Living in Durban , I try to explore locally as much as possible and support local business. There are still some places and things on my to eat and to do lists .Durban is foodie heaven without a doubt and yes I am still eating my way through and enjoying each morsel as I go. On my forever list has been the Oyster Box in Durban, as this place such an iconic spot in the history of Durban and is reminiscent of the days of the British in Durban. Early this year Mum and I headed off to spend the weekend in the Umhlanga area for her birthday, as we were staying in the area I planned our weekend around our surroundings which included staying at the Capital Pearls , Dinner at 14 on Chartwell,La Vita Spa spoils and ending with High Tea at the Oyster Box. I had never been to the Oyster Box , but Mum had attended a few functions there many moons ago.
The Tradition of High Tea is such a real spoil and everyone should experience it at least once. I have sample a few High Tea spreads in Durban including one at the Hilton Hotel and an Indian High Tea at Suncoast hotel. Each of these have been rather unique but nothing prepared me for the opulence of High Tea at the Oyster Box. After reading several reviews online and following the advice of people who had sampled the High Tea spread, we had a light breakfast so we could go overboard and indulge. After all this treat was celebrating my milestone birthday and Mum’s. We dressed smart casual like how all posh ladies would dress for afternoon High Tea and arrived at 2:30pm for our treat.
History of the Oyster Box Hotel
The Oyster Box is a 5 star hotel based in the Umhlanga area of Durban, know for it’s opulent luxurious views of the Indian Ocean and service that is literally out of this world. Originally a cottage it was built in 186 called Oyster Lodge and was later bought in 1952 by Ken and Kay O’Connor (brother and sister) who turned it into a tea garden, then a restaurant, and finally a hotel in March 1954. In 2006, the hotel, then owned by Wayne Reed, was bought by Stanley and Bea Tollman of Red Carnation Hotels. Renovation work lasted from 2007 to 2009.The Hotel has 86 rooms and suites including the Presidential Suite. Celebrities have been known to stay here and one can often spot both local and international celebs on the premises.
Oyster Box High Tea Experience
After finding some parking , I felt like a kid so excited as we entered the hotel and was welcomed by the friendly doorman. Walking in , I could not stop looking all over and wanted to take pictures of everything. Everything was so elegant and beautiful.It did feel like I was walking into a bygone era just like my Rovos Rail experience. A beautiful woman sat in the Palm Court playing melodious ballads on her piano instantly creating a relaxing and calm environment for one to indulge in their High tea, and yes the Palm Courts has beautiful huge Palms. Welcomed by our gracious hostess, we were shown to our own table as we walked through my mouth started watering at the delicious tea time treats on display.
A beautifully set up table with vintage crockery in shades and tones of pink adorned our table, as well as a hand written card welcoming us and not forgetting the bright balloons attached to our seats. On the table also included an Oyster Box blended box of tea with its most famous cat Skabenga on the box for us to take home. Not long after settling down , we were offered glasses of bubbly including both the alcoholic and non alcoholic versions which is very thoughtful in catering for all guests. A selection of warm beverages are served with the High Tea experience and are offered throughout the afternoon. The Palm Court was full and it is necessary to make a booking in advance so that they can accommodate you. There seemed to be lots of celebrations at the tables judging by the number of balloons from birthdays, to bridal showers to baby showers and the Oyster Box is the perfect spot for the decadent celebrations.
Once our hot drinks arrived we headed off to indulge in the heavily laden cake in the middle of the room, besides looking like a thing of beauty it had a vast selection of sweet and savoury treats which were constantly been refilled. To my utter surprise and delight , there was Sushi as well.
From sandwiches ,pies ,pastries ,cheese boards and cakes there was something for all taste palates.As mum is a vegetarian and there were a few savoury options she could have ,on chatting to one of the hostesses a special plate was made up just for her.My starategy was to start with the savouries and make my way to the sweets.Boy did I wish I had a second stomach but alas I could not try everything my eyes wanted.
And then in the middle of our after indulgence ,the piano player started playing “Happy Birthday”and platters were brought out for all those celebrating with a chocolate cup.Such a lovely gesture.
For Mum and I this was indeed a perfect treat to celebrate our birthdays as losing my Gran last year left us heartbroken.
Thank you Oyster Box for creating such special memories for my cupboard of happiness.
High Tea information
1.The price is R365 per person. I know it is expensive but this experience is not something one does all the time but rather for special occasions.
2.The High Tea is from 14h30 till 17hoo which is more than enough time.
3.The menu has roughly 40 items on the menu which include both sweet and savoury.The menu changes weekly.
4.One glass of complimentary sparkling wine is included as well a selection of teas, filter coffee, hot chocolate , cappuccino , latte and fruit juices.
5.The standard of service is extremely high and attention is given to every single table.
How to make a Oyster Box High Tea booking ?
Bookings must be made in advance.
Tel: +27 31 514 5018
NOTE: Guests with nut allergies should advise a member of the team before dining.
Have you indulged in a High Tea Experience before?Let me know about your experience in the comments below.
Be Inspired !
Ps Mum and I were guests of the Oyster Box but as always my opionions are my own.