Often when I’m faced with a standard meal at a restaurant I’d really like to say, “Could I have a bit of this one, and some of that one, and yes throw one of those in too!” I seek variety, I love food and am passionate about tasty morsels.
So when I heard that the Glenbrook Vintage Railway (GVR) now offer high tea, it didn’t take long for me to say “take me to the tracks!” I had been looking for a neat experience to share with my ten year-old daughter Charli. Yes we could go to the movies, or go to the pools, but I was after something a little more special. High tea on a train, in our own backyard, and with my most favourite girl in the world—what could be better?
The GVR have restored a near 100 year-old train carriage to provide a luxurious lounge feel. Stepping into the comfort of their First Class Parlour Car, you really do feel like you’ve been transported back through the ages to more genteel times. The carriage travels the same journey as the standard GVR route, including the workshop stop, so you don’t miss out on anything and the high tea service usually operates on several days of each month (check their website for dates).
As we got underway, we were offered a cool or hot drink of our choice and then watched in awe as a large high tea stand was placed before us. Charli’s eyes lit up as she surveyed all of the goodies just waiting to be devoured. Tasty pinwheel wraps, chocolate brownie, moist lemon cake, muffins, a bundle of crispy cookies and homemade scones. Oh where to start! All of the items are locally made and on our trip, the scones were actually baked by our train driver Ray—how cool is that! It was a mission to get through all of the delicious treats, but on behalf of our readers, somehow we pushed through and nearly gobbled up the lot!
Feasting complete, it was time to venture outside as we trundled along the tracks. One of the many wonderful features of the Parlour Car, is the stunning rear balcony area. The balcony platform is ringed with ornate railings and there are comfy chairs to sit and watch the view go by.
A true sense of peace came over me as I simply relaxed and took in the countryside from this unique perspective. This is not a fancy pants high tea experience. If you’re seeking delicately crafted confections, made by a professional patisserie chef, go to one of the many city hotels offering up that standard style of high tea. But if you’re seeking a wonderfully unique experience at a reasonable price to share with friends, family, a partner, or your special girl, I would highly recommend booking in for a trip on the tracks with the GVR First Class Parlour Car. Toot, toot.