High Tea at Chateau Tongariro

A beautiful setting can be the icing on the cake of a good high tea, we found this to be true at Chateau Tongariro.  It’s been a while between high teas, visiting wineries for a platter and a glass of wine had stolen my affection. However it’s winter Down Under and driving from Palmerston North to Rotorua provided the chance to break our journey in the Tongariro National Park.

Bayview Chateau Tongariro

Bayview Chateau Tongariro

Chateau Tongariro is a grand old lady, she’s just celebrated her 85th birthday and original picture windows provide a view of Mount Ngaruhoe (Mt Doom to Lord of the Rings fans). It was Mt Doom and gloom on Monday, clouds obscured the view so we turned our attention to the plush interior, and the two tiered stand of high tea treats.

A pianist may be playing beneath the chandelier

A pianist may be playing beneath the chandelier

High tea* is $22.50pp with espresso or a pot of tea, add sparkling wine or champagne from $40pp. We chose the tea option, out of the eight or so high teas I’ve had it’s up there with the best, note that each person gets a two tiered stand, so it’s also really good value.

High tea for one at Chateau Tongariro

High tea for one at Chateau Tongariro

If I had to be pernickity, the bread on some of the sandwiches could have been fresher, but the creme brulee had that satisfying crunchy crust, and the cheesecake was delish. I took the brownie and truffle home, so essentially the high tea served as lunch and dessert.

Sit beneath a painting of the white terraces

Sit beneath a painting of the white terraces

Pretty cups and saucers, sugar bowls and milk jugs are part of the table setting. You can sit on a couch by one of the two open fires or in front of the big picture windows at dining tables in the Ruapehu Lounge. If you’re part of a group you might like the more private Ngaruhoe Room.

Sit at a dining table if you prefer

Sit at a dining table if you prefer

I remarked that it would be a perfect setting if it started to snow, and what do you know, seconds later it did. There were only a few snow flurries though and they disappeared on contact with the window pane. Hopes of being snowed in melted away, but chances are we’ll return, if it’s snowing it’ll be an extra layer of icing on the cake.

A beautiful setting for high tea

A beautiful setting for high tea

*High tea is served every day between 11am and 5pm, note that Devonshire tea is an option if your budget doesn’t stretch to high tea. Visit Chateau Tongariro Hotel for more information. (More high tea options around NZ via our website).

6 thoughts on “High Tea at Chateau Tongariro

  1. A few years ago we took the family to Mt Ruapehu for a ski. I wasn’t too well so the boys went for ski without me while I retreated to the Chateau. I quietly take up a seat in their lovely lounge area with a book and ordered coffee and scones. That was the first treat! When the boys arrived from their afternoon on the snow I treated them to High Tea to give them a new experience. To these teenagers surprise this was a welcomed treat! While we got coffee and tea they had hot chocolate with their savoury and sweet ‘High Tea’. Even for down to earth kiwi boys ‘High Tea’ amongst the grandeur of ‘The Chateau’ is luxury!

    • Hi
      The Chateau is a lovely place for high tea. I like the way you mention high tea as being a new experience for your teenage boys, I don’t think I would have put the two together but it was obviously a good match, and no doubt memorable for them as well.

  2. Cheers Amy. A few years ago I never thought to go into a hotel bar or restaurant if I wasn’t a paying guest, but we’ve found some really nice places by being a bit more nosey (as my Dad would say) or curious as I prefer 🙂

    • Sorry, I initially thought this was spam. Cheers for your comments – ‘Tales of a Creative Tourist’ sounds intriguing so I’ve signed up to your blog.

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