The Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort launches High Coffee in The Fireplace (Gold Coast)

High tea is generally regarded as one of those odd activities that only the upper class seem to enjoy. Traditionally a British pastime concerned with combining interesting flavours and the art of good conversation, Australians have tentatively embraced the concept of high tea in the last few years. We don’t share the same religious zeal for tea that our British cousins possess. Perhaps as a function of our rough-and-tumble national identity, we tend to prefer coffee.

So it is that The Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove resort have created High Coffee, an afternoon that takes the High Tea experience and wraps it around coffee-themed food and drink, and brought it to their property on the Gold Coast. Held in The Fireplace, an intimate little restaurant tucked away on the ground floor of the resort’s main house, High Coffee is perfect for couples and friends who would like a quiet afternoon in picturesque, low-stress surrounds. Entry will set you back around $35 per person.

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The idea came from Director of Food and Beverage Roberto Salicio who saw an opportunity for something new. After noticing that no-one was really doing high tea correctly in Australia, he rolled his High Coffee concept out in their Sydney and Melbourne locations to great success. As it stands, this is the only High Coffee experience on the Gold Coast.

There are two main types of coffee on offer — the first is Chemex ($10), a slow-brewed drink that is taken black and without sugar. This is good because it’s flavourful enough without either of those things. I typically take my coffee with a splash of milk and a little sugar so it took me a moment to get used to. It walks the line between bitter and sweet, the slow brew bringing out new flavours the longer you leave it. The other is the Espresso Martini ($10) which is exactly what it sounds like. Sweet, almost like an iced chocolate, this one will appeal to those who take their coffee strong.

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You’ll have a number of different dishes to nibble on as the afternoon progresses, starting with an assortment of sandwiches, my favourite of which was the beetroot cured salmon with cream cheese, caper spread, baby cos and Spanish onion. So creamy, so delicious, I could have eaten them all day.  

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This is followed by a palate cleanser delicious apple sorbet and desserts including smoked pumpkin scones, mini fruit tartlets, Oreo chocolate bites and the Fireplace’s signature coffee custard eclairs.

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The real standout for me was the espresso lamington, something head pastry chef Harry Prabowo told us he took great pride in creating. Soft, fluffy and so flavourful. Prabowo mentioned that he was nervous for people to try the lamington because he’d worked so hard to get it right — I’d like to assure him that he has absolutely nothing to worry about.

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The restaurant backs onto a beautiful green that sees quite a bit of sunlight in the afternoon and the staff cheerfully pointed out a number of kangaroos with joeys as they made their way around the grounds.

This is a really very clever idea by The Intercontinental and one that will likely pay off for them. Looking around the assembled media on the day, everyone seemed satisfied and looked like they were having an exceedingly pleasant time. A perfect way to spend a cool winter’s afternoon on the Gold Coast.

High Coffee at The Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort is available every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12:30pm inside The Fireplace. Price is set at $35pp with options of additional chemex ($10) and Espresso Martini ($10). For more information click HERE.

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David Smith

David Smith is the former games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously written for PC World Australia. You can find him on Twitter at @RhunWords.

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