Some Tuesdays are a bit gloomy – they are usually my biggest work day of the week – but not so yesterday.
I threw off my pinny, donned my heels and headed into town. Destination: High Tea at the Cordis.
In case it has passed you by, the Langham Hotel, Symonds Street Auckland, has morphed into the CORDIS Hotel. The fully refurbished 411-room hotel opened for business in November last year and one of its signature offerings is a rather fabulous High Tea served in the Lobby Lounge.
I’m no stranger to this space, having enjoyed high teas with my daughter and friends here, and delicious tastings with chefs, exclusive dinners, Champagne soirées and numerous celebrations and fun events over the years. It is looking better than ever. The air of glamour is accentuated by twinkling chandeliers and gleaming marble, and anyone who remembers the hotel when it was the Sheraton will be pleased to see the beautiful marble tiled bathroom is still here – an absolute standout when the hotel was first built more than 30 years ago. The Cordis brings the hotel into the 21st century with great pedigree. It’s solid, dependable, service-based, classy, accessible, and comfortable in its own skin. It’s a treasure in the heart of Auckland
Volker Marecek has ruled the kitchen since 2009, staying on during the hotel’s transformation from Langham to Cordis. Innovative but not too showy beautifully cooked food is his hallmark. Yesterday he had one of the hardest assignments: feeding, pleasing and exciting a group of more than 30 elite foodwriters and food bloggers.
I loved the attention to detail, the innovation of course, the reference to local and indigenous foods, the exquisite titbits, the contrasting flavours, the visual titillation … the fennel crackers with crab, dill and citrus mayo, the ‘smoky’ salmon and granny smith gel, the tonka bean ice cream (oh my goodness yes!), and I could have eaten nothing more than a trio of pâte à choux of rice pudding, mango and passion fruit and been more than satisfied. The beverages were also up there with the best. It wasn’t just the theatre of the smoked tea that intrigued, but the flavour of it, served in fine bone china cups: thirst quenching, with just a hint of smoke that left you trying to define exactly what the flavours were. Understated but delicious. Although a tea sommelier service is on offer, and coffee any which way is available for the High Teas, the house Champagne, Louis Roederer, is available by the glass and pretty hard to pass on.
The Cordis High Tea is on offer 7 days a week. Read more about it here