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HOT: High Coffee, Market Lane Bar, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, 495 Collins St, Melbourne

High Coffee Intercontinental Rialto 6 HOT: High Coffee, Market Lane Bar, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, 495 Collins St, Melbourne
In a coffee-mad city, it’s surprising that until the indulgence of high tea hasn’t extended to the celebrating the coffee culture in Melbourne…until now.

Just in time for Mother’s Day, the InterContinental Melbourne hotel, located in the heritage listed Rialto on Collins Street, has just launched High Coffee, available every afternoon from 2-5pm for $55 per person.

High Coffee Intercontinental Rialto 5 HOT: High Coffee, Market Lane Bar, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, 495 Collins St, Melbourne

I was invited to try tidbits from the classic three-tiered afternoon tea set along with the coffee blends from Espresso di Manfredi, including ‘Audacia’, a blend from Sumatran and Indian Arabicas with a touch of Kenyan and ‘Chiaro’ a blend primarily featuring beans from Papua New Guinea. Not being a coffee drinker, I roped in my three-coffees-a-day friend to help imbibe the double doses of caffeine!

High Coffee Intercontinental Rialto 11 HOT: High Coffee, Market Lane Bar, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, 495 Collins St, Melbourne

On arrival you’re offered a deeply rich Espresso martini along with an impressive range of savoury and sweet treats on a silver three-tiered tray. Non coffee drinkers can request a classic martini, soft drinks or a choice of Ronnefeldt ’Teastar’ collection teas.

High Coffee Intercontinental Rialto 2 HOT: High Coffee, Market Lane Bar, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, 495 Collins St, Melbourne

On the top tier were teeny tiny sandwiches – a twist on the classic smoked salmon poppy seed bagel with the cream cheese replaced with lemon myrtle marscapone, delicate roasted chicken and avocado sandwiches with a bush tomato relish and a Wagyu beef mini panini with a tart cucumber relish and sprigs of baby watercress.

High Coffee Intercontinental Rialto 1 HOT: High Coffee, Market Lane Bar, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, 495 Collins St, Melbourne

The pretty plate of sweet treats included a dense chocolate and macadamia slice, a mini-pav of sugary meringue, cream and fresh berries and my favourite, a delicate bite of pistachio macaron with a chocolate ganache filling. The least successful sweet was the vanilla pannacotta topped with a raspberry coulis – while I love the presentation of using doll-sized preserving jars and carved wooden spoons, I found the pannacotta a bit watery in texture so it was more soupy than solid.

High Coffee Intercontinental Rialto 12 HOT: High Coffee, Market Lane Bar, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, 495 Collins St, Melbourne

No afternoon tea would be complete without scones and the InterContinental serve plain and raisin scones warmed, nested in a thick linen napkin to keep the scones at the right temperature, with double cream and strawberry jam.

High Coffee Intercontinental Rialto 9 HOT: High Coffee, Market Lane Bar, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, 495 Collins St, Melbourne

An unexpected surprise in addition to the traditional three-tiered selection was a fourth plate of hot savoury hor d’oeuvres – flaky miniature, boeuf bourgignon pies, prosciutto and asparagus quiches and warm feta and olive muffins – plus a refreshing palate cleanser of raspberry sorbet.

High Coffee Intercontinental Rialto 8 HOT: High Coffee, Market Lane Bar, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, 495 Collins St, Melbourne

As you work your way through the savouries a Bodum espresso glass of Café Freddo (iced coffee) arrives and with the sweets you’re given a choice of another coffee or an intense Café Corretto (espresso with a shot of grappa) to really get the party started.

High Coffee Intercontinental Rialto 10 HOT: High Coffee, Market Lane Bar, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, 495 Collins St, Melbourne

Market Lane Bar has a full wine and alcoholic beverage selection (including one of Melbourne’s most extensive whiskey collections) so your afternoon tea can easily segue into a night on the town.

High Coffee Intercontinental Rialto 7 HOT: High Coffee, Market Lane Bar, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, 495 Collins St, Melbourne

In an extra touch of luxury you can choose to partake in High Coffee while sinking into the plush leather couches of the elegant Market Lane Bar or take your coffee and treats the tea in your room’s private balcony overlooking the grand central atrium of the hotel created from two adjoining buildings of Victorian gothic architecture.

High Coffee Intercontinental Rialto 4 HOT: High Coffee, Market Lane Bar, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, 495 Collins St, Melbourne

From each Balcony Room you can also hear the free jazz concerts that are held on the last Friday of every month from 5pm to late, providing you with a private box experience combined with the comfort of your own five-star hotel room.

High Coffee Intercontinental Rialto 3 HOT: High Coffee, Market Lane Bar, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, 495 Collins St, Melbourne

If you like your coffee (and even if you don’t) I think High Coffee for $55 a head is great value relative to other afternoon teas I’ve tried around Melbourne, especially when weekend rates at some establishments can stretch to $60+. The classics-with-a-twist menu is interesting and there’s plenty of food to share, the surroundings are cosy and glamorous at the same time…and for coffee fiends you’ll drink enough caffeine to keep you buzzing all night!

High CoffeeMarket Lane Bar, lobby level InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto495 Collins Street, Melbourne +61 3 8627 1568
Cost: $55 a head, includes Espresso Martini, iced coffee and choice of coffee/cafe corretto, savoury and sweet bites
Served daily 2pm – 5pm


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Discussion

3 comments for “HOT: High Coffee, Market Lane Bar, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, 495 Collins St, Melbourne”

  1. I LOVE the idea of a hot savoury selection, yum!

    Posted by Em
    Twitter: holdthepeas
    | May 6, 2013, 9:14 am
  2. Does this mean they don’t serve the honey themed afternoon tea anymore? We reviewed that one some time ago. This looks interesting.

    Posted by MoMo & Coco Dessert Correspondents
    Twitter: momo_and_coco
    | May 8, 2013, 9:03 pm

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