High Coffee at The Intercontinental

For years blokes have been missing out on one of the ‘sweet’ spots of life: High Tea.

High tea is for the girls, I figure. Somehow it feels like a very cultured thing to do, dressed up in high heels and short skirts to celebrate a hen’s afternoon or baby shower. A shame, really, if you happen to prefer coffee, or if you’re a bloke!

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On these gorgeous winter days there’s nothing more refined than having a spot of lunch or a bite to eat, and no place we find more relaxing than the Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort. Lunch is available at The Cove, but the resort’s new High Coffee Experience will keep many punters happy who prefer coffee to tea, or who are metrosexual and non-purist enough to enjoy a cake, dainty sandwiches, coffee or even an espresso martini in place of lunch!

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Yes, High Coffee is a bit more hardcore than High Tea and we’re surprised, given the popularity of coffee, that it’s taken so long to hit our shores. We were up to the challenge, though and joined several other tables to tackle a few hours of sweet and savoury treats enjoyed with gentle conversation.

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Seated in The Fireplace Restaurant looking out at the lush grounds and cascading fountain, we embark on the first round of savoury sandwiches: Applewood smoked chicken with fruit chutney; Activated charcoal bread with beetroot-marinated salmon, crème fraiche and herbs; Beef striploin with Witches’ Chase brie and onion jam, and a tiny Beef pie with mushy peas – simply delish!

We love The Fireplace with its open hearth, the beating heart of this restaurant, and are pleased that the venue is soon to undergo a refurbishment. As we lunch, chefs are working in front of the fire preparing the evening’s meal.

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A most delightfully intense passionfruit sorbet is the palate cleanser between sweet and savoury, leading into a three-tier tower of traditional and smoked pumpkin scones, a plate of sweet delights (Custard tart, Espresso lamingtons, Oreo slice and Earl Grey macarons) and the piece de resistance – Chef Harry’s Fireplace signature éclair with coffee custard topped with an iced musical score – pure indulgence! It’s my favourite!

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Now, about that coffee… A Vittoria single origin Costa Rica coffee is slow brewed in a Chemex system, leading to a clean strong filtered coffee. The gorgeous Chemex beaker adds to the ceremony of the occasion, making the experience a delight for a celebration or birthday.

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The Chemex is essentially a glass beaker designed to make coffee using a paper filter, coffee grounds, and water. So it’s hardly surprising that it was invented by a chemist, Dr Peter Schlumbohm, in 1941. Schlumbohm wanted to create an elegant streamlined device to brew perfect coffee without a trace of bitterness which would be useful in the home. Chemex is the undisputed ‘king’ of pour over coffee, a simple retro masterpiece of the Bauhaus style. It’s sheer delight to see it back in use.

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But why have coffee when there’s an optional Espresso martini on hand! An early afternoon tipple is a great way to relax and slip into the afternoon, or perhaps you’d prefer a champagne? (Optional $10 extra.)

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High Coffee ($35) is served Friday to Sunday from noon with bookings essential. It’s a decadent afternoon that you won’t forget; the perfect High Coffee experience for a mixed group.

High Coffee 6 Fireplace Restaurant, The Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort

Ph: 07 5530 1234

High Coffee is available from Fri – Sun 12 noon – 2.30pm

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Manor Circle, Sanctuary Cove QLD