High Tea at the Mount Nelson, Cape Town

A very english tradition in very South African surroundings, the grand Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town offers one of the finest afternoon tea experiences around.

A trip to Cape Town will no doubt conjure images of adventure travel, outdoor pursuits and wild water action but there are also a myriad of things to do in which to relax and indulge the senses. Known as one of Cape Town’s most luxurious hotel and spas, the Mount Nelson Hotel is famous amongst both locals and visitors for its spectacular afternoon tea session.

High Tea at Mount Nelson Hotel 1

I had heard countless recommendations from friends about this decadent delight but it wasn’t until I had taken in the surroundings for myself that I could really appreciate the level of luxury and service on offer. Situated at the foot of Cape Town’s imposing Table Mountain, the hotel encapsulates it’s majestic setting proudly. The colonial architecture and delicate pink facade perfectly compliments the lovingly kept lawns and gardens filled with colourful South African flora, inviting you in to the elegant yet very comfortable interior.

High Tea at Mount Nelson Hotel 2

Depending on your preference, high tea can be enjoyed in either the observatory, the gardens or my personal preference, the sitting room. Here, high-backed chairs and sumptuous sofas cluster around tables and fireplaces, while the resident pianist provides a soothing background tune. A long central table is home to an impressive spread of sweet and savoury treats, from perfect little finger sandwiches filled with meats and the traditional egg or cucumber to dark chocolate cake, lemon meringue and of course scones with lashings of cream and jam.

High Tea at Mount Nelson Hotel 3

The delicious South African milk tart, or melktert in Afrikaans, adds a local flavour and is definitely worth a try and during the winter visitors can enjoy a special selection of hot pies and tarts to warm you through. To wash these down is a 30-strong list of the finest international teas. I chose the signature Mount Nelson Tea – a unique six-leaf fusion of Darjeeling, Kenya, Assam, Keemun, Yunnan, Ceylon and rose petals hand-plucked from the gardens that feels as exotic as it is classic.

High Tea at Mount Nelson Hotel 4

For those who like their afternoon tea with a touch of sparkle, you can add some French Champagne to the occasion.

Dominique Thew

After dabbling in some post-study fashion design and arts jobs, Dominique fell into a career in writing and hasn’t looked back since. Having spent some time in Cape Town she is now based in the English countryside where she combines her love of words with her passion for luxury travel.

Latest posts by Dominique Thew (see all)