What can I say? The Gunners Barracks is no new-kid-on-the-block and knows a thing or two about how to serve a top quality Devonshire Tea. Although I don’t live far away, I’ve bypassed Gunners Barracks forever knowing it only served High Teas like sister property, The Tea Rooms at the QVB. When looking for a place to take a friend for a High Tea, by chance I see that Devonshire Teas are on the morning menu, which suits me perfectly. The harbour views from the verandah dining area (heated in winter) are breathtaking and the sandstone heritage building located near the tunnels and gun placements at Georges Heights, sensational. The Royal Albert crockery and heavy silver set on crisp white table cloths has my friend and I cooing in delight. The plain and sultana scones are light and fluffy on the inside and covered in a melt-in-your-mouth buttery crisp shell. The generous sized scones are well paired with the tart mixed berry jam and rich Australian-style clotted cream. However, by the time I get the cream on to the scones it’s been transformed to pouring cream and I wonder what happened to the promised clotted cream. I share my concerns with the maître-d and he assures me that it is clotted cream and even brings me the container from the kitchen. I learn that originally, the Welsh chef made his own rich Welsh clotted cream but received so many complaints they canned the idea and went with something more suitable to the Australian palate. I am simultaneously mortified and annoyed as this Australian-style clotted cream, that doesn’t even hold its form in cool winter weather, is far inferior to other random clotted creams I’ve tried, however I’ll leave the cream for you to decide. Devonshire Teas are available Monday to Friday from 10am until 12pm.
Tea: An extensive and interesting selection of loose-leaf teas served in a lovely silver teapot with a hot water top up.
Overall: Sensational location and quality that’s hard to beat.
Location: End of Suakin Dr, Georges Heights NSW 2088 Ph: 02 8962 5900