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Cape Town afternoon teas: from Victorian sponges to views

By April 17, 2019October 3rd, 2023FinGlobal

Cape Town afternoon teas: from Victorian sponges to views

April 17, 2019

Taking tea in Cape Town combines two great opportunities – the chance to enjoy some delectable treats and explore the wonderful venues and views that Cape Town has to offer. If relaxing in some of Cape Town’s most beautiful venues while sampling tea and a vast array of cakes and pastries is up your street, then you have to give these afternoon tea ideas a try.


Afternoon tea destinations in Cape Town


Afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson


One of the most famous venues for afternoon tea is the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel. Here you can enjoy a lavish tea that lasts all afternoon in the most exquisite surroundings. You can choose to sit in the enchanting lounge or on the terrace and enjoy the lush vegetation that surrounds the hotel as piano music accompanies your teatime treat.


Afternoon tea is served from 1-3pm or from 3.30-5.30 pm and you can enjoy over 40 different tea varieties with South Africa’s first expertly-trained tea sommelier on hand to guide you through the experience. Our top tip is to arrive hungry – because you’ll be presented with a table laden with tea time treats including South Africa’s famous ‘milk tert’, lemon meringue, fresh scones with clotted cream, dark chocolate cake and sandwiches filled with salmon and rare roast beef – and a lot more!


Address: 76 Orange Street, Gardens


The Vineyard Hotel Newlands


Another great teatime experience in Cape Town is The Lady Anne’s Afternoon Tea at The iconic Vineyard Hotel in Newlands, The Lady Anne’s Afternoon Tea consists of a three-tiered stand filled with cucumber, smoked salmon and peppered beef sandwiches and a wide array of cheesecakes, wraps, scones and more. To complement your tea is the wonderful views of Table Mountain’s Devil’s Peak and the lush, tropical gardens of the Vineyard Hotel where grand old tortoises roam free.


Address: Colinton Road, Newlands


High Tea (Wynberg/Plumstead)


High Tea by name and High Tea by creation! Here you can put your own High Tea together, choosing from an assortment of mini cakes including carrot, lemons, apple and mocha. If you feel like something savoury there are a variety of quiches and other meals you can enjoy as you sit in the beautiful tranquil gardens, while sipping on a pot of exotic tea.


Address: 53 Constantia Road Main Road


12 Apostles: The Leopard Bar


If panoramic views of the sea appeal to you, then come and enjoy ‘tea by the sea’ in The Leopard Bar at the 12 Apostles Hotel. This delicious afternoon tea includes everything you could desire from cream scones to chocolate brownies to finger sandwiches and a wide selection of the best teas and coffees.


Address: Victoria Street, Camps Bay


Enjoy your own: afternoon tea recipe

If you are planning on enjoying a high tea at home, here is a classic Victorian Sponge recipe that is sure to delight your guests:


  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g softened butter
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of milk (30ml)

For the filling:

  • 170g of good quality strawberry jam
  • 140g of sifted icing sugar
  • 5ml of vanilla extract (optional)
  • 100g of butter
  • Icing sugar to decorate


  1. Heat the oven to 190C fan
  2. Line 2 x 20cm baking tins with non-stick baking paper
  3. Beat 200g caster sugar, 200g softened butter, 4 beaten eggs, 200g self-raising flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 2 tbsp milk together until you have a smooth, soft batter.
  4. Divide the mixture between the tins
  5. Bake for about 20 mins until golden and the cake springs back when pressed.
  6. Cool both sponges on a cooling rack
  7. For the filling, beat the 100g softened butter until smooth and creamy, then gradually beat in 140g sifted icing sugar and a drop of vanilla extract (if you’re using it).
  8. Spread the buttercream over the top of one of the sponges. Top it with 170g strawberry jam and sandwich the second sponge on top.
  9. Dust with icing sugar
And enjoy!



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