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High tea or more correctly, afternoon tea is one of my most favourite leisurely activities. During the month of June, Sheraton On The Park will be serving a special royal edition to celebrate Queen's Birthday!

You don't have to be obsessed with the British royal family to get excited about this royal high tea experience. Set in the lobby of one of Sydney's best five star hotels, the Royal Tea Stand is inspired by Her Majesty's favourite treats. Embracing her love of simple and classic, delights such as jam ring cookies and baked ham and English mustard sandwiches grace the three-tiered platter.

Sheraton On The Park, Royal High Tea Stand

The Gallery Tea Lounge at Sheraton On The Park Sydney

The bottom tier includes plump juicy strawberries, freshly baked plain and raisin scones with a mini jar of Beerenberg jam, a pot of cream and some slabs of butter. The butter goes unused but we make the most of the cream and jam, lathering on mountains of each.

The savoury tier features sandwiches - with their crust off of course - in delectable fillings such as roast beef and horseradish, cucumber and cream cheese, smoked salmon, as well as baked ham and English mustard. I love sandwiches this way, especially the dainty smoked salmon sandwich wheels.

Scones, sandwiches and tea at Sheraton On The Park Sydney

We save the sweets tier for the end. There are Benedicks bittermints, shortbreads decorated in the shape of a crown, mini Victoria sponge cake, battenburg petit fours, chocolate biscuit cakes and jam ring cookies. They're a little basic, but I guess the Queen likes her classics! In my opinion, it's just like a visit to my grandma's - overly sweet but leaves you feeling humble and content ;)

Sheraton On The Park, Royal High Tea Stand with treats inspired by Her Majesty

Zen Huang at Sheraton On The Park

The Royal Tea Stand also includes tea or coffee for two. Choices are aplenty; I have the Lady Grey from the Twinings Fine Leaf Tea range, a fragrant, bright & light black tea scented with bergamont, orange and lemon. My new husband (yes, we've finally tied the knot!!! #jenandzenwedding) has the Summer Delight by Penelope Sach Herbal Teas, a lemon & mint sensation, scented with spearmint, lemongrass, calendula & lemon thyme. 

Afternoon tea is such a lovely tradition. I'm not sure how often Her Majesty indulges like this, but we certainly had a relaxing and enjoyable 'royal' afternoon!

Jennifer Lam at Sheraton On The Park enjoying high tea

The Royal Tea Stand is $58 for two
Add $22 for two glasses of Domain Chandon Brut or $40 for two glasses of Taittinger
Available throughout June from 11:30am to 5:00pm

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Sheraton On The Park
161 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW
Phone: (02) 9286 6000

The Gallery Tea Lounge on Urbanspoon

JENIUS dined as guests of Sheraton On The Park

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Most foodies have a pair of "eating pants" or an "eating dress". These pieces of clothing are tremendously forgiving around the waistline and are perfect for excessively indulgent periods of eating. Admittedly, a decent ratio of my wardrobe consists of these eating pants and eating dresses. I'm rarely found in a bandage dress and I don't own a single piece of shapewear underwear or Spanx! I value comfort too much and I like to be ready to eat 24/7. You never know when a feast is to be had!

However, Berlei recently introduced a new Dig Free product to their hosiery range which is designed without a front seam and with a smoothing waistband. The Dig-Free range is less heavy-duty than Spanx and offers that extra level of support without constraining the body. I've always hated the idea of fat being squished and pushed to odd places so this seems to be a good middle ground!

In the spirit of being my "indulgence" sponsor, they invited me to go on a date night wearing a pair of Dig Free leggings! There's also a chance for you to win your very own indulgent date night - just scroll down for the competition details!

Berlei dig free competition - win a cheat night

So as the weather has gotten cooler and it has become too silly to venture out on a chilly night with bare legs, I rather enjoyed the warmth and disguised tummy-tucking support of my Dig Free leggings! I even had a Sex and The City moment where I thought I was tricking my body into thinking it was thinner, ha!

I chose 4Fourteen as the destination for my indulgent date night because I have been wanting to try everything on their menu since they first opened!

4Fourteen, Surry Hills - pigs ears, oysters, chicken wings, mussels
Freshly shucked Clair De Lune oysters ($4 each); chicken wing with parfait, tortilla and apple chutney ($7.50); pigs ear toast with smoked potato ($14); mussels with salted fish and batlow apple cider sauce ($29)

Stepping in, we're immediately warped into the rhythm of the open kitchen and my Dig Free leggings and I ooze right into the buzzing vibe.

The menu is designed to share and is conveniently categorized into groups of 'to nibble', 'rolls', 'small plates', 'large plates' and 'salads and starches'.

4Fourteen, Surry Hills -grain salad and decor
Mixed grain salad ($12)

To start, we share some gorgeous Clair De Lune oysters which are served with their lids loosely placed on top. I love the notion of eating oysters this fresh so effortlessly - it's as though we're in the wild and the shucking process wasn't even necessary. 

A must-have starter is the chicken wing with parfait, tortilla and apple chutney. The chicken wing is deboned for pleasurable eating; the skin is crisp and the parfait is pure comfort. It was probably designed to be one big mouthful of amazingness but I struggle and awkwardly split it into two very messy bites.

