One of the coolest things to do in the Lower Hunter Valley is grab a High Tea at Ducks in the Field in Duckenfield (hey, the name makes sense now!).
It’s one of the best high tea’s in the Hunter Valley and the cost is pretty decent as well.
I do believe Ducks in the Field has ruined high tea for me for life… as I doubt no other experience could ever compare to the spread we were fed from that place.
The café is located a short drive west from Morpeth. It is run by Ellen, out of what once was a granny flat on her property. She is clearly passionate about her business and this passion shows in the level of detail and care that is put into making this experience one to remember.
Related: Chasing Ghosts at Maitland Gaol
We booked for a Wednesday and lucked out – it was a rather drab day outside, so we had the establishment to ourselves. I immediately took to the place, with its mismatched furniture, colourful crockery and the kitschy porcelain trinkets that adorned each table.
On arrival our places were set, tea cups ready, with a glass of Ducks in the Fields “special punch” awaiting us.
We were immediately attended to by Nicole, who runs the cafe alongside Ellen. First course was a small bowl of sweet potato and bacon soup, with a side of garlic bread. I dipped my spoon into this concoction and took a first, tentative sip. It was utterly delicious, a prelude to the culinary delights that awaited us.
There were three savoury courses to follow. The first consisted of a beetroot relish tartlette and a smoked salmon and asparagus wrap. Next came a corn fritter and Asian-inspired pork wonton in soup. The trifecta was completed with a pumpkin tartlette, baked potato with a cheese and bacon filling and curry lamb pies served in quaint little cups.
We cleansed our palates (I feel so fancy writing that) with peach sorbet, followed by passionfruit and vanilla bean panacotta, the last of which utterly delighted my mother.
In the interim, we drank tea. Despite having probably one cup too many, I managed to stuff myself on the dessert tray. How could I not, when it looked like this?
The menu changes often – the food is cooked according to seasons and the ladies like to experiment!
If you find yourself in or around Maitland (or you’re a local looking to experience what the area has on offer!), I highly recommend indulging in Ducks in the Field High Tea. It is perfect for a girls day out, mother/daughter bonding time or a birthday celebration. If your party is more than 25, you have the option of booking the place out. High tea is served during two sessions a day and the cafe seats up to 30 people. It will set you back $50 a head for the experience, but it is worth every single cent.
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