I’ve just had a few days in Wellington, a trip I planned about three months ago, prior to deciding to do Junk Free June. My biggest dilemma was what to do about Louis Sargent’s, as I’d organised high tea in this French Treat Shop! After a bit of discussion, and as mentioned in my earlier Junk Free June blog, I decided this would have to be an exception.
Before I go on, I have managed to stay under 8tsp sugar a day since the start of June, with my best day being 3.5 tsp. On the day of the high tea I was very careful and only had 3 tsp sugar outside the tea. There was no way of accurately measuring how much sugar I had at the high tea, so best to choose to exempt it from the month
So, now on to the details!
Firstly the brasserie is run by French staff, all with gorgeous Franglais accents! They were very professional, pleasant and the service really was great. Five of us ended up going along for the afternoon. One chose just to do the basic high tea, the rest of us went for the mid range “bubbles and high tea” option. A choice of teas, we managed to sample three different ones, City of Lights, a bergamot, cinnamon and vanilla blend being the favourite. We also had the Casablanca (gunpowder tea and peppermint) and the Mangue (fruit with mango). The plates were brought out and we were stunned at the beautiful display. It was almost too pretty to eat. The savoury platter was a creamy mushroom soup, cauliflower purée with pesto, polenta cake with fennel and a salmon mousse marbled egg. I only managed a mouthful of the soup (mushroom is not something I eat) but I did eat the whole egg – it neither smelt fishy of tasted too fishy for a non-seafood person like myself.
Then it was on to the first round of sweets. A chocolate macaroon, a deconstructed citrus tart and an amazing strawberry sponge, one of the group’s top picks! The last round was a violet mousse (had a taste of Blackcurrant) on an almond base and a lemon and Cointreau mousse to finish. My favourite I think was the violet mousse, followed closely by …everything else! It was hard to say. The food was beautiful. We were full, but not stuffed. We were able to take 1.5 hours to leisurely consume our high tea, with second glasses of bubbles offered (not taken) and four cups of tea. My sister who doesn’t drink tea had a hot chocolate which I tasted – sublime! – made from dark Belgian chocolate and milk. Nor was she charged extra for her drink, as she didn’t have tea.
All in all it was a great afternoon, with many “Masterchef” moments as we tried to recall the items (the waiter’s thick French accent meant we didn’t understand everything!) and figure out the subtle flavours. If you’re in Wellington, treat yourself, it’s worth it! I didn’t suffer guilt from my exemption. It would have been more ideal to be not doing Junk Free June, but so far the month has shown me that the treats are more special when you’re not consuming them every day! This was my treat of the month!
I was back on the low-sugar diet the moment I left Louis’ – with plenty of gastronomical memories to help me through the month.