When I arrive at High Tea on a balmy autumn afternoon, the light thin and the air warm, I feel as though I have stepped through a portal into a tiny slice of France complete with cherubic statues and symmetrical plantings of lavender and white iceberg roses..
Courtyard 53 is located near the busy intersection of Wynberg and Constantia, but the sound of water from a pretty fountain, masks the sounds of traffic nearby. High Tea is one of a small collection of boutique shops situated within this courtyard. A black sandwich board, advertising the lunch specials of the day, is propped up against a column covered in twisting grape vines. The menu includes items like a small, but wholesome chicken pie or quiche with salads, smoked salmon wraps and a selection of toasted sandwiches.
Kerneels and Irma Brummer started High Tea in 2004. Kerneels studied Archeology and English at University and Irma has a BA in Classical Culture. After graduating, Kerneels pursued his passion for woodwork, building and set design, while Irma followed her passion at the Silwood School of Cookery. She went on to work at La Colombe restaurant and began her wedding cake business at he same time as it was her outlet to express her baking talent and creativity. Originally, High Tea was the showcase for cakes but people coming by wanted something more and all to soon, breakfast, light lunches, coffee and tea were being served. Kerneels and Irma then decided to pool their resources and both work full-time at the restaurant.
Their motto is to "keep it simple and fresh", and the small kitchen is a testament to that. Most of the baking is done off-site and Irma employs the services of two local ladies who work according to her recipes. High Tea is very supportive of local community and business and their retail shelves stock goods that are made within a 5km radius of the shop.
Kerneels and Irma are the faces of High Tea. One or the other is always there and they are always ready for a chat. The staff are loyal and have been there for years, which adds to the good and personal service that makes High Tea special.
You will find High Tea at: Courtyard 53, Constantia Road, Tel: 021 7971421
Open: Monday - Friday 09h00 - 17h00, Saturday: 09h00 - 14h00