The crimson umbrella gleams in the same tint as her red lips; her painted body fills half of the shop window. “Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world”, reads underneath. The rotund Asian Queen of Tea welcomes you!
Comfortably nestled in front of the train station in Maylands, Western Australia, between other cafes and shops, you cannot miss her seductive charm. Chapels on Whatley is her name. She was born from her two father’s hard work and passion for everything old and Asian.
Every day, except on public holidays, at Chapels you can have a bottomless cup, good coffee and gourmet food to go along with your drink of choice. The delicious pastries include names like Apple Frangipani Tart. In the full range of macarons served here varieties like Tahini, Lavender and Rhubarb fill the mouth while still reading the menu.
The café-tea room takes place in a century-old building restored with love by the two owners, Glenn Bartel and Keith Archer. The name Chapels, Whatley is the street, has a gloomier origin than one can expect. Now the building might be a temple of Asian-style elegance and supreme high tea pleasure, but in the past, among many other businesses, it housed the first pre-paid funeral service in Perth, Western Australia. Hence, the name remained.
Everything in this space talks about Asian culture. The walls, left with their rustic charm of brick and mortar, their ruggedness contrasts with the fine decorative items in every corner and at all heights. A tall timber cabinet takes the whole wall on the left. In its square drawers and open shelves are hidden or exposed many little gems. In metal boxes or small glass containers, the clients can choose between fifty varieties of tea, to buy or have it served here. Autumn Beauty, China Rose Buds, Chamomile Green Tea and more – to pick one is difficult.
Except for the black and green teas, there are many more to make the ignorant confused. Japanese tea, Matcha, Oolong, Pu-erh … and Skinny Bitch teas. The latter are good for boosting your metabolism. “Fat blasting never tasted so deliciously naughty”, the Chapels on Whatley website states.
Chapels represents a synthesized love elixir for everything tea, but the coffee here is a work of affection too. Tasting good and well presented, it matches perfectly with the melting-in-your-mouth orange-almond cake.
Jazz-ing the Night
If you think this establishment is solely about drinking tea or coffee with some of the best cakes in the city, you will be mistaken. That’s not all. The Queen likes company. Every Friday and Saturday evening, she makes sure her home is filled with people enjoying themselves at the dinner table. For that she invites special guests – talented musicians performing relaxing and emotive (often bossa nova jazz) music.
High Tea Indeed
Saturday and Sunday afternoons are reserved for the Arco Duo. You will enjoy your High Tea in the company of two well-loved Australian musicians that blend their mutual love for classical, rock and jazz music in a violin partnership. And what a High Tea indeed! Starting with a glass of champagne, followed by savoury sandwiches, mini quiches and seasonal cakes. Tea and food are served in Royal Doulton and Wedgewood fine bone China.
Based on the historical High Tea served in the French Quarter of Shanghai or at the lavish Raffles Hotel in Singapore, the Chapels’ tea experience makes it possible to imagine the colonial time with its splendour and pleasurable lifestyle.
The Asian Queen of Tea welcomes you! She is a child of a high-class English gentleman and an Asian Scarlet. With a style and attentive care, she enchants and lures, and makes everyone who visits her exquisite home feel joyous and grateful.
Chapels on Whitley is located at 196 Whatley Crescent, Maylands, Western Australia. The tea room is open from 8 am to 4 pm Sunday through Thursday, and 8 am to 8 pm on Friday and Saturday. For High Tea, you need to book and pay fully at least seven days in advance. You can make reservations by calling (08) 9272 7738. For more information visit chapelsonwhatley.com.au