High Tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel

April 22, 2013 2:53 pm


Cape Town’s Mount Nelson Hotel is a local icon, symptoms so I couldn’t think of a more fitting venue to ring in the end of my very first week as an official Cape Town resident. Grand white pillars welcome you into a sprawling complex with rose-colored buildings dating back to colonial times, sales and as you make your way up the winding driveway shaded by palm trees, ailment you’ll feel like you’re rolling back into another era yourself. So if you’re not actually staying at the Pink Lady, as it’s affectionately known, the best way to experience the old-world charm it exudes is by having afternoon tea on the terrace, which spills on to gardens surrounding a fountain.


And what a bounteous spread awaits. A long table was heaving with roast beef, smoked-salmon, egg salad, stewed-lamb, and cucumber sandwiches, mini curried-chicken sliders, and spinach quiches (all the meat is halal, by the way), and the desserts were were even more abundant: lemon-strawberry cakes, milk tarts (melktert, in Afrikaans), dark chocolate-hazelnut cake, scones with jam and clotted cream, macarons, chocolate-raspberry pastries, cookies… Would it be unladylike to ‘fess up to having gone back for thirds? And of course, there’s the tea — I’ve never been a tea aficionado, but even I was pleasantly surprised by the deep fruity tones of the forest-berry variety. OK, I’ll come out and say it: it reminded me of a fancier Kool-Aid. And I love Kool-Aid. Such an AmeriKhan I am.

Speaking of Americans… I was meeting up with some visitors from the Old Country. Mahreen and Salma were in town visiting Nida, and they were relieved to have a break from a jam-packed week of abseiling down Table Mountain, shark-cage diving, and tracking the Big Five on safari. The perfect respite for a weary visitor — or for a newly minted lady of leisure like myself!


Me, Faatima, Nida, Mahreen, and Salma — so propah we are.

Mount Nelson Hotel
76 Orange Street
Cape Town
Daily 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.
R225 per person

P.S. Look who I ran into presiding over the entrance to the hotel: Gandhiji himself!


1 Comment

  • Don’t hate me for this, but I was just there a few weeks ago, and our waitress told us all the meat was halal, but as I was at the buffet table, the chef came out and my friend who’s a big foodie was chatting to him and he said the meat was definitely NOT halal. I know. I’m sorry I’ve killed it for you, I too was annoyed that she asked. I told her she should have waited until AFTER I’d tried the roast beef sandwiches cause they looked soooooo good.