My best friend (GJ) and I were hankering for high tea. The Hyatt is known to be good, but was booked for the day we wanted to go (today). I’ve had a very nice Parisian Rose Tea at Leaf, in Mt Lawley, but we’d been there before and we wanted somewhere new! There don’t seem to be a heap of other high tea places in Perth, but in the end a google search brought us to Salt on the Beach, which has been serving high tea since May .
Salt on the Beach is in a lovely location on Port Beach in North Freo – though probably more-so in summer than on a fairly blustery winter’s (technically spring) day. I was very glad to be seated inside the main dining room rather than on the veranda, even though we saw less of the view that way.
Arriving at 2.30 pm was a interesting time to be in the restaurant. There were a few tables still lingering over lunch, but not much business for high tea (probably not a good sign, right?). In the end, the total high tea clientele consisted of a large (birthday?) function in a separate room, plus a table of five and our table of two. The advertising kind of implied we’d each receive our own three tiered tray filled with goodies, but we ended up with a tray to share with:
(bottom and largest tier)
chicken and avocado sandwich (4 triangles)
ham cheese, tomato and pickle sandwich (4 little squares)
tuna sandwich (4 triangles)
2 slices of a smoked salmon quiche/tart
salad leaves and a slice of cucumber (for decoration?)
custard filled profiteroles (2x)
Scones with jam and cream (2x – excellent strawberry jam)
blueberry/raspberry friand (cut in 2)
mini brownie (2x)
mini custard tart (2x)
(NB: My bad totally for forgetting – or perhaps more accurately not thinking about – the fact tha GJ is vegetarian! Fortunately she eats fish so some of the bottom level was ok for, but there was nothing strictly vego there)
The tea selection wasn’t huge – off the top of my head there was green, black, english breakfast, earl grey, chai, chamomile and peppermint. I went for the earl grey because it’s my favourite, but to be honest I am really not sure that’s what I got. It tasted just like normal tea, and pretty average normal tea at that. GJ wanted a coffee, but unfortunately this couldn’t be included in the price of the high tea ($24) and so she had to order it as an extra. We had a lovely afternoon chatting over our tea, but I’m not sure how much the experience was augmented by Salt on the Beach’s high tea. Our search for Perth’s best high tea is far from over!
Details: Salt on the Beach, 44 Port Beach Rd (Corner Tydeman) North Fremantle WA 6159, 9430 6866
Service: Service was fine and the staff were friendly, but it doesn’t take long to take an order for a couple of pots of tea and bring out a tiered tray of treats. We actually stayed at Salt on the Beach for about 3 hours – far longer than our afternoon tea actually lasted and not one waiter asked how we were going during that whole time!
Food: The food we got was very nice, but I think high tea should feel lavish, excessive even, and we really didn’t come out feeling like we’d treated ourselves particularly. The clincher for me was the fact that only one pot of tea was included (and the milk was pretty skimpy too), and when GJ wanted a coffee instead of tea she had to pay for that on top! Tea is not so expensive that you couldn’t consider serving up multiple pots – or at least topping up the pot with extra hot water.
The discount: Salt on the Beach actually is in the Entertainment Book, but we couldn’t use the gold card to get a discount on high tea (which was $24 pp). And $50 still feels a lot for some sandwiches and little cakes. I won’t be coming back for high tea here, and I don’t feel particularly inclined to come back to try a dinner or lunch. The nanobrewery looks kind of interesting, but I’ll probably be looking for some online reviews before venturing out there.
 Incidentally, the other places I’ve found (or know of) were C Restaurant (which I discounted based on my previous dining experience), and Palais 85 in South Perth, which is still a bit of an unknown quantity. Any other suggestions are most welcome!!!