Exclusive tea blends, tempting tiers of treats, and Instagram-worthy cocktails are all on the menu during this luxurious high tea experience at Naumi Wellington, New Zealand.
As I raise my cocktail, I look into a swirling bubble dome and laugh as it bursts into a puff of smoke as it touches my lips. It’s not the usual start to a high tea but at Naumi Wellington, your cake tiers, Champagne and tea can be joined by some of the city’s best cocktails, and my Invisible Rose — combining rose-infused vodka, rose bitters, and passionfruit, pineapple and lime juice topped with a passionfruit-smoked bubble — makes for a delicious and fun start to my afternoon.
Created by award-winning Executive Chef Kiran Ghate, the Naumi high teas are served in the colour burst of The Parlour and the sumptuous Lola Rouge Bar, found between the Singapore hospitality group’s two Wellington properties Naumi Studio, which opened in 2020, and the new Naumi Wellington, which opened its doors in early 2023.
In the Parlour, I take a seat near a huge floral sculpture by Angus Muir Design and peruse the menu. It’s easy to choose a flute of Veuve Clicquot to follow my cocktail but as a tea lover, I’m finding it harder to settle on a tea or two.
Naumi Wellington has 27 high-grade teas that have been exclusively blended for them and can’t be found anywhere else in New Zealand. The menu is broken into tea types including Whimsical Whites, Glorious Greens, Bold Blacks and Holistic Herbals.
Test tubes arrive at my table with the names of each of the blends so my sense of smell can help guide me. High tea guests can have as many teas as they like, so there’s no need to try just one but between the cocktails and the bubbles, I decide two pots of tea will be an elegant sufficiency and opt for a lychee, vanilla and rose white tea and a choc chilli chai with chilli flakes and Daintree cacao.
Then the three high tea Ss arrive: Scones, Savouries and Sweets. I start with the Parmesan, chilli and date, and orange scones with whipped herb butter and citrus marmalade before turning my attention to the three tiers beside them. Every bite is one I’m keen to repeat, with standouts including the Lumina lamb loin bruschetta, the kalamansi orange blossom meringue tart, and the coconut mousse, pineapple and mint jelly entremets.
The colourful teapots and cups are right at home in a hotel where the design brief included ‘no white’ and I enjoy a feast for both my eyes and my tastebuds at this Wellington afternoon treat.