Colin Fassnidge is known for his nose to tail philosophy so we find ourselves intrigued by dishes such as the pigs ear toast. While the ear is coated with a crumbed batter, the texture of the ear is more noticeable than the deep-fried kind. It is soft like pulled pork with the inner layer of cartilage, still offering a light chewy crunch. There's a dollop of smoky potato sauce on the side which binds the flavours beautifully and leaves you wanting more and more. 

We also have the mussels with salted fish and batlow apple cider sauce. These mussels are the biggest I've ever seen. In one hand, I'm holding a ginormously plump, juicy and sweet mussel and in the other hand, a wedge of chargrilled sourdough, soaked in the wonderful juices. What an experience!

It is worth noting that the flow of dishes are smoothly timed between the share plates. There are pauses between 'courses' offering just the right amount of time to digest and crave more.

4Fourteen, Surry Hills -duck egg, pork, fennel flower meringue, pear & apple popsicle
Duck egg with Alaskan crab, asparagus and peas ($22); roast pork with smoked kipflers and rhubarb ($35); fennel pollen meringue with berry granita ($14); spiced vanilla brulee cream with pear & apple popsicle ($14)

On the home stretch, we're served the mixed grain salad which is a wholesome mix of things such as quinoa, pine nuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds and puffed rice; a breakfast style dish of a sunny-side up duck egg with crab, asparagus, peas, watercress, and cos lettuce which is delicate and fresh in all the right ways; and the roast pork with smoked kipfler potatoes and rhubarb which pushes me right to the edge! The succulent roast pork paired with the tangyness of the rhubarb and the complex flavours of kale is divine. If only I weren't so full already. We could have done without one dish but looking back, it's hard to say which I would knock out!

For dessert, my fennel pollen meringue is fragrant and sharp - the berry granita accentuates the floral notes of the meringue. The daily popsicle is also hard to turn down. Today's is pear and apple, served with a spiced vanilla brulee cream with a nutty crumble.

We definitely chose the right restaurant for an indulgent date night!

414 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, NSW
Phone: (02) 9331 5399

4Fourteen on Urbanspoon

Win the ultimate date night

Thanks for Berlei's new Dig Free hosiery range, you have the opportunity of winning your very own ultimate date night! This could be a restaurant dinner for two, plus limo transfers, one night's stay in a hotel and a Berlei Dig Free product! Valued up to $1000!

To enter the competition, leave a comment on this post, answering the competition question:

What is the secret to your "eating" outfit?

Note: Competition closes Friday 24 May 2013 at 5pm AEST. This competition is running across multiple blogs and one lucky winner will be selected on Wednesday 29 May, 2013 before 6pm (AEST).

Please refer to the full terms and conditions.

This post is sponsored by Berlei. Opinions are my own.

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It is packed full of delicious awesomeness! You can expect to find a behind-the-scenes look at JENIUS, plus a re-cap of recent eats and fresh stories, and sometimes we throw in exclusive giveaways!

Here is the latest issue:
Issue#28 December 2012

JENIUS is Jennifer Lam's gourmet logbook covering restaurant reviews, thoughts on trialled kitchen appliances & gadgets, tested and tasted recipes & cookbooks, travel stories and her quest to discover and preserve her family heritage and its cuisine.

Jennifer is a twenty-something Sydneysider living the dream - having switched her successful career in advertising for the life of a Gen-Y entrepreneur. Her current business interests include I Ate My Way Through food tours and The Bamboo Garden boutique digital agency.

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Tours for food lovers around Sydney and beyond - I Ate My Way Through guided culinary tours

Buy my book - I Ate My Way Through Singapore and Vietnam, by Jennifer Lam, editor and photographer of JENIUS

As mentioned in The Age Epicure and SMH

As seen in SBS Food's Featured Foodie and Featured Recipe

I Ate My Way Through Granville featured in Parramatta Advertiser's article on A Stroll to Lebanon

Jennifer Lam, Editor of JENIUS, a nominee in Cosmopolitan's Fun Fearless Female Women Of The Year Awards 2010 - Blogger Category

As seen in The Address magazine - Insider's Guide to Sydney food

As seen on Sunrise on 7

As featured in 9to5's Cover Story

As featured in CLEO magazine: gastro porn article

As Seen In Nine to Five Magazine

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JENIUS featured in We Be's top five Australian restaurant bloggers

Featured in City Hub and City News

  • Jen: Haha we were sitting side by side ;) read more
  • Amanda @ Gourmanda: Mmmm, so decadent! You really can't beat high teas at read more
  • Sherrie @ Crystal Noir: Nothing quite like scones and tea for a girly afternoon read more
  • steph | a little bit of tang: I love high tea ! The passionfruit posset look so read more
  • bob @ Hey! did you tell your company to hide from the read more
  • Gerko: Time Out is only useful if you bear in mind read more
  • Nic@diningwithastud: Oh congratulations :D you look absolutely amazing and the whole read more
  • Sara @bellyrumbles: Congratulations!!! xxx read more
  • monika: My 12 Rules I go to bed and get up read more
  • Miss Piggy: Congrats to you both. Your dress is stunning and I read more

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