Monique Chambers had High hopes for high tea

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I really don’t like to be mean, indeed, I am an optimist of the highest degree, but was disappointed at the Valentine’s High Tea at Palazzo Xara yesterday. We never normally go out on Valentine’s day, preferring to stay home (seeing as we are out most evenings), and cook our favourites and generally be soppy. This year, I saw a high tea party organised by Pastizzi Gourmet and thought it would be good to go and support the initiative. I have a soft spot for the crafty crowd – they have enthusiasm and talent and make the most beautiful things – the Artisan Fayre and Patches just scheduled too far apart for me to wait to be able to sample their goods.

Pastizzi Gourmet has a place in my freezer, but, because she doesn’t label any of the packs, you never know what is in the mini pies until they are cooked. Last week I had a sausage, banana and date and curry pie for breakfast. All lovely individually and at the right time of day,  but the melange was like starting my day with a bad cup of coffee. I ranted about this at the office and the ‘mystery’ of the ingredients was a bit of a laughing matter, to which I had never paid much attention. But with this week’s horsemeat scandal, you’d think telling people what was in your food was a good thing. I actually have no issue with horsemeat, I buy it regularly from Lidl, knowingly. But what if I am serving these mini pies to someone with an intolerance? And they truly are low fat – shouldn’t you be making gazillions from the dieting masses by manufacturing?

The tea party was very well attended by the arty crowd, and to my surprise, they were actually drinking tea! I thought there would be champagne on offer at least – the bar was open so I did have a couple of glasses of red to go with his ginseng infusion. A plate of baked goodies was waiting at the table and with exception of the mini red velvet cupcake, the rest were pretty much left untouched. There wasn’t enough dip for the crackers – pretty as they were, you couldn’t eat them on their own and the scones were a bit dry. The sandwiches were snaffled, and the dip was dunked. Again, no list of what was on the plate – although a menu was on facebook – it would have been nice to have it there for reference at least for my partner who is a fussy eater, and I have to be honest, I was expecting prettier settings. The event was only 15 euro – but perhaps I shouldn’t have believed all the hype? My boss tells me I must lower my expectations. I was also looking forward to buying a new hat and maybe some other pretties – I had expected lots of goodies to be on display – but there was just one table which I didn’t want to disturb, so I guess I will have to wait a bit longer!

Eventually the ‘pastizzi’ came around, a light and fluffy peppered pumpkin, the centre like a mousse (in terms of texture not the mammal), a broad bean one which I really liked, and considering how much I don’t like the ‘raw’ingredient much was impressed, and a pea and corned beef variety.

We left at around 10pm and on the way to the car, popped into Crystal Palace, we thought it would be rude not to.


Monique Chambers

Monique started indulge in 2011 and has since created Indulge Me GIFT and Indulge Me FOOD and volume 1 of The Artists Directory - Malta. A marketing professional by trade, Monique's passion is to promote local talent and Malta in general. Free time is her biggest indulgence, when she can tinker in her craft room or the kitchen, or be selfish with a book, the sofa and good glass of wine (of course, wearing something beautiful and with freshly coiffed hair!)

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