The first time I was treated to high tea at the 12 Apostles Hotel, it was on one of those glorious Cape Town winter days that makes the odd appearance in between all the rain. Itâ??s not often Iâ??m sad to see the sun, but on that occasion I would have liked a miserable grey sky and perhaps a lightning storm thrown in.

Begin with the bubbles

You see, on a sunny day, the balcony at the 12 Apostlesâ?? Leopard Bar just screams â??sit here and order cocktails while you admire the viewâ?.

For me though, the decadent afternoon tea fits better with a rainy day. I have, however, come up with a way in which you can have your sun and eat your cake as well. If the sun happens to be shining when you visit Cape Townâ??s most spectacularly-positioned hotel for their chocolate high tea this winter, donâ??t order a pot of tea on arrival. Instead buy a glass (or perhaps even a bottle) of fizz and enjoy the ocean views with smoked salmon sandwiches and some Graham Beck bubbles.

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Too pretty to touch?

Iâ??ve never really understood the afternoon tea obsession with egg sandwiches, but then I donâ??t really turn up for the savoury snacks anyway. For me, high tea is all about sugar, so once weâ??d attacked the rare roast beef and the smoked salmon and polished off our bubbly, it was time for a pot of peppermint tea and to delve into the almost-too-pretty-to-touch array of desserts.

Of course, nothing edible is really too pretty to touch and we both delved into the particularly attractive panna cotta so fast that we could only take extreme close-up photos to conceal the half weâ??d scoffed. Neither myself nor my cake companion, Bubbles, are huge panna cotta eaters, and we both wanted to order a second portion â?? itâ??s that good.

Hands off my scones

But we had really come for the chocolate, so we tucked into the orange and chocolate macaroons, chocolate brownies, chocolate cremeux (eat it quickly before it melts) and profiteroles (another item Iâ??m not normally crazy about that was polished off in a single bite) before moving on to the chocolate-free items: shortbread, almond frangipane and of course the 12 Apostlesâ?? sumptuous scones. I have raved about the fluffiness of the scones before so I wonâ??t ramble on.

My only complaint would be that the latest version of the tea stand comes with one cheese and one plain scone, and when it comes to the scones, Iâ??m not sharing, however many glasses of bubbly you buy meâ?¦

Find out moreâ?¦

Chocolate Tea by the Sea (R160 per person) will be available daily from 1 May â?? 31 July 2014 from 14h00 to 18h00. Contact restaurant reservations on 021 437 9029 or restaurants@12apostles.co.za to book.