Mr. Selfish and I were delighted to return to an English speaking country, particularly a former British colony. We immediately decided that we would go for afternoon tea and reacquaint ourselves with scones and clotted cream. Based on our Aussie friend’s recommendation, we decided to try the Tea Room at the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) in Sydney’s Central Business District (CBD).
The QVB was built in the late 19th century and was obviously dedicated to Queen Victoria. In front of the QVB, you will find a statue of the Queen’s dog that has been “gifted with the power of speech.” We found it to be quite comical.
The QVB was originally intended as a shopping centre and continues today as a high-end shopping mall. The inside is still beautiful with glorious stain glass windows. We enjoyed watching the Great Australian Clock, which has 33 scenes from Australian history.
The Tea Room is on the third floor of the QVB. Although the décor was only average, the afternoon tea itself was quite tasty. It wasn’t as good as the Balmoral in Edinburgh but it was certainly better tasting than the Ritz and the Peninsula in Shanghai.
We really enjoyed the warmed scones with clotted cream and jam, as well as the savory sandwiches (including ham, egg, and tuna). Mr. Selfish particularly approved of the clotted cream. The two other levels of sweets were better than average, but we still didn’t have enough stomach space to finish them.
Nearby the QVB is the State Theatre, at which we enjoyed the Sydney Film Festival showing of “Before Midnight” starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delphy. Although I found the movie to be quite entertaining, Mr. Selfish couldn’t stand the dialogue or Ethan Hawke’s performance. In any case, the State Theatre is a beautiful theatre, and it would definitely be nice to watch a live performance there.
Finally, we also found St. Mary’s Cathedral in the CBD to be quite photographic. It was built in Gothic Revival style and was consecrated in 1882. Our airbnb host had told us that there was a huge public pool in front of the cathedral, which we found hard to believe. But sure enough, we found the public pool all the way in front of the cathedral. It looked nice although we didn’t take a swim.
It was fun to wander around Sydney’s CBD. I highly recommend taking afternoon tea at the Tea Room, watching a performance at the State Theatre, and maybe taking a dip at the pool in front of St. Mary’s Cathedral.