Afternoon tea at Sofi’s at The Sofitel

With Mothers Day this Sunday lots of people will be booking in for afternoon tea with their Mum.  I’ve just got what I think may be the last table at the Langham for some scones, jam and cream action for my Mum which I think might be looking forward to even more than she is.  Researching the different afternoon tea venues prompted me to post about the afternoon tea I had recently at Sofi’s at the Sofitel with my friend Joyce from Mel: Hot or Not.

The whole afternoon tea tiered stand
The setting for the afternoon tea at Sofi’s, just off the lobby of the hotel, is certainly opulent which is no surprise given the Sofitel is one of Melbourne’s swankiest hotels.  There are high ceilings, plush sofas and even a grand piano offering the possibility of a musical accompaniment to the scones action.

Stale sandwiches 
Unfortunately the afternoon tea that followed did not live up to the swish surroundings.  It was served from a three tiered cake stand with one tier laden with finger sandwiches, the second with scones and finally a layer of cakes.  So far, so good.  However the first bite of a sandwich signaled the problems with Sofi’s afternoon tea.  The fillings were uninspired combinations of wafer thin ham, flaccid smoked salmon, cucumber and tired egg mayonnaise.  Worse still the bread was stale and the sandwiches had obviously been pre-prepared a few hours earlier.

Tough scones
Scones are the cornerstone of any afternoon tea but even the scones at The Sofitel were hard and disappointing.  Even if we had wanted it there was no offer of more scones in the style of Claridge’s unlimited scones at afternoon tea.

Sparkling wine with afternoon tea
The cake tier had some nice enough chocolate offerings but nothing exciting or contemporary.  The retro nature of the offerings was summed up by the ridiculous profiterole shaped like a swan.  
The most serious failing of all was the tea itself.  In comparison to The Lanesborough in London which has an extensive tea list and its own tea sommelier, at The Sofitel there was only a choice of English breakfast, Earl Grey and Peppermint.    
The profiterole swan
Despite the luxury surroundings, afternoon tea at The Sofitel is tired and desperately in need of a revamp.   This iconic Melbourne hotel deserves better and I have my fingers crossed that afternoon tea at the Langham proves to be far superior.  
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Essentials
Details: Sofi’s at The Sofitel, 25 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000 (Ph 03 9653 7744) Afternoon tea served 2.30-5pm.
Damage: Pricey. $45 for afternoon tea with food, tea and a glass of sparkling wine.
3/10

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Posted by: on May 6th, 2012     6 Comments »

Category: Afternoon Tea, City
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6 Comments on “Afternoon tea at Sofi’s at The Sofitel”

  1. Kelly Buhler said at 8:47 am on May 7th, 2012:

    it’s not afternoon tea if there are only 3 choices of tea! A fair few of the pricey ones in London now offer unlimited sandwich, scones and cake.

  2. Diana M said at 9:11 am on May 7th, 2012:

    Maybe they could have spent some of the time that went on constructing the swan into making some better sandwiches! What a disappointment!

  3. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said at 10:57 pm on May 7th, 2012:

    You could never in a million years tell that the food did not live up to its standards by the pics! Looks amazing! What a shame!

  4. Sarah said at 2:20 am on May 8th, 2012:

    Shame the arvo tea here wasn’t up to scratch!

    I had the afternoon tea at the Langham a few years ago, and if it’s still as good as it was then, I’m sure you’re in for a treat! My favourite scones ever! (I guess if the Burch & Purchese treats are still there you’re in for a double treat!) :)

  5. MoMo and Coco Dessert Correspondents said at 12:42 pm on May 8th, 2012:

    This is so terrible! When we visited the Sofitel last year for a weekend afternoon tea dessert buffet, it was pretty ok. Yes, tea was very limited, but the scones were warm and soft, rather than hard and crumbly and there was an extensive range of little cakes/pastries. We reviewed it here, http://momoandcoco.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/sofis-lounge-the-sofitel-king-tutankhamun-high-tea/

    I hope the standards haven’t fallen!

    Good thing you can manage to go to the Langham Burch & Purchese series. It’s a pity they only host that during the weekdays otherwise we would have gone too. :)

  6. cara waters said at 7:26 am on May 9th, 2012:

    Kelly – I agree and I love the unlimited scones

    Diana M – I know – hilarious!

    Andi – Yes the looks were deceiving in this case

    Sarah – Oh good to hear that you enjoyed afternoon tea at The Langham – fingers crossed

    Momo and Coco – Yes a shame as it does seem the standards have fallen since your visit


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