In 1662, Catherine Braganza, arrived in England to marry Charles II with a large chest filled with tea, the preferred drink in her native Portugal. She has been credited with making tea drinking a fashionable event. It became a social event in the mid-1800s when Anne, the Duchess of Bedford, asked that light sandwiches be brought to her in the late afternoon, to keep her going until dinner. She began inviting friends to join her, and the ceremony grew more and more elaborate, resulting in what we now know as High Tea.

There’s an etiquette that has to be followed: the correct order is to eat savouries first, scones next and sweets last. A cream tea should consist of scones, clotted cream, marmalade or lemon curd and tea. A Royale Tea is a social tea served with champagne at the beginning or sherry at the end of the tea. There are rules: napkin unfolded on the lap. Scones split horizontally with knife; curd and cream placed on the plate. Use knife to put cream/curd on each bite. Use fingers – neatly. Spoon goes behind the cup; look into the cup when drinking, never over it…

The tradition, High Tea, has been observed by royalty and commoner since the mid-1800s. It comes as no surprise that it has become a tourist attraction at Cape Town’s luxury hotel, The Table Bay. Against the backdrop of Table Mountain, nestling at one end of the working harbour, the setting is superb for High Tea. And all the rules and etiquettes associated with the pomp and splendour of High Teas of old are applied at The Table Bay.

Pastry chef, Bobby Kumar, is renowned in the industry for his delicious sweet delicacies. His citrusy Lemon and Granadilla Meringue tart is legendary; the Green Tea and Vanilla Swiss Roll delicious, his Saffron and Cardamom Crème Brulee sublime. And no tea table would be complete without Chef Kumar’s light as air, buttery scones.

The first course at The Table Bay High Tea is savoury, with samosas, spring rolls and quiche on offer. The second course comes with scones and buns and curd and cream. The third course is a buffet of scrumptious cakes and baked goods and sweets. Of course, there is a selection of TWG teas, white teas, green teas, blue teas, black teas, matured teas… Exotic blends with exotic names: Geisha Blossom, Red Balloon and Jasmine Monkey.

Served between 2.30 and 5.50 every afternoon, tea is taken in the lounge with its spectacular view of Table Mountain. Guests sip on their favourite tea as the sound of clanging boats competes with barking seals in the harbour.  Said Chef Kumar: “I am inspired by the seasons, by the freshest produce available, by what is trending internationally and by the sounds and scents and sights of this wonderful city, Cape Town. “It’s an ever changing menu when it comes to savoury dishes and the cakes and baked goods. But the scones and curd and marmalade stay the same, in keeping with tradition.”


The Table Bay’s high tea is available between 14h30 and 17h30 from Monday to Sunday.

For more information, please visit or call the Table Bay Hotel on 021-406 5000.


High Tea
R 220.00
Three course High Tea inclusive of three TWG teas from the below selection.

Tea Royale
R 280.00

Three course high tea offering inclusive of three TWG teas from the below selection served with a glass of our ‘Captain’s Table’ Methode cap Classique Sparkling Wine.

Sinful Delight
R 110.00
A Selection of our Sweet Treats from the Dessert Buffet, inclusive of one TWG Tea from the Below Selection.
Our service team will provide course by course tea recommendations to you

First Course 
Served at your table
Green pea and potato samosa
Chicken spring roll
Smoked salmon and watercress quiche
House smoked and cured ostrich on bruschetta with pickled dune spinach relish
Chargrilled garlic and lime marinated eggplant in mini roti with curry leaf salsa and chilli mayo
Fresh julienne vegetables and peri-peri chicken with fresh mint wrapped in rice paper with coriander chutney
Fresh franschhoek trout and turmeric mayo on spinach bread

Second Course
Served at your table
Chocolate Chip Rock Buns
Buttermilk Scones
Served with lemon curd, clotted cream and two home-made jams

Third Course

Please help yourself to our lavish buffet at your leisure

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Chocolate Almond Cake
Mini Gateaux Opera
Lemon and Granadilla Meringue Tart
Green Tea and Vanilla Swiss Roll
Chocolate and Nutella Spread Éclairs
Saffron and Cardamom Crème Brulee
Lemon and Poppy Seed Medallions
Salted Caramel Crisp Pearls Chocolate Tart
Assortment of Macaroons
Assortment of Homemade Chocolate Truffles
Cream Fraiche Pound Cake
Savarin Aux Fruits
Chocolate and Orange Mousse Cups
Peach Pineapple and Orange Jelly Cocktail
Rooibos Cream Caramel Panacotta
Cheese Board

Rainbow Baked Cheese Cake
Milk Chocolate, Coffee and Praline Cake
Passion Fruit and Pistachio Cream Cake
Red Velvet Cake with Mascarpone Cheese Icing

Selections of Sweet Candies