When it comes to afternoon snacks, ‘high’ tea is the decked-out upgrade of a humble tradition that began at the behest of a hangry Lady of the Bedchamber, the seventh Duchess of Bedford. The story goes that when the main meal moved from midday to the evening, the famished Duchess didn't take the transition well and asked her maid to sneak her a snack on the sly. Other, similarly woebegone noblewomen wanted in on the chow and
What began as a plate of cheeky sandwiches has blossomed into a much more glamourous affair of delicate finger sandwiches, savoury delights, decadent desserts, and pastries covered in a dollop of cream all washed down with a pot of Darjeeling or a glass of bubbles.
If all this talk of high tea has got you craving fresh scones, book yourself a table at one of Brisbane's best high teas.
Treasury Hotel Brisbane
Embrace your inner English aristocrat with an elegant Brisbane high tea experience, featuring bottomless La Maison Du Thé French tea (the Holy Grail of leaves for tea lovers) in the luxurious surrounds of Treasury Hotel's The Lab. Executive Chef Steven Jones perfected the high tea during his years working in London and is now raising the benchmark for high tea in Brisbane. If you’re enjoying tea for two, upgrade to the Premium Pairs Package which includes a bottle of Moët & Chandon. La di da.
Spicers Balfour Hotel
Indulge in the wondrous creations of Spicers Balfour Kitchen’s pastry chef while sipping from their range of specialty teas and enjoying the lush serenity of the frangipani-filled courtyard. On the current menu you'll find sweet and savoury treats including Wagyu beef brisket croquettes and a pumpkin and labneh tart, as well as macarons, gateau basque and fresh baked Lindt choc chip cookies and a glass of Veuve Ambale Blanc de Blanc on arrival.
Got something to celebrate? Maybe you just have a taste for the high life. Whatever your justification for high tea in Brisbane make it the Champagne High Tea Party at Customs House. Complete with art deco high tea stands and elegant handcrafted petite desserts, high tea at this heritage-listed icon is served on the restaurant terrace—which just happens to have the most fantastic views of the the Story Bridge.
Darling & Co.
Ladies about town know that high tea isn’t just about English breakfast and a couple of jam-drenched scones anymore, heck no! One such Brisbane high tea has upped the ante serving G&Ts with their finger fancies. At Darling & Co, gin lovers can sample speciality matched Tanqueray cocktails, all the better to wash down the traditional high tea snackings. It’s a modern masterpiece.
Sofitel Brisbane Central
High tea may have originated in England, but don’t discount the French when you’re looking to treat yourself. Settle into Sofitel Brisbane Central’s luxurious Cuvée Lounge Bar and say ‘Oui!’ to the Le Goûter High Tea with gougères, lemon meringue tarts, Nutella crepes and, of course, their iconic French hot chocolate.
The Bacchus high tea is fit for a Queen! Quite literally, it’s served on the same china the Queen Mother used to dine on at Belgravia's Goring Hotel. Indulge in freshly baked scones, almond dacquoise, passionfruit tartlets and opera cake, along with their ever-changing gourmet savoury selection.
Let these words sink in: weekend chocolate high tea buffet. You’re welcome chocoholics. The traditional high tea spread comes with a decadent twist at Stamford Plaza; what's not pure chocolate is chocolatey, or goes so well with chocolate that it might as well be chocolate. Served alfresco on the Brasserie's river view terrace, you may need to take a stroll through the Brisbane Botanic Gardens afterwards to burn off some of those calories.
Fancy a walk after all this eating? Check out the prettiest walks in Brisbane.
Image credit: Ariana Gillrie