An Elegant Afternoon Tea at Grande Roche in Paarl

Grande Roche Afternoon Tea

Ain’t life grande… a tea-time flourish of gracious living.

Log fires burning at each end of the long voorkamer, cosy couches around one fireplace, white-clothed dining tables laid for afternoon tea, and stunning black-on-white tree wallpaper… this old-world Paarl manor house melds a sense of gracious times past with a generous overlay of contemporary elegance. With its vineyard and mountain views, and beautiful thatched Cape Dutch buildings, it’s a delightful and picturesque refuge, even more so when tea-time spoils are on the menu.

Grande Roche Afternoon Tea: Grounds

They call it afternoon tea rather than high tea here at Grande Roche (in the tradition of gracious UK country house hotels). As you arrive a glass of cap classique is poured for you, the bubbles putting you into celebration mode even before the stands of dainty morsels arrive to tempt the appetite.

Savoury and sweet tea-time treats

Grande Roche Afternoon Tea Time Treats

It’s effectively a three-course feast (although everything is served at once so it’s up to you how you approach it). Tuck into the savouries first: pesto bruschetta piled with shaved prosciutto, smoked salmon and sticky rice rolls, a succulent bite-size pork belly skewer with pickled cucumber. Baskets of scones with whipped cream, homemade jam and grated cheese are next, followed by miniature cakes and patisserie. I particularly loved the orange meringue (inspired by their sister orange farm), and the macarons were melt-in-the-mouth exquisite.

Fragrant teas

Grande Roche Afternoon Tea: Fragrant Teas

An enticing menu of whole-leaf and single-estate teas (some blended with flowers and fruits) comes from global brand TWG. You’ll get a hand-sewn unbleached cotton tea bag to add to your teapot of just-boiled water. I tried the French Earl Grey (infused with citrus, cornflower and a little bergamot) followed by the Grand Wedding Tea (blended with sunflowers and exotic fruits), both pleasingly aromatic and refreshing, poured into delicately flowered, gilt-edged teacups. You can order coffee if you prefer.

A restoring escape from everyday reality into the bone china-chinking indulgence of a refreshed old-school tradition.

Good to know Book 48 hours in advance.
Serving times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Cost R445 per person, R345 (under 12s)
Contact 021 863 5100,
Where to find it Grande Roche, 1 Plantasie Street, Paarl
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The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 03 July 2023