Camellia Tea House, Zealong Tea Estate, Gordonton

The Oxfam Fair Trade week is coming up soon, and seeing advertisements for it in the newspaper and my favourite magazine led me to ponder the lack of loose leaf fair trade tea options at our local “super”market. One thing led to another and we ended with the question: What better way to celebrating the upcoming end to both our disposable income and our free time than a trip to the only tea estate in New Zealand? So off we went to Zealong Tea Estate.

Their website says that bookings are essential, especially if you have special request and when we dutifully rung to book they specifically asked whether there were any special requests. So far, so good and even better on the actual menu which listed several GF options straight away including, but not limited to, the Beetroot soup, Chicken takitori, a chiffon tea sponge cake and the trio of macaroons. The latter two were included in our Signature High Tea and they were very tasty indeed- well, rather than a trio of macaroons, it was just 2. The three-tiered platter had 5 savoury items on the bottom, some fruit, the cake and the macaroons on the middle, and a tea flavoured moouse as the crowning glory. My beloved and I opted to share and I was happy with that as it meant that I could eat the salad cup (it’s normally a salad wrap), and the beetroot soup from the bottom while he dealt with the rare beef, and the fish cake. We split the roast chicken bite. I was rather relieved at the appearance of 2 macaroons though – almost too good to share 🙂

Of course, there was also the tea. They have 4 varieties there and I tried the Aromatic which is so good we took a small (expensive and for special treats only) packet home with us.

So overall, the verdict is that I was impressed. Like the take home tea packet it was an indulgence, which made me enjoy it all the more.



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