The Heladiv Tea Club at the Dutch Hospital has been quite highly recommended to us recently. We know they do excellent desserts, but apparently they also do good cocktails and you get decent (drinkable) bottles of wine for just Rs. 2000.
Since this is a tea club we decided to go for tea-based cocktails. They have two of these, the HTC Taprobana Ice Tea (Rs. 600, containing gin, vodka, triple sec, Heladiv soursip tea, lime and soda) and the Jamaican Rum Tea (Rs. 450, containing dark rum, Heladiv cinnamon tea, fresh lime and soda). We had both. The Taprobana was o-kay, but Jamaican Rum Tea was pretty undrinkable – it tasted kinda like expired fruit. We actually couldn’t drink it at all, but the staff were very sweet and didn’t charge us for it. I dunno, perhaps it could be alright if you liked, er, mature fruit and bitter tea? But generally, it’s probably best to avoid. Tea cocktails can be delicious, but maybe not here. Try the frozen margaritas (Rs. 600) though, apparently they’re excellent.
They also, of course, have a wide selection of teas and coffees, ranging between Rs 240 and Rs. 290 (the premium teas – golden and silver tips – excluded). The Heladiv ice teas are great, although cheaper if purchased in a carton from Keells.
The desserts, unlike the tea cocktails, are delicious. We had the Chocolate Heaven (Rs. 400). This looks like a cake, but is basically three thick slabs of brownie sandwiched together with chocolate mousse. It’s pretty amazing – you get that nice crumbly, nutty texture and then the smooth creaminess of the mousse. We’d definitely recommend this. Their other desserts are excellent as well. Try the Death by Chocolate and Strawberry Meringue (Rs. 350 and 400 respectively). Yum.
The Heladiv Tea Club is located in the very fashionable and popular Dutch Hospital Precinct. This is a lovely place and it’s almost always full. It’s got a great atmosphere, especially on the weekends. The HTC offers a good alternative to the often overcrowded O! Bar – it’s likely you’ll both get a seat and be served swiftly.
The HTC has some decent wines for just Rs. 2000 – Tall Horse, Banrock Station and Cono Sur. The desserts are all between Rs. 400 and Rs. 450 – this looks expensive but it’s not so bad for a hefty size of cake that honestly can’t be finished by one person alone. In terms of food they only serve sandwiches and salads, and these also range between Rs. 400 and Rs. 450.
If you’re going to the Dutch Hospital the HTC seems like one of the less likely venues of choice. We didn’t even realise they served alcohol until recently, but the booze is affordable and the cakes are delicious. And you’ll be guaranteed a seat. Not a bad place at all – just stay away from the tea cocktails.