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Here’s a question for you: what do you get when you combine a gorgeous outdoor terrace along the Brisbane River, a posh hotel, tea, chocolate, and a buffet setup? Well kids, the answer is…..the delightful chocolate high tea at the Stamford Plaza Hotel. Now the purists make take issue with the term “high tea”, however, I am not sophisticated enough to care too much. Whether it’s called high tea or afternoon tea, as long as there is delicious tea, dainty sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, and beautiful desserts, I am as happy as a kid in a candy store.

The above description is exactly what you are presented with at The Brasserie on the River restaurant within the lovely Stamford Plaza Hotel. The main difference between this tea and the many I have enjoyed in the past: a buffet style setup. While I have certainly never heard of this idea in a typical afternoon tea experience, I am not one to quibble about the opportunity to eat as much as I please! Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I can eat with the best of ’em!

The sight of a fully loaded buffet of cakes and cupcakes as you enter the dining room is a spectacular one.

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Once you get past this amazing sight, it’s easy to be captivated by the absolutely stunning view of the Brisbane River that you get from the terrace. There’s a saying about this lovely state of Queensland: beautiful one day, perfect the next. Pretty accurate I’d say, especially for less than a week off officially being winter.

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While the lovely friends I was with decided to go straight for the goodies, I managed to exercises some discipline and proceeded to break the whole experience down into courses. The first course: delicate little tea sandwiches. The traditional versions of tea sandwiches were no less delicious, if unimaginative, here than others I’d experienced, which is impressive considering it’s clearly not the star of the experience. My second course: teeny croissants, a spinach and ricotta filo triangle and buttermilk scones with jam and cream. Sadly no clotted cream was spotted but I have come to expect that unless I am in the United Kingdom, I will not get that king of creams. The scones were light and fluffy and, combined with a bit of cream and strawberry jam, certainly made you believe you were at a lovely afternoon tea experience.

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My third course consisted of fresh fruit dipped in a dark chocolate fondue. Again, not a traditional afternoon tea addition but welcomed nonetheless. The fourth and final course was the one I was looking forward to the most. The amazing array of cakes, slices and goodies was simply stunning. For me, a renowned chocaholic, to choose only 3 of the 6 chocolate cakes on offer was a big deal but I felt with that much choice, one must be discriminating.

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Overall, it was a lovely afternoon out with the girls and one I will be looking to do again. What’s that you say? There’s an open reservation next weekend? Done, I am there! I never say no to any opportunity to have an afternoon tea, no matter how unconventional. Yes we may not have been expecting a buffet but you know what? I didn’t mind and to be able to stuff ourselves with delicious goodies without the judgement of a waiter being asked to refill a platter was wonderful. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend if it you are a die hard purist but, if you have an open mind, why not give it a try?!

Finally, the lovely and gorgeous company I had did the most to make the experience a good one. Thanks girls!

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