Just a word of advice. If you are visiting Darwin during the wet season or the hot summer months, arriving for afternoon tea after walking three kilometres may have you arriving dishevelled and more than a bit hot and bothered, or like myself, lathered in sweat. Burnett House near Cullen’s Bay is a pleasant stroll and not particularly far (at least not for me) but there is a reason a mid afternoon siesta is popular in the tropics. Designed by architect Beni Burnett, Burnett House was built in 1939 and has withstood the 64 Japanese attacks in 1942/43 and Cyclone Tracy in 1974 to become one of the few remaining original colonial houses in Darwin. Administered by the National Trust, Burnett House and its splendid garden is lovingly tended to by a mountain of volunteers who come out in full force on Sunday afternoons armed with sweet delights. When I arrive, I am directed to a shady spot in the garden, which are few and far between. Simply because it’s a popular place! The scones aren’t warm, but served cooler than room temperature (remember it’s 32 degrees with 90 per cent humidity), so aren’t presented at their best. The strawberry jam is ordinary but good enough and the cream thick and cool from the fridge. You have to down these babies fast if you want don’t want the cream to resemble milk. It’s all rather civilised and I feel a tad like I am in a far away colonial outpost where I’ll be sipping a G&T in a few hours. Burnett House is open daily from 10am until 1pm for a visit, and for afternoon tea on Sundays from 3pm until 5pm.
Tea: A choice of five types of Twinnings tea (tea bags) served in a good-sized pot.
Overall: A simple afternoon tea, Colonial style including the steamy tropical heat as a backdrop.
Location: Myilly Point Heritage Precinct, 4 Burnett Pl, Larrakeyah NT 0820 Ph: 08 8981 0165
Reviewed February, 2015