Photographer Jordan-Lee Garbutt brings moments to life. His exceptional talent ...
Cape Town’s tea spots
Coffee? Tea? Tea!
Coffee? Tea? Tea!
"If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you." William Gladstone was equally as passionate about these infusions as the Chinese, who would rather go three days without food than a day without tea. Whether it’s tea for two or two for tea, Cape Town has the right tea spot for you.
High Tea/Afternoon Tea in Cape Town
The Mount Nelson Hotel
Whether it’s a business meeting, a birthday party, or just a bit of self-indulgence, tea at The Mount Nelson is a sweet affair. Daily morning tea is from 9.30am – 12pm, and afternoon tea is from 1:30pm – 5.30pm with live music. Dress code is smart-casual.
Drinks: A varied array of leaf and flowering teas from Nigiro Tea Merchants including the signature Mount Nelson Tea; a blend of six teas with rose petals taken from the Mount Nelson’s very own garden. Other teas include Darjeeling, Kenya, Assam, Keemun, Yunnan and Ceylon.
Snacks: Delicate finger sandwiches filled with rare roast beef and rocket, smoked salmon, egg mayonnaise or cucumber, delectable dark chocolate cake, heavenly lemon meringue, freshly baked scones served with clotted cream and preserves, South African milk tart and much more.
Belond Mount Nelson Hotel | 76 Orange Street | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 483 1000
Afternoon tea is daily from 2.30pm – 5:30pm
Drinks: Selection of 35 teas, representing eight different tea families: Oolong, green, black, white, infused and fruit teas.
Snacks: A decadent buffet featuring chocolate delice, baked vanilla bean cheesecake, caramel and gold leaf éclairs, tea loaf, macaroons, tea sandwiches and fine buttermilk scones. There is also an array of Lindt chocolate fondues into which you can dunk your strawberries.
V&A Waterfront | Dock Road | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 431 5800
Grande Roche Hotel
Daily high tea is from 3pm – 5:30 pm.
Drinks: Teas sourced from various suppliers and filter coffee.
Snacks: Sweet and savoury stands including chocolate dipped fruit, home made mini scones, chocolate brownie, apple crumble, fruit tartlets, profiteroles, cucumber sandwiches, ham and cheese sandwiches, Parma ham, olives, sun dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese.
Plantation Street | Paarl | +27 (0)21 863 5100
Daily high tea is from 3pm – 5:30pm
Drinks: A wide variety of Twinings and Dilmah teas: Ceylon, Rooibos, Earl Grey, Green Tea, Natural, Jasmine, Lemon, Oolong, pure chamomile flowers, pure Peppermint, English breakfast, organic tea, Lady Grey, Ginger spice, Blackcurrant, Peach, Lemon, Vanilla, Raspberry, Four red fruits etc..
Snacks: A tray with a selection of finger sandwiches, vegetarian quiche, mini chocolate tart, lemon cupcake, mini fruit tartlet, poppy seed cake, coconut ice, Turkish delight, baked passion fruit cheesecake, scone with homemade strawberry jam, cream and cheese.
54 Colinton Road | Newlands | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 657 4500
Daily chocolate afternoon tea isfrom 3pm – 6pm.
Drinks: A selection of 20 different loose leaf teas (including rooibos loose leaf tea) from Nigiro Tea Merchants; hot beverages such as chili-hot chocolate.
Snacks: Chocolate éclairs, choc-chip scones, chocolate cake and other delectable chocolate delights.
Wale Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 819 2000
Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa
Sit down to a traditional Swiss Farm-style tea at the picturesque Le Franschoek Hotel and Spa while the melodic background music of Alida is played on a Baby Grand in the background. Guests will also receive a glass of complimentary sparkling wine on arrival.
Daily traditional high tea is from 10am - 5pm.
Drinks: Dilmah teas with a variety of flavours to choose from, including vanilla, almond, Moroccan mint, and all the standards teas; Cap Classique.
Snacks: Scones with cream and preserve, cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, salmon and cream cheese sandwiches, sweet pastries, baked cheesecake with berry compote and carrot cake with cream cheese and roasted hazelnut topping.
Minor Road 16 | Franschhoek | +27 (0)21 876 8900
12 Apostles Hotel
Traditional high tea will be served daily from 2pm - 6pm.
Drinks: Dilmah Tea: Earl Grey, Rooibos, English Breakfast, Ceylon tea, strawberry, peppermint and caramel flavoured tea, coffees, rich hot chocolate.
Snacks: Scones, clotted cream, lemon meringue tartlets, cupcakes, mini koeksisters, finger sandwiches, Almond strawberry cupcakes, selection of biscuits, chocolate brownie, cream scones with strawberry jam, éclairs, glazed fruit tartlets, macaroons, chocolate extravaganza.
Victoria Road | Camps Bay | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 437 9000
NH Lord Charles
Daily afternoon tea will be served from 2pm – 5pm (booking essential).
Drinks: 10 different Dilmah teas and filter coffee.
Snacks: Daily changing small buffet offering savoury and sweet bite-sized options such as finger sandwiches, scones and different types of cakes.
Corner Main Road (M9) & Broadway Boulevard (R44) | Somerset West | +27 (0)21 855 1040
Table Bay Hotel V&A
High tea at the Table Bay Hotel is an opulent affair, and takes place daily from 2.30pm - 5.30pm.
Drinks: A selection of fresh house teas, specialised coffees and homemade ice tea.
