Last month Hartford House opened its new Tijnhuis Tea House, offering lighter meals to its hotel guests and to Midlands Meander walk-in guests, as well as High Tea, and a selection of sweet treats, with teas and coffees.
Yesterday afternoon I was invited by Hartford House GM Duncan Bruce and Chef Constantijn Hahndiek to try their High Tea at the Tijnhuis. The thatched roof building is accessed over a number of stepping stones over a water feature, and has tables and chairs set up inside and outside. Massive metal braziers are lit for special events, becoming a cosy and entertaining outside meeting place for weddings and other events.
Inside the tables offer placemats in silver and gold, and green material napkins. Blue crockery matches the blue of the pots in which yellow pansies have been planted, the pots guiding the way to the Tijnhuis, which is managed by Zinthle Majola. Zee makes the pasta, and bakes the treats offered at Tijnhuis.
A counter made from a solid piece of wood displays the wares of the Tijnhuis, a broad selection including home-made pasta; freshly-baked breads (they bake bread three times a day I was told, and use Champagne Valley Stone Mill flour); Valrhona chocolate truffles; Valrhona chocolate chip biscuits, which are served with a cup of coffee or tea; macarons; lemon meringue cake; coffee nut cake (jam-packed with pecan, macadamia, and hazel nuts); cheesecake; Terbedore coffee; beautifully packaged TWG teas; home-made carrot marmalade; home-made dragon fruit chutney; and feta, tomato, spinach, and onion quiches.
The High Tea is presented on two platters: one with sandwiches, with two choices out of four: salmon, amasi curd, and pickled cucumber; pulled pork with kimchi; Croque Monsieur; and a Vegetarian, with chimichurri, roast vegetables, roast feta, and baba ganoush! The second platter contains the sweet treats, with macarons, crème brûlée, Valrhona chocolate truffles, and a choice of two of the three cakes (cheesecake, lemon meringue, and coffee nut cake). Including a cup of tea or coffee, the High Tea costs R140, with a requirement of two or more persons ordering it.
One can also order off the Tijnhuis menu: a platter with artisanal cheeses, home-made preserves, and breads costs R125 for two sharing; a charcuterie platter of meats, spreads, pickles, and toast for two costs R135; quiches are R75; Croque Monsieur costs R95; smoked salmon trout is charged at R95; soup of the day is R75, and more.
They have apple, crabapple, plum, cherry, and pear trees on the estate, and plan to brew cider from the fruit. One can just imagine to what creative use Chef Tijn will put their ciders in future!
Tijnhuis Tea House, Hartford House, Summerhill Stud, Mooiriver. Tel (033) 263-2713 www.hartford.co.za Twitter: @HartfordHouse Instagram: @HartfordHouseHotel Wednesday to Sunday 11h00 – 16h00.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whalecottage.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@WhaleCottage Facebook: click here Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein