Afternoon Tea at Market Lane Bar, Intercontinental Melbourne the Rialto

Melbourne, Australia
April 2015

The Intercontinental Melbourne is located on the opposite end of Collins Street (western side).  After entering the lobby, the Market Lane Bar is on the left hand side of the atrium.  While the website describes it as a “stunning light filled glass atrium”, I would have to say that it was greatly lacking in light.  Although it was an overcast day when I went, it still did not let in much sun.  Maybe on a sunny day, it’s completely different.

Once inside the Market Lane Bar, I was seated on a giant couch by the fireplace on the opposite side of the rest of the patrons.  It was really nice since it was a bit chilly outside, and I was dining with my kindle for the afternoon.

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The tea served is all Ronnefeldt ‘Teastar’.  When ordering, the tea menu that comes out is a binder filled with loose pages.  The waitstaff didn’t seem to know for sure which teas they still had out of the binder, so just suggested picking one and they would check to see if it was available.  They also weren’t sure if you were allowed to change teas, but seemed ok when I asked to switch.

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After reading about the rooftop bee hives and the honey they use in their menu, I was excited to try the menu.  I also asked if I could go see the hives after eating, but they didn’t seem to know what I was talking about.

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Unfortunately, the honey based foods weren’t as flavorful as I had hoped.  I was expecting something more like Manuka honey or at least distinctive from regular store-bought honey.

The scones came out later and were still warm, which is always nice.  (note: not clotted cream)  The sorbet came out at the same time as the scones, which kind of defeated the purpose of being a palate cleanser.  By the time that you got to the sorbet, it was already pretty melted.

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Overall it was a quiet afternoon of reading and eating.  The waitstaff disappeared for the most part after serving all the food.  The food wasn’t especially memorable, but nothing was bad either.  An uneventful, but relaxing afternoon.

For those who are coffee inclined, the Intercontinental also offers a High Coffee as an alternative to high tea.

Tea 3/5, limited (?), good variety
Food 3/5
Atmosphere 3/5
Service 2/5
Overall 3/5

Intercontinental Melbourne the Rialto
2:00 – 5:00 Wednesday to Sunday (last booking at 3:30)

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