Saturday, 21 March 2015

High tea at The Hydro Majestic - the Blue Mountains Life

Looking out into the Megalong Valley
Hello everyone! Sorry for the long absence. I am finally back home, having finished my first placement in the Blue Mountains! I have to say that I was somewhat apprehensive at first at having to move to a regional area, but in fact I really enjoyed living in the Mountains.  Everyone was very friendly, the lifestyle was relaxed, and of course there was always a stunningly picturesque view right around the corner. The Blue Mountains Hospital itself is a lovely hospital, and even though it was a quieter than one of the bigger hospitals, I was glad to have had the time to develop my basic nutrition assessment and education skills.

Watching the sunrise from our balcony in Leura
As usual though, Mr Duckie and I had an emergency drama to deal with which certainly kept life more than interesting! The first week back Mr Duckie and I drove back to Sydney for a wedding. Mr Duckie was best man so he went to the groom's house the night before to help with some last minute preparations. Our beloved car, Jeeves, who was Mr Duckie's first car, and who we have had for over eight years, had given us some trouble over the past year but he had managed the drive up and down to the Mountains without any trouble (about a 90km drive each way!). However, that night things took a very scary turn for the worse. On his way home, the front right wheel of Jeeves fell off! Luckily Mr Duckie was on a straight stretch and the road was very quiet. We were lucky that no one was hurt. Sadly though, I think it is now time to let go of Jeeves. He's been fixed and is sitting in the driveway of my parents-in-law's house, but I'm not sure if he will go again. We managed to quickly buy a new car that is basically a newer version of Jeeves, but we still miss him very much.

Here's a picture of our beloved Jeeves. As you can see, he's been through rather a lot in the past 8 years. He somehow lost his hubcaps (unfortunately they got stolen whilst we were out one night), he's had a few dings, and in the end the side mirror and boot door were no longer working. You can also see the front of the new car just behind him - in fact, he is a newer version of Jeeves! Once Mr Duckie finds what he likes, he sticks with it ;)

So you would think that I've gotten all the drama out of the way for a while! Not so - funnily enough, right at the start of my second placement we had another emergency! But that may be a story for another post ;)

During my stay in the Mountains, I managed to check out the local food scene (as every good dietitian does!). The one place that I really wanted to visit was the iconic and legendary Hydro Majestic Hotel, which is very famously perched on the edge of the cliff face overlooking the Megalong Valley. Much to his credit, Mr Duckie had secretly booked us in for a high tea on Valentines Day!

The view from The Wintergarden
The Hydro Majestic Afternoon High Tea is served in The Wintergarden. The hotel recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation and re-opened last year. It has a very glamorous Art Deco inspired atmosphere. And the view truly lived up to its reputation - it was the unique point making all the difference to the afternoon tea experience! Combined with the relaxing songs being played on the grand piano, and the slightly grey and cloudy sky, I felt like I could have been in the English countryside!

I again had my breath taken away when the high tea came out. The food was served in a traditional three-tiered stand and was very generous in its proportions. I imagined that it was like the three meals of the day in one!

We started off with the sandwiches and savouries (middle tier). There were chicken and walnut sandwiches, cucumber and herb butter sandwiches, and roast beef and tomato chutney sandwiches. The other savouries were a blini with smoked salmon, and a tart filled with goats cheese, olive, and cherry tomato.

Next we went onto scones. These came out very warm and soft! And in a very generous touch we got two scones each - one plain and one fruit. They were served with thick clotted cream and a nice, runny strawberry jam. My recommendation though, as tasty as the scones are, is to only have a maximum of one scone each as they are so filling!

Last of all was the sweets layer. Unfortunately by this time we were so full we couldn't make much headway into the sweets! This layer contained honey and mango pannacottas, strawberry macarons, mini almond friands, and passionfruit and raspberry tarts (my favourite!). We tried our best to eat them but eventually we ended up taking the rest home in a takeaway box.

Afterwards we decided we should try to walk off some of our fullness and we enjoyed the  beautiful views out into the Megalong Valley. Ultimately though what we needed was a good old fashioned afternoon nap!

Next time you are looking to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, I definitely recommend a visit to the Blue Mountains and to indulge yourself at The Hydro Majestic!

Hydro Majestic Afternoon High Tea
Wintergarden Restaurant
The Hydro Majestic Hotel
Great Western Highway, Medlow Bath
NSW 2780

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