Frankly, I’ve never understood the saying “You just want to have your cake and eat it too.” Well, obviously. Why would you have cake and NOT eat it? Unless you were some kind of masochist or maybe it was that weird buttery-creamy cake that comes from cheap supermarket bakeries. Blegh. Obviously I have a little bit of a sweet tooth (I can hear people coughing and spluttering at the understatement of the millenium) so the more cake the better I say. And so it would seem that the High Tea at the Oyster Box Hotel was made with me in mind. Thanks guys!
The Oyster Box Hotel clings to Umhlanga’s coastline and would scream colonial opulence, if screaming wasn’t way too brash for a hotel as gorgeous as this one. Murmurs perhaps. Even the hotel cat is sleekly confident as he lounges on someone’s Ferrari. The staff are friendly and the service is excellent. When we arrived for High Tea, we found a personalised card welcoming our group and wishing us a wonderful visit. It’s the little touches like that which make a special treat feel even more special. And the Oyster Box has the little touches down pat. Tea and coffee are served with sugar cubes instead of the boring old granulated stuff, waitresses appear out of nowhere to gently lay your napkin in your lap and whisk away any crockery that has been used, and piano music tinkles softly in the background.
But obviously the most important thing of all is the dizzying array of treats on offer. There’s a bite-sized something for everyone, from cucumber sandwiches, chicken wraps and samoosas, to eclairs, cupcakes and meringues. The spread is endless and new delights kept getting added as we sat there, leisurely sipping our tea. We had determined that we would try one of everything but even I, high priestess of the Chocolatarian movement and seasoned dessert eater, could not come close to managing this. I tried, obviously, but even after 2.5 hours of nibbling, I hadn’t tasted everything on offer and sadly there was no way I could squeeze in even one bite of the delicious-looking chocolate cake or a mouthful of mousse. A travesty really. But one that necessitates a repeat visit so all is not lost.
The combination of luxurious surroundings and decadent treats really created a memorable afternoon, and one that was thoroughly enjoyed by all of us. High Tea is served at the Oyster Box Hotel every day from 14:30 to 17:00 and is R135 per person. This includes tea, coffee, fruit juice and all the delightful morsels you can handle. Highly recommended and definitely now on my list of favourite things to do in Durban.