Snacks: Blueberry muffins, raisin scones, homemade jams, lemon curd and Chantilly clotted cream, chocolate-peanut butter cake, red velvet cup cakes etc. Plus, something a little savoury: roasted parsnip, mushroom and cheese quiche or smoked salmon and asparagus quiche.
Quay 6 | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 406 5918
Tea cafés in Cape Town and surrounds
The Royal Hotel in Riebeek Kasteel
Journey out to South African olive country for a spot of tea and tradition at one of Riebeek Kasteel’s colonial treasures. High tea at the Royal Hotel, a charming country outpost just an hour from Cape Town’s city centre, takes place every Saturday at 3:30pm. The regal affair demands that guests arrive dressed appropriately in smart casual wear.
Drinks: An aromatic selection of loose leaf teas.
Snacks: A smorgasbord of sweet and savoury delights. Guests can look forward to a buffet-style offering of delicate finger sandwiches, delectable quiches, heavenly tarts and decadent pastries. The carrot cake, with its light-as-air cream cheese, is a house specialty.
To make a reservation, phone +27 (0) 22 448 1378.
33 Main Street | Riebeek Kasteel | +27 (0)22 - 448 1378
Nigiro Tea Merchants
‘Anytime is Tea Time’ at Origin Coffee Roasting & Nigiro Tea. Tea appreciation is still in its early stages in South Africa, but Nigiro Tea Merchants is fast becoming synonymous with tea culture in Cape Town. Sit down in the calming space of the tea garden, and discover what all the fuss is about.
Mondays to Fridays: 8:30am – 5pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am – 2pm.
Drinks: 180+ teas sourced from various parts of the world: China, Japan, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Malawi, Egypt, Turkey, Czech Republic and Greece. Green, White, Show Tea, Oolong, Black, Red, Fruit Infusion, Herbal Infusion and Rooibos.
Snacks: Dim Sum - vegetable and soya mince filled bun; Zong zi – two bamboo leaves filled with sticky rice, shiitake mushrooms, peanuts and soya mince. Breakfast and lunch options are also available.
28 Hudson Street | De Waterkant | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 421 1000
This tea café is open from Monday to Friday 7.30am – 5pm, Saturdays from 9am - 2pm
Drinks: Over 70 teas from Nigiro Tea Merchants (engage with the tea maker by the tea counter).
Snacks: Tea- and coffee-inspired foods from the East and West are paired with different teas and coffees.
Shop 2 | Heritage House | 20 Dreyer Street | Claremont | +27 (0)21 671 2850
Rhodes Memorial Restaurant and Tea Garden
Open seven days a week from 9am - 5pm; high teas on request.
Drinks: Black tea,Earl Grey, Herbal, organic rooibos, light buchu tea and Lavazza coffee.
Snacks: Cakes (they have had the same baker for 25 years using tried and tested recipes): apple crumble, milk tart, brandy pudding, scones, muffins and lemon meringue.
Rhodes Memorial Restaurant | Table Mountain Nature Reserve | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 687 0000
Tibetan Tea House (Sophea Gallery)
Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am - 5pm.
Drinks: The two most popular teas are the home made spiced Chai tea and the Tibetan salty butter tea. They serve these in traditional Tibetan wooden teacups, as Tibetan folklore states that “drinking tea from a wooden cup makes you handsome, popular and wise!” Also on offer: an excellent range of imported organic black, white and green teas, fruit infusions and flavoured rooibos teas that are sourced from truly organic suppliers who uphold fair-trade principles. Fresh herb teas and infusions from herbs, such as rose geranium, lemon geranium and lemon grass, are also on offer and are sourced from an on-site organic garden.
Snacks: The emphasis is on 'kind food'; that is, delicious vegan and vegetarian food based on Tibetan recipes. Despite the fact that Tibetans don’t really eat cakes, the sweet toothed among us are well-catered for with an all vegan egg-free sweets menu. Scones, chocolate cake, apple crumble with vegan cream or ice-cream, lemon cupcakes which include gluten free-, egg free- and wheat free versions.
2 Harrington Road | Seaforth | Simon’s Town | +27 (0)21 786 1544
Look out for the baby-blue caravan with quirky bohemian decorations, because this travelling tea-gypsy knows a thing or two about her favourite cuppa. Lady Bonin travels to different markets (e.g. youmeandeveryoneweknow market, Boulders Market), festivals and events, and offers an alternative to the usual coffee take-aways.
Drinks: Loose-leaf teas as take-away hot teas or ice-teas, fresh daily blends; 23 different loose-leaf teas: blended black, Black, Green, White, Oolong, Flavoured Black Teas, Fruit Infusions, Herbal in glass jars sourced from their countries of origin and locally: China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, South America, Russia, UK, South Africa; blends to requests on site.
Snacks: Cupcakes, delicacies and other savoury treats that complement each tea.
Observatory | Cape Town | +27 (0)83 628 2504
Kirstenbosch Tea Room
Daily afternoon tea served from 8.30am – 5pm.
Drinks: Dilmah teas with a variety of flavours to choose from, including Ceylon, Earl Grey, peppermint, camomile, Green tea and ginger.
Snacks: Cucumber and cream cheese or egg sandwiches; either on white or whole-wheat bread, mini spinach-and-feta quiches, home-made scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream and one cake.
Gate 2 | Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens | Rhodes Drive | Newlands | +27 (0)21 797 4883
Another beautiful tea-spot on sunny days is Tea under trees in Paarl. It has a beautiful garden, and offers several teas. Contact Debbie Redelinghuys (+27 (0)82 825 5666) for more information.