The view from West Beach in St Kilda is a bit like the one from the shoreline of Botany Bay in Sydney; functional rather than pretty. The Port of Melbourne is touted as the busiest port for containerised and general cargo in Australia, so it’s hardly surprising that ships and containers dominate the view. Built in the 1920s to service the ever-growing bathing community, the Pavilion (apparently called Westie by the locals), still has traces of its former Art Deco beauty. Nowadays it serves as a function venue, tearoom and bar, but don’t expect a cosy British seaside tearoom. The venue is large and bright, and no doubt airy on hot days when all the windows and doors are open. I take a seat out on the deck in the autumn sunshine, just inches away from the sand, and can honestly say that I have never had a Devonshire Tea by a beach. It feels odd; the two just don’t go hand in hand. Shouldn’t I be eating something a tad beachier like a Chico Roll? I order one scone and it’s definitely made fresh this morning – crispy and fluffy in all the right places. It’s a good size, so I’m glad it’s served with lashings of jam and cream. The jam is average and reminds me of the IXL strawberry jam we used to eat as kids that came in a can; jelly like rather than syrupy. The cream is double thick, but not as heavy as your usual double thick cream – I like it.
Tea: A variety of teas that I assume are tea bags, as my teapot arrives without neither tea bag nor tea leaves in it.
Overall: A touch of art deco by the seaside.
Location: Cnr of Beaconsfield Pde & Pier Rd, St Kilda West VIC 3182 Ph: 03 9593 8833 www.westbeachstkilda.com.au
Reviewed April, 2014