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In the Cape the culture of wine, first introduced by Van Riebeek and actively promoted by Van der Stel in the 17th century, is deeply entrenched and part of lifestyle and culture. The British who later colonized South Africa in 1804 brought with them the English tradition of tea.
It is thought that this tradition originated in England when "Catherine of Bragança married Charles II in 1661 and brought the practice of drinking tea in the afternoon with her from Portugal", it could also have originated from successful colonial conquests in India and trade with China. Regardless of possible disputes in its origin the tradition of tea arrived at the shores of the Cape.
Despite not being as popular as the Dutch introduction of wine, there are still some great places to enjoy a cup of Tea in the Cape. The grand old lady the Mount Nelson has High Tea form 2.00pm daily. This is not to be done at haste but a leisurely and very pleasant way to spend an afternoon.(It has a fairly hefty price tag but well worth it as an experience.)The highly polished table groans with confectionary and an assortment of savour delights for your feast while a grand piano accompaniment adds a gracious touch. A stroll in the beautiful gardens complete the afternoon. Rhodes Memorial, a quaint traditional tea Garden behind UCT. Fantastic views, followed with a visit to the Memorial or a short hike to the block house .
Open 9.00 am to 5.00pm daily The Gardeners Cottage in Newlands Avenue. Fantastic spot under great trees. Follow by a visit to Montebello center for some unique shopping.
Tucked away from view on Klaassens Road, the Bishopscourt side of Wynberg Park is Rose Chart farm. They serve a very traditional and generous tea with lovely views over the Constantia Valley. You can also pick beautifully scented and assorted colour roses - secateurs and buckets provided. open daily 9.00am to 4.00pm.
Buitenverwachting in Constantia also offers high tea with an Austrian influence. Served between 3 and 5.30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday only. Relax in the lounge or courtyard and stroll around the scenic vineyards and grounds afterwards to digest.
On the False Bay coast Casa Labia has reopened its doors and hosts a great little cafe perfect for a tea occasion. Originally built in 1929, for Count Labia the Italian ambassador in the Cape, it has been beautifully restored to its original splendor of an Italian Palazzo in all its finery. It has the most awesome views across False bay. Be sure to visit African Nova and the Gallery on the premises.
Open Tues to Sunday 10.00am - 4.00pm For a less traditional Tea experience try the Tibetan Tea house in Simonstown and enjoy the views while sipping on homemade spiced Chai. Be sure to visit the Sophea Gallery for spiritual works of art. Open Tuesday to Sunday 10.00am to 6.00pm and remember "Drinking tea from a wooden cup makes you handsome, popular and wise!" Many other places traditionally serve tea and cake but these are top spots for Tea! Enjoy www.tripping.co.za