I have always wanted to have afternoon tea in some far off land plus this was also a late birthday treat for my husband. When I told him that this what we will be doing on our first day in Buenos Aires he was not to0 keen.
Never the less I had booked an afternoon tea for both of us at Palacio Duhau- Park Hyatt Buenos Aires on Avenida Alvear in Recoleta, Buenos Aires. I have heard many times that Buenos Aires is the Paris of the south and how true this was. Recoleta where we were staying happened one of those chic neighbourhoods you will find dog walkers with around 12 attached to them (all dogs perfectly groomed by the way), chic ladies with small poodles in designer bags and wealth just oozing from the locals. I fell in love with the architecture around me.
So when I reached the front of this hotel, I fell in love again. It was perfect! Owned by the Duhau family until 1976- the palace remained empty till 2002 when it was bought by a local developer and in a joint venture with Hyatt group planned a grand hotel.
It opened its door in 2006 while keeping all the original features of the palace. The hotel was light, airry with high celings and there was also a couple in the Crystal Room perfoming tango!
We were escorted to the Los Salones del Piano Nobile where they serve breakfast, elegant snacks with importance given to the afternoon tea. We were seated in the outside terrace of adjacent the this room.
We chose to have a Piano Nobile Tea service which was basically a selection of scones, sandwiched and pastries from the buffet. All this came with Dulce de leche, whipped cream and jam. Also with a choice of tea (of course) and to finish with a glass of sparkling wine.
The staff recomended to us that one tea option would be enough for the 2 of us, we were skeptical but decided to order 1. She told us that we could share the food but not the tea. So I ordered an English Breakfast blend of Assam, Ceylon and China leaves which was very refreshing and robust. One teapot althought it looked small contained at least 3 cups worth of tea. This is a special tea blean created Ines Berton of Tealosophy. The restaurant uses loose tea leaves which I think makes for a better pot of tea as the leaves are infused with the water and not ‘caged in’ in a tea bag.
The girl also bought out a little stand which contained the whipped cream which was light as air, strawberry jam and dulce de leche (which translated straight from Spanish is sweet milk). This basically created by heating sweetened milk to a stage where it has caramelised.
Top Tier: Butter scone (this was so dense and crumbly with a hint of orange zest. I tried it with a spoonful of whipped cream, dulce de leche and the jam.
There was also a little cookie sandwich with dulce de leche and a walnut brownie.
Middle Tier: 5 different sandwiches: a crostini with min hard boiled eggs, cream cheese and slivers of cucumber. A pumpernickel sandwich with thinly sliced carrot and dressing which I could not recognise. Third was a caprese style sandwich which sundried tomato, mozzarella and basil on white bread. An egg salad with mayo and a grilled vegetables made up of bell peppers, onions and mushroom with pesto on brown bread.
Third Tier was the selection of any 6 pastry or desserts form the buffet, my husband chose: a lemon meringue pie, 2 cookie sandwiches, a chocolate and coffee liqueur mille-feuille, a strawberry tart and a chocolate mousse with white chocolate on top. I made sure we had the lemon meringue last just to cleanse our palate!
After all this they bought out the sparkling wine! Which was chilled and very light, a perfect way to end the afternoon tea and my husband loved it! 🙂