Saturday, 16 August 2014

Let them eat cake

Let them eat cake! How's that for a title? My second Wellington on a Plate event today promised all the ingredients of a fine outing for ladies who lunch. (Ooh, that's us!) The setting was Colonial Cottage Museum, the site of Wellington's oldest original cottage.

We began with a standing high tea provided by Martha's Pantry. Take a look at the menu so see what we indulged in.

High tea menu
As always, food made by Martha's meets the "you only have one opportunity to impress so use it well" high tea rule. Each bite sized portion on the three tiers offered a different, tantalising flavour. The lemon curd on the tiny scones was some of the best I have tasted. Their lovely hostess circulated among the tables, serving tea and coffee and making conversation with the guests.

Martha's Pantry high tea
To be honest, I'm not sure how well the standing high tea concept works. Sure, the food is the same and you still work through the tiers from bottom to top but it didn't seem to be the same high tea experience that you'd get when seated around a beautifully set table.

After high tea, we had a tour of Colonial Cottage and gardens. We learned about the Wallis family who built and lived in the cottage upon their arrival in Wellington during the 1830s. Some parts of the cottage have been restored and others seemed to be in the process of refurbishment. Pieces of furniture had been reupholstered and others added to replicate similar period items.

Not so easy to cook or bake on this stove
There's a good reason why I don't iron.
There's no way I would have even considered it in the 1830s!
No modern comforts in this outhouse
At $75, this was a pricey event for just 1.5 hours. It didn't seem very well planned and I wondered about how prepared the venue was to host several groups of guests on one day, given the appearance of the facilities and grounds. I didn't come away with the WOW feeling that I usually get at Wellington on a Plate events. There was very little cake (and no reference to cake at all), other than a teeny tiny cupcake on the top tier of high tea. While the food was impeccable, as always, I'd give this particular event a miss in future and go directly to Martha's Pantry for high tea instead. It certainly would have been better value.

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