A tale as old as time has captured the imagination of a new generation. I never thought when I sat down to watch Beauty and the Beast in a movie theatre in 1991 that 16 years later I would be sharing the same classic experience with my own daughter.
The Sofitel Sydney Wentworth hotel is heritage-listed 5-star hotel located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD and shopping district. We often stop by for high tea because they are brilliant at theming them to current cultural events such as the release of the new live action version of Beauty and the Beast. (In the past I’ve enjoyed their Sleeping Beauty and Archibald high teas, run in collaboration with the Australian Ballet and the Art Gallery of NSW).
This tea could not have been a more perfect fit for my little Belle-want-to-be. She is deep in the “Disney princess” stage and was enchanted at the beautiful decorating inside the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth hotel.
I couldn’t hold her back as she fluttered from one themed area to the next – from the gorgeous rose inside the glass dome at the check in desk to the roses and books in the foyer and the gigantic rose inside the Soiree, where the high teas are served.
Our table was made up with exquisite attention to detail: rose-shaped napkins in the tea cups, themed menus and a gold leaf runner that all hinted at the enchantment to come.
A Beauty and the Beast activity pack kept the little one well and truly occupied until our food arrived. The look on her face when she saw the platters of rose-themed goodies? Priceless. The smile says it all.
Roasted Angus beef on whole wheat bread
Salmon gravlax and tomato on Viennese baguette
* Vegetarian alternative to these were two avocado and tomato sandwiches
Rose and Raspberry Religieuse
White chocolate dome
Cream and homemade jam
The children’s high tea was almost the same as the adult one, with one less sandwich and the white chocolate dome replaced with a more kid-friendly cupcake with a rose on top.
As the high tea is light on savouries with more of a focus on the sweets, I would recommend having this high tea as an afternoon tea rather than as a substitution for lunch.
We both really enjoyed the variety of sweets. My favourites were the passion cheesecake with its tart notes of passionfruit and the exquisite rose and raspberry religieuse topped with delicate gold leaf, while Cheese loved the berry macaron, the rose cupcake – not to mention the avocado and tomato sandwiches, of which she ate all, even mine.
After the kid polished off her food and completed the activity book we took a walk around the hotel to see the rest of the Beauty and the Beast theming. A Belle-inspired dress rests in the back of the foyer, near the entrance to the Wentworth Library, where a special corner has been set aside to become “Belle’s Reading Corner”.
We sat and read through all three versions of Beauty and the Beast that were available, then decided it was time to check into our room.
I’ve never had a hotel check in into a room feel like a special experience before, so it was a first for me, too, when we were presented with a gorgeous silk rose along with our room keys.
Inside our junior suite on the 12th floor, another surprise awaited us – a delightful display of rose cupcakes, a Beauty and the Beast book and activity pack, plus the masterpiece of the theming, an Enchanted Rose Bluetooth Speaker that played music from our phones and lit up like magic.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that we spent a lot of time that evening just playing with the speaker ….
After a night sleeping on some of the most comfortable beds ever, we head down stairs for breakfast in the Garden Court. A buffet breakfast is included in our package, as is a complimentary dinner for kids up to age 12. The buffet has a fantastic array of breads, cheeses, meats, cereals, fruit and yogurt, with a hot section where you can also order eggs, waffles, French toast and pancakes to order.
We check out of the hotel rested and enchanted after our special Beauty and the Beast night at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. Most of our hotel stays are purely functional, but this one has been special. As we walk out of the lobby, Cheese turns to us and says, “We have special memories here”. That we do.
Beauty and the Beast High Tea prices:
$69* per adult
$29** per child
$79* per person including a glass of sparkling wine
$89* per person including a glass of Veuve Clicquot
*Subject to availability and conditions apply. Available daily in Soirée 11am till 5pm until 30/06/2017. Bookings are required. Accor Plus discount does not apply.
**Available for children aged 3-12 years, includes “Beauty and the Beast” activity kit.
Offer available during the promotional period 9 March – 30 June 2017
Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
61-101 Phillip Street, Sydney
Contact 02 9228 9188 for reservations
Thanks so much to Disney and the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth for hosting us for this magical experience. All opinions are my own.
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!