High Tea, Plume Style

I visited Plume Cafe on an unusually sunny Saturday morning. Upon arriving, I was given a tour of their beautiful grounds, which feature a lovely and spacious outdoor seating area. The tempting aroma of fresh-baked bread filled the cafe.


The cafe was bustling, with families enjoying plates of French toast or cups of coffee before their visits to the Matakana Farmers’ Market. 

A counter section displayed an abundance of fresh pastries and bread, and I wish I could have tried them all.

Instead, I indulged in the high tea, which was full of unique and local flavours that gave me a true taste of Plume Cafe.

Farida Cooper, Plume’s manager, told me that high tea at Plume Cafe defies some traditional expectations. “It’s not just cucumber sandwiches on white bread. We do it our own style.”

The high tea started with two kinds of scones—a date and vanilla variety, and one with kalamata olive and goat feta. 

The middle layer featured yummy sandwiches including roast beef with red onion marmalade, ciabatta bambino with curried egg mayonnaise, ham and cheese toasty and in-house smoked salmon on Turkish bread. 

We finished up with the sweet temptations. There was a light rose water panna cotta, a spiced apple pie, dark chocolate pavé and grape juice mousse. The mousse is made with their own grape juice, which was made with the syrah grapes from their vineyard. 


Every bite of the high tea was divine, but I think my favourite was the dark chocolate pavé. Plume Cafe’s high tea is available on weekdays or on weekends after 2 pm with an advance booking for groups of eight or more. 

After finishing the high tea, I walked down the street to the Matakana Farmers’ Market, with a full stomach and a fresh loaf of bread under my arm. Entering the market feels like stepping into a fairytale. 

It had an abundance of options incomparable to any farmers’ market I have ever attended. Stalls offered fresh produce, artisan baking, fine wines, olive oils, smoked salmon, Italian sausages, organic chocolate and more. Many shoppers chose to sit by the river while they enjoyed their coffee or snacks. Kids laughed and watched the ducks and eels in the water. A local band filled the air with lively music. 

The market is zero-waste, so customers bring their own tote bags to fill with high-quality local products. 

Since dogs are not permitted in the actual market, local schools offer an adorable dog-sitting station right outside for gold coin donations. It was easy to get distracted petting the dogs.

A visit to the Matakana Farmers’ Market and Plume Cafe is an easy Saturday morning drive if you need a charming break from the bustle of the city.

Visit plumerestaurant.co.nz for more information. Minimum 24-hours advance bookings essential.

Words — Claire Scott

Photography — Sanaya Dhablania