Traditionally high tea has been known as an extravagant, over the top taste experience complemented by the finest environment and atmosphere. It is as much about the surroundings as it is about the food.

When imagining high tea, I immediately pictured a typical English dining room setting with all the finery. Alto234 at the very top of the Leonardo is a modern departure from the traditional in the very best way. An elevated experience on every level, from the food to the drinks and of course the incredible views.

With much excitement, we made our way to the highest urban bar in Africa (234 metres up to be exact). We were graciously welcomed in the grand Leonardo foyer and sipped on our mimosas as we awaited the moment that we would board the elevator to the 52nd floor. As the doors opened, we were met with the most incredible 360 degree views of Joburg. We drank in the views and more of our mimosas of course before sitting down to peruse the tantalising treats on the menu.

The team from the Leonardo’s signature restaurant, AURUM, have prepared a selection of mouthwatering sweet and savory options. After quite some thought, we decided to try both the tuna and beef tartare on the crispiest brioche toast. Next was a true delight, mini croissant with camembert and caramelised onion. For a cheese and pastry lover like me, this was a mouthful of heaven. Next we tried something with a little more zing, a smoked salmon mousse blini with the tartiest yet sweet pickled onion and capers. Our last savory exploration was a light and fluffy frittata generously filled with mushroom and truffle crème.

We took a few moments and then decided to indulge in something sweet. A trio of mousse filled macarons with punchy flavours of raspberry, lemon and apple. Three deliciously chewy bites bursting in fruity flavour. When there’s chocolate on offer, I can’t help but indulge. A decadent mini hazelnut chocolate tart followed by a rich chocolate raspberry mini cake. If that wasn’t enough sweetness, we ended off with the highlight of the morning. The creamiest vanilla bean custard beignet.

Feeling more than satisfied, we basked in the afternoon sun before making our way back to terra firma. An Alto234 high tea is just the way to soak up the sun and treat yourself to some of the most delicious small plates. We’re looking forward to our next journey skywards to try out more magnificent morsels!

Be sure to book your spot soon! R300 secures your entry and includes a complimentary Moet & Chandon mimosa on arrival. Once up top, the new brunch and high tea menus are available to order off every Saturday and Sunday between 10h30 and 12h30 and are charged for separately.

Take your dining experience to new heights by booking at