Afternoon Tea at Mount Nelson Hotel

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76 Orange Street, Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town Central 8001, South Africa


British, Continental, Mediterranean, Tea Room

Good for:

Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Romance, Special Occasions


4.0 rating based on 2 ratings
2 Reviews

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4.0 rating based on 2 ratings
3.5 rating based on 2 ratings
4.0 rating based on 2 ratings
5.0 rating based on 2 ratings
  1. Expert Review

    4.0 rating based on 1 rating
    Dec 2014 · swider

    The Mount Nelson is probably the best-known hotel among people who know Cape Town, not just because it has hosted...

    The Mount Nelson is probably the best-known hotel among people who know Cape Town, not just because it has hosted so many icons over the years, but also because it has a stunning tea garden and patio serving light meals and traditional afternoon tea. There is something about sitting outside and listening to the fountain while looking at the garden and trees that invokes peace. On a nice day people will scatter in lawn chairs or sit at tables for hours just relaxing at the hotel, which is open to the public for dining and lounging.

    My schedule didn’t allow for tea mid-afternoon, so I opted for a light meal perfect for summer: oysters and a glass of white wine on the patio. The service is good, but the servers are not pestering you, and I feel as if that is for a purpose. They encourage you to linger and relax, even recline in the garden. I might have liked a bit more attention, however, but perhaps at the time the restaurant was low on staff. It took a while to place an order and I felt I was tracking down service.

    The oysters were delicious, mild, and quite cold, which was a perfect accompaniment to the crisp Sauvignon Blanc. The a la carte menu is simple, but there are plenty of small bites and salads to choose from. It is priced the way you would expect an upscale hotel would price food — not by any means exorbitant, but not for those on a tight budget. I loved the scene and the afternoon in general. Keep in mind that this is hardly the place to go for a quick bite mid-day — it is definitely a place you need to go when you have ample time to relax and wait. As I was leaving, the tea service was beginning and I saw the table of food (pictured). I promise I will go back after seeing that spread for sure!

  2. Expert Review

    4.0 rating based on 1 rating
    Nov 2014 · morgantrimble

    An afternoon high tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel is a popular activity for guests of the hotel, visitors, and even...

    An afternoon high tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel is a popular activity for guests of the hotel, visitors, and even Cape Town locals. There are two sittings for afternoon tea: one at 1:30 and another at 3:30. A reservation is recommended to ensure a spot.

    Afternoon tea is served in the hotel’s lounge, on the terrace, and outside in the garden. For a set price, guests get a choice from a wide selection of interesting teas from around the world, a tiered stand of savory treats, fresh baked scones and tea bread with preserves, and access to the buffet of desserts. You can also add on champagne or a choice of teas from the premium selection.

    I stopped by for late afternoon tea on a beautiful sunny weekday and opted to sit outside to enjoy the sunshine and stunning views of the mountain. I tried the vanilla black tea and enjoyed all the snacks. The tiered stand of savory treats included finger sandwiches, mini quiche, smoked salmon, and an empanada. The dessert table really is stunning to look at and offers a bewildering selection of sweets—cakes, tarts, macaroons, cookies, fruit, and a few South African favorites including koesusters and melktart.

    The experience was very pleasant and is a nice way to spend an afternoon. If you’ve never been to a high tea, it’s a good experience to have in Cape Town in the charming old world atmosphere of the Mount Nelson Hotel. Reserve about two hours to fully enjoy the tea service and make sure to come with an appetite. Also, if you book the late afternoon tea, there’s a good chance you won’t be hungry for dinner!

    The dress code is smart casual and the interior lounge has a much more formal feel than the terrace, so choose your table based on which mood you want.

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