Palazzo Parisio tearoom | Escape to an aristocratic lifestyle

While the temperatures are still on the chilly side there’s nothing quite like a cup of tea and a slice of delicious cake in the aristocratic surroundings of Palazzo Parisio to provide the perfect escape from the dull routine that is everyday life.

 

rachelzc
Rachel Zammit Cutajar
14 March 2014, 3:54pm
Tea at Palazzo Parisio
Tea at Palazzo Parisio
There I was thinking the winter was over and spring was here to stay – I’m not even sure where my coat is anymore – and back comes the biting cold and pelting rain that is only to be expected this early in the year. As much as I am all for the summer, winter does have its advantages – long lingering lunches, warm hearty dishes and happy friends gathering around a table without feeling guilty about not being outside enjoying the fresh air and the sunshine.

The only problem is that lunchtime comes so early in the day. And, unless you want to wake up at the crack of dawn, which I reserve for weekdays only, if you have things to do at the weekend, making it in time for lunch can be pretty stressful.

This was pretty much the case last weekend. No one could make it for lunch but it was the end of the weekend and none of my friends had done anything social so we decided to meet up for tea. And where better to have afternoon tea than surrounded by the grandeur at Palazzo Parisio.

We arrived at the Palazzo and fought through the wind and the rain to get through the great heavy doors. The entrance hall is grand, though still a little chilly, but the clink of china and muted conversation along with a soft glow from the rooms on the right lead the way to a magical place that is warm, dry and most of all magical, so far removed from the angry weather outside.

Settling down at a table with white linen tablecloths, shiny silverware and china cups, while surrounded by 19th century art, commissioned by the Marquis Guiseppe Scicluna, and girly pink blankets and cushions, makes you feel like you’re part of a centuries-old civilisation with the comforts of central heating. You half expect Carson from Downton Abbey to come around the corner with your tea.

As none of my friends had done anything social that weekend, we decided to skip the tea part of the afternoon tea and substitute it with a bottle of prosecco, to animate our gathering somewhat. I’m not a tea-drinker but judging from the menu, no tea-drinker could possibly be disappointed, with page after page of different selection of teas including black and scented teas.

Along with our prosecco we went for the traditional afternoon tea, which includes a raspberry parfait which not only tasted great but also matched the room in yet another shade of pink. The creamy, icy textures of the parfait providing the perfect combination with that first glass of prosecco.

Raspberry parfait
Raspberry parfait
The rest of the ‘tea’ comes on a three-tiered platter and includes finger sandwiches made with traditional fillings like salmon, cucumber, egg and ham and cheese, crusts removed of course. These traditional sandwiches have fallen from grace over the years, as we tend to go for more hearty bread. Crusty, farmhouse varieties with mixed seeds – and of course, the Maltese loaf – often take over in popularity contests. However the real reason they have lost their appeal is that they are made hours in advance and by the time they come to your table, are dry, tasteless. Palazzo Parisio has restored my faith in simple finger sandwiches. Made to order, using the finest ingredients for their fillings, these sandwiches are as soft and tasty as they are classy.

To make traditional afternoon complete there we perfectly baked scones, dusted in icing sugar and served with clotted cream and jam. Enough to satisfy the need for sweetness for me, but if sweet is more your thing at tea time, then you can indulge in the selection of sweet pastries on the bottom tier.

One glass of prosecco short of turning our gathering into a mad hatter tea party, we called it a day, to face the pelting rain and reality that the weekend was over. Was the afternoon pricey? If you’re looking for a cup of tea, a sandwich and a slice of cake, then the answer has to be yes, but you really do get what you pay for. The attention to detail is impeccable and everything is absolutely perfect, transporting you to a time when leisurely afternoon tea was the order of the day. That feeling of aristocracy is not one that can be replicated easily and I’ll happily part with a few euros to do it again soon. And when the sun comes out and the temperatures get warmer, tea moves out to the spectacular gardens.

Tea is served daily from 15:00 till 18:00.

Palazzo Parisio

Victory Square,

Naxxar

Tel: 21412461

Email: [email protected]

Web: www.palazzoparisio.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/palazzoparisio

 

rachelzc
Rachel Zammit Cutajar graduated in economics from the University of Malta...