Shingle Inn is situated on the same level as Coffee Club and Dymocks (one level above IGA and the Miracle Asian supermarket, and one level below the food court and Roy Young chemist). It's not hard to miss, as the signage is prominent and the layout is quite distinct.
We sat ourselves at one of the cushy booths and waited for our food. There was a bit of confusion over whether the high tea came with both the mint julep (a minty spider) and either tea or coffee, as the menu was worded to include both a cold and hot drink and contained a photo of the high tea stand with coffee and a mint julep. The owner promised to clarify this with the head office and got back to us promptly. He told us that this was a typo but that he would provide us with both the tea and the julep, which sufficiently pacified us - and goes to show how important it is to proofread!
|Rose mint julep|
|High tea stand|
As with all high teas, you want to start off with the savoury treats. I commenced the affair with the bite-sized ham and cheese sandwiches. They were nothing outstanding, but the bread was multi-grain and I felt pretty healthy after eating it - though this feeling shortly faded away.
The beetroot tartlet was... interesting. I'm personally a fan of beetroots, but it was strange eating warm cubes of it. The feta was sprinkled on top and inside the tartlet, introducing the texture of minced meat. There was perhaps too much beetroot and not enough feta (or some sort of meat/ filler). It wasn't too bad as the tartlet was quite tiny so the pastry helped to balance out the beetroot.
|Beetroot and feta tartlet|
|Peking duck pancake|
|Chocolate caramel slice|
|Chocolate caramel tart|
Overall, for $24.50 the high tea is a bargain. The portions are generous and the scones are delicious. However, not all of it is tasty and the sweet to savoury ratio is skewed in favour of sugar, which for me is a negative because I like my high teas to be more balanced. Also, you get what you pay for - it lacks the sophistication of the afternoon teas you find in the big luxury hotel chains. Nevertheless, we were feeling pretty bloated at the end, the service is friendly, and it's a good impromptu way to spend the afternoon.