freres Marco Polo tea but the Earl Grey is utterly delicious.

Layers of vanilla Bavarian cream with fruits of the forest jelly and caramelised hazelnuts

We start with the Ambiance, a multi-layer fruity affair that contains a jelly that is a little firmer than we expect, contrasting a little too obviously with the whisper-light cream.

lemon meringue tarts
Tarte au Citron
The classic French lemon tart, sweet pastry filled with almond and lemon cream, topped with lemon meringue

The lemon tarts are next and these are a unanimous hit. The lemon curd is silky smooth and creamy, the pastry base is buttery and crisp.

Macaroons made of soft almond meringue filled with fresh raspberries and lemon curd

Macarons are always things of beauty, but sandwich them with whole raspberries and they reach new heights of food-pornification. The raspberries are luscious although I find the macaroon not as chewy as I prefer.

Layers of chocolate sponge flavoured with marzipan in between layers of dark and milk chocolate mousse topped with ivory Chantilly cream

We progress to the Camaieu, a slice that is probably my favourite of the afternoon. The spoon slips down all four layers with ease and I am surprised I can taste them all as separate entities, the dark chocolate base leaving a distinct lingering cocoa-rich trail.

Chocolate pastry with layers of almond biscuit, decadent chocolate gateaux, ganache with coffee butter cream and topped with gold leaf

The Opera is more chocolate goodness, this time with the flavour of coffee and the luxury of gold leaf. The cake is moist and rich.

chocolate cones
Cone au chocolat
Rich dark chocolate cone filled with luscious berries and served with cream

Finally we reach the finale of the chocolate cones. I take delight in plucking this out with my fingers and nibbling on it as I would an ice cream cone. Beneath the scoop of cream is a muddle of macerated strawberries in syrup, the berries and dark chocolate make a perfect combination.

We have taken our time with our afternoon tea. It deserves to be savoured, although our conversation-filled languishing has taken us beyond the five hour mark. The staff are more than accommodating though and are still offering us tea beyond the 5pm mark.

Overall the service was attentive and our pots of tea were replenished regularly and with a smile. A luxurious afternoon tea for the sophisticated sweet tooth.

afternoon tea

Lenotre Afternoon Tea
Sofitel Wentworth Sydney
61-101 Phillip Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9230 0700

Daily 2.00pm - 5.00pm
Tiered stand of finger sandwiches, scones and desserts
$38 per person
includes Mariage Freres tea and Vittoria Espresso Coffee

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Good Food Month 2006 Sugar Hit at the Sofitel Wentworth Sydney

High tea at the Swissotel Crossroads Bar (Jan09) , (Nov06), (Jun06) and (Oct05)
High tea at the Observatory Hotel, Globe Bar
High tea at the Sofitel Wentworth (Sep08) and (Dec06)
High tea at the Victoria Room, Darlinghurst
16 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 12/17/2006 11:57:00 pm


  • At 12/18/2006 3:10 am, Blogger Robyn said…

    Oh my gawd. I'm all boogly eyed at this, the most awesome looking afternoon tea I've ever seen. And I can actually go to Lenotre or Mariage Freres (I'm going to try to eat at the latter this week), but...I haven't really. :O EGAAD! I love your photos.

  • At 12/18/2006 7:11 am, Blogger Reb said…

    You all deserve some sort of award for this. It's looks wonderful, but I don't think I'd have the digestive stamina to get through the lot! Wow, $40 for afternoon tea - impressive indeed! And as always fantastic pix.

  • At 12/18/2006 9:10 am, Blogger PiCkLeS said…

    Everything looks so pretty and delicate! I keep having problems with my comp today sorry it you have seen this comment a few times.

  • At 12/18/2006 2:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hee chocolate cones! so the cone is hollow like those cornetto icecreams? sounds fantastic dya need to make a booking?

  • At 12/18/2006 7:10 pm, Blogger Vintage Wine said…

    It looks yummy :-)

    Happy birthday!

  • At 12/18/2006 7:24 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Robyn - A little payback for all those macaroon shots you taunt us with :) I love your photos. I am so envious of your pornolicious photos on the run.

    Hi Reb - We were struggling towards the end, and um, most of the desserts had to be divvied up two between three people. Does that make it better? Er, perhaps not :)

    Hi Pickles - It was divine and worth the money in my opinion, given the attention to detail. Who doesn't deserve a little sugar treat now and then :P

    Hi chocolatesuze - Yup the cones were hollow (with a puddle of extra chocolate at the bottom, just like Cornettos too!). We made a booking yes. I always do. Better safe than sorry!

    Hi Vintage Wine - Thank you, and yes it was delicious. If only birthday excuses came around more often :)

  • At 12/18/2006 8:42 pm, Blogger Jen said…

    This has to be my idea of heaven, what a way to torture me while at work Helen!
    This will be a must-do during the holidays, thanks again for another wonderful post.

  • At 12/18/2006 10:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It looks amazing,can you also have it with champagne?

  • At 12/19/2006 12:36 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi jenjen - Heaven is only an afternoon tea away :) Hope you do make it. You will have a ball.

    Hi missk - Champagne is an option, I was told when I booked by phone, but it costs extra. This option wasn't offered to us on the day, which I thought was rather odd, but none of us wanted champagne anyway, so all was well regardless.

  • At 12/19/2006 6:40 am, Blogger Yvo Sin said…

    Wow, I totally am envious. Those chocolate cones in particular are so eye catching. Mmmm. So if/when I come to Australia, you're going to meet up with me for a meal or 10, right? :)

  • At 12/19/2006 10:36 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Yvo - Absolutely. Any excuse to eat! :)

  • At 7/20/2007 11:32 am, Blogger Damana Madden said…

    Hi, did you have to book in advance?

  • At 9/05/2008 3:27 pm, Blogger Dreams through the noise said…

    Sounds delightful! I need no more convincing, I must try it out.
    Helen, have you ever had high tea at The tea room in the QVB? I'm just wondering how the two would compare.

    Thanks for the review :)

  • At 9/14/2008 2:29 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Mana - Oops, I forgot to respond to your comment. We did book in advance. You may be able to just turn up, but I think it's preferable to book - then there's no chance of disappointment!

    Hi dreams through the noise - I haven't yet been to the QVB tea rooms. There are quite a few high tea venues still on the list to go!

  • At 12/02/2010 8:00 pm, Anonymous Macrina said…

    You said that you had the tiered for two. Does that mean you pay twice as much and get twice the amount of food? What were the servings like per person?

  • At 12/06/2010 11:33 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Macrina - Usually high teas arrive on tiered stands for guests to share. Usually each guest will have two sandwiches, a scone and 3-4 little cakes or sweets. I understand that the Lenotre afternoon tea is no longer offered at the Sofitel. I would contact them directly to find out the details of their current afternoon tea offering.


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