One & Only Cape Town Afternoon Tea

We recently visited the One & Only in Cape Town for Afternoon Tea. A Saturday afternoon treat served in the Vista Lounge, the spread is available to the public at R185 a person.

We were seated at a table of two and offered tea or coffee - both available in both a bottomless selection and quantity during your time feasting.

The tea is self-service - waiters clear your plates and replenish beverages, while you wander to and from the treat table as often as you like.

Most of the food offering is sweet - to be honest, I didn't touch anything from the savoury side - but saw little quiches and mini-burgers - however, not a cucumber sandwich in sight. This is the only afternoon tea I've been to - and, honesty throughout - I'm sure Cape Town can do better. While the display was visually impressive - towering stands of macarons, meringues, eclairs and cheesecake - there was only one item I would go back and eat again (the caramel eclair).

With everything, it is a matter of personal taste - and in my case, perhaps also a case of mismatched expectations - I want cucumber sandwiches and scones with clotted cream, dammit. There were also a few items I didn't expect to see on the buffet - including biscuits, cupcakes and toffees.

For R185 a person, I don't think it's bad value for money at all - there were a few groups of birthdays and baby showers around us - considering that price includes hot beverages, it is possibly one of the more cost-effective options when celebrating out (considering what you would pay for a meal at a restaurant).

As always, my expectations could simply be unrealistic - as this was the first and only afternoon tea I've experienced, I would like to try another so I can compare - but, as it stands my verdict on One & Only is, average. Perhaps a more modern interpretation of the afternoon tea - with the price reflecting this - I do believe there is a market for this (the packed lounge alone, spoke for this), but just not for me.

It is a beautiful setting and decent value for money - with live music and a visually impressive selection of treats, I don't think there will be many complaints . However, if you are looking for a traditional afternoon tea experience, I'd suggest you try somewhere else.

Note : We enjoyed our afternoon tea as guests of the One & Only. All views and images are my own. All images taken with a Canon EOS 600D from


  1. We went there recently too (for a launch but I'm sure the spread was standard). They had little pies that were amazing and loads of scones - maybe it's a different spread every week?

  2. Hi Candice, good to see that you've had the chance to try out One&Only Cape Town's "Afternoon Tea" as a guest of the resort. "High Tea" by the way is a term used in the past by the British to describe a worker's dinner (miners, postmen etc) normally served at around 5pm - 6pm. This would consist of pork pies, thick sandwiches etc. "Afternoon Tea" dates back to the 1800's when the British aristocracy decided that they needed a 'bite' to eat to tide them over before their elegant dinners. So, in a nutshell, describing One&Only's offering as a 'high tea' and in fact, any similar type of offering such as up the road at the Nellie is all wrong. In regards to your preference to 'traditional' bites including cucumber sandwiches, there is nothing 'traditional' about the resort and hence the offering being more up to date and contemporary. Ian Manley.

    1. Hi Ian, Thanks for your comment and for clarifying 'high tea' - I've amended it accordingly and replaced with 'afternoon tea'. As One & Only Cape Town is your client, I understand you have a vested interest in their offering and reputation. As I mentioned in my post, I understand that this is a 'modern' interpretation of the afternoon tea - but again, just not to my taste.



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