James St Bakery – High Tea
Where: 10 James Street, Geelong
When: Breakfast and lunch Mon to Fri 7 to 4 & Sat 9 to 2 (High Tea is held on the last Sunday of every month)
Ph: 5221 3909
When Oh! Hello Geelong received an invitation in the mail to attend High Tea at the James St Bakery in Geelong’s CBD we knew we were in for a treat.
And treated we were, thanks to sister duo Helen Brosnan and Trish O’Halloran who are the owners, operators, makers, bakers and creators (along with Helen’s talented husband Laurent Praud) of this lovely boulangerie in the heart of G-town.
As first timers to the James St Bakery and its High Tea experience, Oh! Hello Geelong were curious not only to check out this little café / bakery (which had been on our to do list for months) but we wanted to see just how a High Tea would work in a bakery setting.
What we quickly discovered was that the James St Bakery (especially on High Tea day) is not your typical bakery, far from it! What immediately came to mind during our visit were the food shops of France; think cosy and intimate cafes, elegant patisseries and warm, toasty bakeries. As well, we noticed no signs of typical bakeries, as we know them (ie bread racks, flour dusted aprons or hair nets). Instead there were several dapper young waiters dressed in smart black and white (we think polka dot bow ties would be a perfect addition), a selection of beer, wine and bubbles, tables dressed with white embroidered linen table cloths, a little glass cabinet filled with THE most mouth-wateringly delicious looking macarons we’ve ever seen outside of France (well, that Penny has seen outside of France anyway!) and of course tables filled with oh so delicious sweet and savoury treats that make you wish High Tea could be a permanent fixture in the daily diet.
To help whet our appetite, we each kicked things off with a glass of champagne and a pot of tea (we loved the mixed collection of bone china tea cups – very pretty and fun). This was followed by the first round of food, made up of savoury High Tea favourites; we loved the scrumptious finger sandwiches, warm soup in a teeny tiny tea cup and the scones which just melted in the mouth…so yummy!
And just when we thought the second round could be no match for the first, we were met with a two-teared sweet stand displaying the most adorable selection of sugary sweet goodness including; mini chocolate éclairs, colourful macaroons, rich chocolate truffles and spiced meringue with orange cream (just to name a few). Of course most of these were devoured quicker than you can say “bon appetite”!
Oh! Hello Geelong could see that High Tea at James St Bakery is a popular day out (and we can totally see why), so the trick is to book in advance so you don’t miss out – just contact the Bakery on the number listed above. However, if you don’t make it to High Tea, the bakery is open six days a week for breakfast (all day) and lunch, where you can choose from a selection of goodies most of which are made in house (including the relish, jam and mayo) or sourced locally – Oh! Hello Geelong can’t wait to get back for more ladylike food love.
Thanks to Helen, Trish, Laurent and family for inviting us to experience this little piece of deliciousness in Geelong – merci beaucoup!
PS: the bakery is a family friendly, we spied a high chair out the back!
Love Penny + Laura