Sumary of Afternoon tea in the shadow of Mount Doom:
- TheChateau Tongariro Hotelopened in 1929, a neo-Georgian relic of a golden age of travel in which well-heeled urbanites headed into nature to escape the grime of cities.
- Chateau Tongariro New Zealand Advertising Poster.Photo: David Pollack There are plenty of outdoor activities, with hikers heading outto walk the famed Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which winds its way through the craggy landscape, while the Sky Waka cable car hauls visitors up Mount Ruapehu for sweeping views.
- Instead I takethe low-impact Whakapapa Nature Walk, a level 15-minute loop with signage explaining the local vegetation.
- The staff first bring out my choice of tea, Earl Grey, brewed with loose leaves and poured into a delicate cup witha floral design.
- I can’t help but be impressed.The food is creative, the flavoursare excellent, the tea is good quality, and the service is impeccable.