With a rising, popular demand for bite-size morsels and delicate china, the “afternoon tea” experience has been taken to the next, creative level by these fantastic venues across Australia. Whether you’re a lover of savoury treats or chocolate decadence, there’s something for everyone in this list of extra-ordinary high tea experiences.
Collins Coffee House, Melbourne
Many of the finest high tea experiences around come from large-scale hotels, their kitchens and cafes specifically designed to offer high-class gastronomic delights. Sometimes, however, high tea is best tasted as it once was: in the intimate confines of a pretty cafe or elegant drawing room. The Collins Coffee House in Melbourne has a fantastic atmosphere for high tea as it was meant to be taken. Dine in a beautiful heritage building with marble-topped tables and fine china, where dainty delicacies give the illusion of a smaller, more intimate venue. If you’re looking for the full, immersive experience, the House also hosts themed events including a Bridgerton-inspired high tea this October! Grab your lace gloves and formalwear lords and ladies; it’s time to dine like it’s 1819!
Firewater Grille, Perth
When we think “high tea”, images of dainty, crustless sandwiches and sugar plum cupcakes start dancing through our minds: pretty and delicious but not always the best way to amuse the bouche when craving a little sustenance in your afternoon. At the Duxton Hotel however, the Firewater Grille has you covered. As well as a classic sweet-breads high tea, the grille also provides meat and bread-based canapés turning your afternoon event into a savoury one. Petite, meat-packed sandwiches, ham-bites and savoury pastries are on offer alongside tea and cocktails.Themed events are also widely popular at the Firewater, including their upcoming Spring High Tea, where food and drink are crafted on the themes of native Australian flowers. If you’re looking to enjoy creative, culinary delights this October, we recommend booking now!
Cambewarra Estate, New South Wales
The beautiful grounds of Cambewarra Estate are a perfect locale for fine dining. Relaxing with a succulent piece of cake and accompanying cup and saucer can surely only be improved with sunshine upon your face? Open to individuals, groups and families (including high teas designed for children) the Estate has something for everyone to enjoy. Still not satisfied? How about indulging in a nostalgic Alice in Wonderland moment and enjoying your high tea sitting in a giant tea cup with Cambewarra’s VIP High Tea Cup Experience? The Mad Hatter’s tea party awaits…
Ginza Miyako, Adelaide
Born to the nobility of Great Britain, it has been centuries since the high tea phenomenon went global. So, how about we do too? How about switching classic sandwiches and pastries for dora-yaki and an-pan? Ginza Miyako, in the heart of Adelaide, offers a Japanese fusion high tea that combines the best of English Regency elegance with centuries-old Japanese tea ceremony. Eat on floor-based seating, in a traditional manner, inside a shoji screen dining room for an authentic Asian experience. With soft, muted lighting, a zen-like atmosphere and award-winning food, Ginza Miyako is an experience not to be missed if you’re looking for a unique afternoon boost in Adelaide.
Thorngrove Manor, Southern Australia
Ever wondered what it would be like to dine as English royalty? A small jewel of a hotel, with a mighty facade, Thorngrove Manor is a fairytale castle nestled in the verdant greenery of the Adelaide Hills. Iron gates, tended lawns and historical decor create a medieval fantasy for both overnight guests and dining visitors. Enjoy their high tea package beside a roaring fireplace in their dining hall, or take it to the next level in their Ultimate High Tea for Two: a private experience in the Kings Chamber, popular with romantic dates and due-to-be-newly-weds. The manor’s combination of skilled chefs, impressive hospitality reviews and unbeatable location make it a must-visit for lovers of history and medieval whimsy.
So, you possess a sweet-tooth that just can’t be sated by cake alone? The Tesoro Hobart in Tasmania won’t let you down! Their Chocology afternoons of cacao-inspired high tea are the perfect indulgence for those whose desires tend towards the bitter-sweet. Whether your love lies in the darkest of chocolates or the sweetest of treats, these Chocology events have something for you, serving their confections alongside pots of tea or glasses of bubbly. With their decadent little morsels packed with ingredients such as tryptophan to boost your serotonin, a happy afternoon with these chocolate connoisseurs is practically a guaranteed science! With events for both children and adults, the Hobart spread the joy to one and all and – best yet – offer boxed confections for you to take home!
Living Room Bar, Brisbane
For some, nothing beats the calm of the high tea experience. The meditative sipping of hot tea creates a cocoon of mental tranquility. For others, such serenity leads to itchy restlessness. But what if tea was accompanied by an activity? A creative pursuit to inspire the mind and preoccupy the hands? The Living Room Bar of West Brisbane has come up with that exact concept! At their Eat Your Art Out event, instead of canapés and snacks of vibrant colour, you’re served a blank canvas of panna cotta. Edible paints and fine brushes replace condiments and cutlery and suddenly you’re the chef in charge of your cuisine’s aesthetic. Create a work of art as you sip a hot beverage or fine wine (your choice) and then enjoy the fruits of your labour by tucking into your creative dessert! We love this imaginative take on the recent high tea popularity, not to mention the doors it opens to what other expressive and tasty pursuits we can find for idle hands…
Crown Perth, Western Australia
If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy high tea in Perth, there is one name that rises above all others. Crown Hotel prides itself on delivering not just one exceptional high tea package but a choice of many, depending on your favour. From artisanal gin to Cantonese inspired snacks, there is a high tea for you, no matter your mood. Our recommendations, however, lie with their High Cheese event. Held in the La Vie Champagne Lounge, the High Cheese afternoon tea favours savoury over sweet and crisp, vibrant flavours over creamy sugar. From roasted potatoes and cured meats to fine, infused camemberts and goat cheese deserts, this “high tea” can be accompanied by tastings of champagne or Glenfiddich Whiskys and is a gentleman’s (and lady’s!) delight.
Looking for something a little more filling? Try our recommendations for the best burgers in Sydney!