Brisbane’s Best High Teas (and The Perfect Scone Recipe)

By Penny Kidd - 23 Mar 2014


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From a young age, we females have delighted in dressing up in our finest frocks and enjoying a cup of tea – complete with pinkies pointing skyward.

Now, rather than sitting around with Big Ted and Raggedy Anne, we can indulge in fine brews and dainty treats, playing "grown up" to our heart's content.

Whether you're celebrating a bridal shower, baby shower, mother/daughter bonding session or just a girl's day out, we have served up the best high teas in Brisbane.

Spring keep things simple and classic with their menu of fresh finger sandwiches (smoked salmon, egg, ham and the obligatory cucumber), scones with clotted cream and preserves, petit fours and macarons (for $50).

For chocolate lovers, Cobble Stone Tea House in New Farm offers a "Luxurious High Tea" ($49), which includes chocolate treats such as a chocolate and caramel pot with biscotti, fudge, rocky road and truffles. This is, of course, after you've enjoyed your ribbon sandwiches, canapés, scones and petit fours!

If you enjoy bubbly instead of tea, check out Bacchus' "Champagne High Tea" ($49). You can sip on a glass of Moet Champagne or a Champagne cocktail while enjoying a selection of finger sandwiches, plain or fruit scones, chocolate éclair, tart au citron, macarons and cake du jour.

You may prefer the savoury options to the sweet, and Vintaged Bar & Grill provide some delicious sandwich concoctions including spanner crab and smoked salmon salad, goats curd, celery heart, watercress and walnut or the classic organic egg, mayonnaise and celery cress ($35 to $55).

Queenie's Traditional Tea House in Nundah even look after the kids with their "Littlies Tea Party", served on their own footed plate. Fairy bread, sandwiches, bite-sized savouries, cupcakes, gingerbread men, brownies and homemade coconut ice should keep them quiet while you bliss out with your 3-tier stand.

Let's face it, nobody comes for the Earl Grey, Darjeeling or Oolong — we come for scones!

Sometimes a bit daunting to try at home, (think hockey pucks), scones are simply a combination of flour, a rising agent, milk (sometimes buttermilk, sour cream or cream) and fat (either butter, vegetable oil or lard). You can then add any flavouring you wish, from cheese to raisins to mashed pumpkin.


We've kept things simple and, in honour of grandmothers everywhere, provided a basic scone recipe that begs to be covered in dollops of jam and cream.

Brisbane's best high tea and perfect scone recipe

250g self raising flour
1 cup milk
1 tbsp butter, chilled
½ tsp salt
Extra milk for glazing

Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees.

Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl, then add the butter. Cut the butter into the flour using a knife or your fingertips, until the mixture is sandy.

Stir through the milk until you have a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead lightly.

Roll the dough out with a rolling pin or the heel of your palm until it is half an inch thick.

Using a scone cutter, stamp out the scones and place on a greased and lined over tray.

Glaze the top of each scone with milk and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Top tip: To get a light, fluffy scone try not to handle the dough too much. You can also customise your scones with the addition of chocolate chips, dates, pomegranate seeds (or anything you like, really!) by stirring these additions through the flour and salt mixture before you add the butter.

TUL Note: Penny is a freelance food writer and obsessive cook, who has returned to Brisbane after ten years living in the UK and Melbourne. She is currently taking her passion for sweets treats one step further and learning the skills to become a pastry chef from her culinary idols, documenting her experiences through her blog Project Pastry.

Image credit: Bespoke Quilts, Making Today Beautiful

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