On a blustery, wet Wellington day I channelled my most lady-like self for a lunch time escapade to Martha’s Pantry with some lovely ladies I work with. As soon as we walked in, all the pretty things made me forget the horrid weather and suddenly I was 5 again, setting up for a tea party. Martha’s Pantry is a wonderful assortment of delicate tea sets, knitted tea cosies, and even embroidered tablecloths… some of it is so kitschy but I have a feeling that’s the look they were going for.
I’ve had a few high teas in my time- from the 7 course extravaganza at the Burj Al Arab Dubai, to flashy Wellington favourite, Hippopotamus, and even a surprisingly good freebie from my hotel in Hong Kong. Martha’s Pantry was definitely not the best but it was by far the most cosy and comfortable.
The cucumber and mint sandwiches were a hit, and you can’t go wrong with ham ones either, however my favourite from the bottom tier was the salmon cream crostini- I was more than happy to swap my cucumber sammie for another one of those! The middle tier provided the obligatory scones with cream and jam (a little on the small side) and a rather forgettable, bland frittata.
As always, my sweet tooth was hanging out for the goodness on the top tier… vanilla cupcakes, lemon meringue pie, passionfruit macaron, rich chocolate truffles- all mini of course. Without a doubt, the pie was the best with its oozy curd and soft meringue which had just a touch of crunch at the top.
All washed down with tea, tea, and more tea… ‘Paris’, a black tea with vanilla, and two green teas, ‘Manuka Mint’ and ‘Green Darjeeling’. I’ve never understood mint tea; warm mouth wash comes to mind so I stayed well away from that one. The other green was punchy but perhaps a little overpowering for such delicate morsels. Which brings me to ‘Paris’- I liked it almost as much as its namesake.
It was a laugh filled lunch and we all left Martha’s rather relaxed, which again, I think is exactly what they were going for… If you’ve never been to a high tea… here’s a pretty good place to start- get those pinkies out and sip, not slurp!