Myer Mural Hall High Tea

Posted on January 8, 2012

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If there is something I love more than just eating, it would be an eating event or occasion. Especially if there’s a little bit of glamour thrown in the mix. No doubt the Myer Mural Hall High Tea (Level 6, 314-336 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC) meets that criteria. Perched on the highest level of the Bourke Street building, tucked just behind the madness of department store shopping is the charmingly restored Mural Hall. Even the foyer is delightful to be in!

Once a month, on the last Sunday, Myer hosts a high tea event at the Mural Hall. $70 buys you a single ticket to the event (bookings via http://www.muralhall.net.au/cms-tickets/index.phps) where food fills your tummy, music fills your ears and beautifully painted murals treat your eyes. Is there a more pleasurable way to spend an afternoon after a shopping spree?

The floor is arranged much like a reception/function setting with tables of 8-10. So if you’re booking for less than 8 people, expect to be seated with some friendly strangers who, at least in my experience, are more than happy for a chat over some tea. This must have be the old fashioned way to meet new people and make friends.

Upon entry you’re greeted with a glass of bubbly and ushered to your table. The crisp white table cloth, the prettiest of crockery and a lazy susan full of mini treats is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. Tea, coffee or hot chocolate (upon request) is served, and your setting is already preloaded with a couple of chicken and mayo finger sandwiches. Beyond that, it’s pretty much one apiece self service from the lazy susan. I’m not too sure what happens if you happen to be seated with greedy patrons who eat more than their share, but I presume you could just request more food from one of the hosts or roaming waitstaff. Luckily for us, we were seated with a rather lovely group of elderly folk!

On the menu was fairly typical afternoon tea fare being savory pastries, finger sandwiches, scones, sweet pastries and of course macarons. Taste wise, things ranged from being decent to very tasty. Being in miniature form, it didn’t look like too much food, I was even a bit worried that I would walk out hungry, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Certainly by the end of our meal, we were the picture of overindulgence: slumped on our chairs clutching at our food babies and looking quite dishevelled compared to our finer appearance on entry!

$70 afternoon tea, without a dessert buffet a la the Windsor Hotel experience is a little steep, but you are paying for the overall ambiance as well. The service was attentive and there was ‘entertainment’ as well. There was an MC welcome, an education spiel about the history and cultural significance of the Mural Hall and live music from a string quartet to complete the convivial atmosphere. It really does feel like you’re whisked away into a social event from a bygone era, like the Regency period Jane Austen wrote about. Or perhaps I just happen to have a vivid imagination and a strange lust for the past. In any the case, the Mural Hall High tea was lovely afternoon out and it comes recommended from me.

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