High Tea with a View
Fancy High Tea with a fabulous view to match? Tricia Welsh discovers a mountain-top treasure not previously open to the public – unless you were getting married.
Perched high on the southern side of aptly named Mountain View Road, near Mary Cairncross Park in Maleny, Weddings at Tiffany’s enjoys one of the most spectacular views on the Sunshine Coast hinterland overlooking 500 acres of prime verdant farmland and rainforest to south-east Queensland’s iconic Glasshouse Mountains.
On a clear day, visibility stretches south to the sand dunes of Moreton Island and the Brisbane skyline; on a grey day, the rocky monoliths are moodily shrouded in a gentle mist.
Until recently, the venue has only been available for weddings and special events. However, when the venue had to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic – resulting in no weddings for 127 days, co-owner and director Kelly Tilse came up with the idea to open the spacious reception area and gardens for High Tea. While creating another arm of the family-run business that would not impact on weddings once they were able to operate normally again, it would keep her permanent staff of 30 employed as well as fill the venue with fun and laughter.
“It was quite an eerie feeling of silence, just not having the love, the laughter and the happiness that is always here, week in and week out for nearly ten years now,” Kelly said. “People come to Tiffany’s to celebrate. It’s all about the celebration and being together and that wasn’t here anymore. It made me sad.”
Not one to rest on her laurels, Kelly’s savvy idea saw the team work around the clock to get everything up and running in a matter of weeks, including ordering 24ct gold embellished Cristina Re Designs tea ware and beautiful tableware from Victoria.
“Paying some invoices from Victoria made us feel good too,” adds Kelly.
With two UK-born chefs in the kitchen, getting the right offerings for this most English of traditions was crucial. For executive chef Lee Montague, it was all about memories: “What we had as a kid – to bring back those flavours.”
Sourced from locally-grown and 100 per cent accredited free-range produce, the menus include Coronation chicken; smoked salmon with dill and cream cheese; free-range egg and mustard cress; and what high tea is complete without cucumber ribbon sandwiches?! Sweet sensations include house-made scones with clotted Maleny Dairy cream; lemon meringue tartlets; macarons; eclairs; and a delightful passionfruit cheesecake.
Tiffany’s High Tea is creative yet traditional with diet-specific menus for vegetarians, vegans, gluten and dairy-free, as well as the very popular classic Tiffany’s High Tea served with Champagne, sparkling wine or an espresso martini; a Tiffany’s High Beer menu including two boutique beers; while Tiffany’s High Cheese makes the most of Maleny’s celebrated cheeses and is served with a selection of ports. The children’s menu is served with endless hot chocolate, milkshakes or raspberry lemonade. For those seeking a smaller indulgence, there is also Tiffany’s Devonshire Tea.
All High Teas include bottomless pots of Tielka organic handcrafted loose-leaf tea.
With around 15,000 guests through the venue each year, plus 120 guests each weekend for High Tea, Tiffany’s has become so busy they are about to employ a local apprentice chef and are now hiring in four different departments to assist with the increase in workload. Well done to the Tiffany’s team for creating something beautiful out of challenging times, helping local businesses and increasing employment at the same time.
The two-hour High Teas are served on Saturdays and Sundays between 10am and 2pm.
For bookings, phone 5494 2448 or go to www.functionsattiffanys.com.au
Tiffany’s is closed from December 21 till January 5 for annual holidays.