It’s an age old tradition that’s survived all today’s modernisms, ‘cause who doesn’t love an excuse to make a date with your mum or girlfriends, throw on a pretty frock and act all lady-like over finger sandwiches, tartlets, scones and steaming tea served from a dainty tea pot? We know we do!
Yet a curve ball of creativity has kicked cucumber ribbon sandwiches to the curb, the addition of bubbles has brought a whole new meaning to the long lunch and, hell, on the GC we even have the fellas covered with a very unique version just for the gents. So, next time you’re scratching your head with ideas to spend a brunch celebrating a birthday or bump or the like, call on our pick of the best high tea on the Gold Coast.
QTea | QT Gold Coast
The Urban List has had the pleasure of the QT treatment, where we were quickly instructed to “forget any previous high tea experiences.” The quirky QT Gold Coast has always operated outside the box and their imaginative QTea at FIXX is no exception. When indulging in a QTea, your eyes will see one thing, but the taste will be something completely unexpected. Swapping sweet with savoury, like macaroons with the flavours of tomato and basil, éclairs that are filled with wild mushrooms and sun-blushed tomato mousse, or finger 'ham sandwiches' that are in fact sweet jelly-filled delights. Plus, fun treats like a bikini biscuit where biting into voluptuous boobies will bring tastes of tangy lemon shortbread with a lemonade icing; all paired with your choice of teas from T2.
Where: QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Price: $39 per person ($54 with glass of champagne)
Chapter & Verse High Tea | Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort
Only a handful of Gold Coast hotels really step it up like Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort, and their high tea is no exception. High tea is served inside or, our fave, outside under the vaulted-ceiling terrace of Chapter & Verse. Marriot’s circular towers of curious finger food currently include Mount Tamborine goat’s cheese cones with pistachio, mini mango cheese cakes with a kiwi fruit glaze, lemon meringue tartlets, fresh scones with jam and whipped cream, and oh so much more. Pair it with a glass of champers at 10am, ‘cause it’s five o’clock somewhere, right?
Where: 158 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Price: $39 per person
High Coffee | Paradox Coffee Roasters
We love high tea, though sometimes you simply can’t do away with the buzz that only a double shot of caffeine can bring. And what if you could substitute a glass of bubbles at 10am with an espresso martini and no one would bat an eyelid? High Coffee, by the bean-loving legends at Surfers Paradise cafe, Paradox Coffee Roasters, now exists and we’re smitten! Start with your choice of single origin or signature blend coffee or, for an extra $10, add a boozy espresso martini (of course you should totally go the espresso martini!). And paired with a contemporary bronze tower filled with chef-inspired gourmet morsels starting with Byron Bay ham on sliced brioche, finger sandwiches with wild smoked salmon and cucumber, mushroom and pecorino arancini, housemade buttermilk scones, raspberry friands and more. Mmmm.
Where: The 4217, 10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise
Cost: $35 pp or $45 pp with an espresso martini
High Tea | Tea & Niceties
Tea and Niceties, nestled within rainforest-clad Mount Tamborine, is the queen of high tea. It’s a whimsical little spot that’s dripping with old world feminine elegance, and specialises exclusively in high teas and weddings, so prepare to be spoilt. We think frills, lace, and pearls should be essential attire as you graze on traditional favourites such as delicate petit fours, baked scones, finger sandwiches and savoury puffs—in the vintage tea room or alfresco-style in the magical garden. Is this one of the best high teas on the Gold Coast? Yes, it most certainly is!
Where: 32 Eagle Heights Road, Eagle Heights, Mount Tamborine
Cost: $45—$66 per person
Couture High Tea | Palazzo Versace
Indulging in a spot of high tea at Palazzo Versace involves an afternoon under the sun-drenched windows and vaulted ceilings of the swanky Le Jardin lobby bar. Taste a selection of succulent savoury and sweet treats served on a traditional three-tiered tray (think: poppy seed grissini, smoked salmon and pecorino; goat cheese, zucchini and pine nut quiche; toasted vanilla and coffee macarons; and fresh baked tea-soaked sultana scone with Hedgrow jam), while you sip on tea, coffee, or sparkling. Yes, it’s a little bit posh.
Where: Palazzo Versace, 94 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach
Price: Starts at $65 per person (up to $120 with Dom Perignon)
Vintage High Tea | Teavine House
Not many high tea venues offer the double indulgence of gorgeous house-made treats paired with a picturesque rural setting. Teavine House in the Tallebudgera Valley does just that, while keeping close to European traditions. This is cucumber ribbon sandwich territory (oh, how we do love thee), plus fresh-from-the-oven scones, prawn mousse vol-au-vents, mini quiches and petite slices; all served on an eclectic mix of old English chinaware that’s been lovingly collected after years of roaming the globe.
Where: 268 Tallebudgera Creek Road, Tallebudgera
Cost: $38 per person
Man Tea | QT Gold Coast
Now we all know high tea has long been the lady-dominated domain; even though the term was coined in the mid-1700s when an afternoon tea break for the working man was served at high tables. So it’s good to see tradition returning to its roots, with the imaginative team at QT Gold Coast offering a second variation of high tea—just for the gents! Hint: there’s no actual tea involved. Served in Stingray Lounge, Man Tea includes a personal platter including a black pepper and parmesan savoury doughnut, prawn cocktail bucket, grilled Wagyu beef slider, plus finger fries; and concludes with a cigar-shaped couverture chocolate filled with bourbon semifreddo that arrives served under a wood chip smoke-filled dome. Beware, you’ll smell like campfire afterwards! As far as we know, it’s the only male-specific high tea in all of Australia, so all the more reason to gather the lads for an afternoon of bromance.
Where: QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Cost: $39 per person ($54 with two servings of beer, whiskey, bourbon, or rum)
High Tea | Greendays
A leafy oasis amid Bundall’s busy retail district, if there’s one thing Greendays reminds us of, it’s island vacations somewhere exotic. Their high tea is served on a cute three-tiered stand, stacked with petite scones with jams and clotted cream, tea sandwiches, miniature cakes and tantalising tarts. Call up your besties, put on your vintage threads (maybe those pieces that are a bit looser ‘round the waist!), and make a morning of it!
Where: 6 Ashmore Road, Bundall
Cost: $39 per person
Locked in with one of the best high tea on the Gold Coast yet need a gift to take? Check out the Coast's best lifestyle markets for a unique purchase or three.
Image credit: Brooke Darling for The Urban List + CHA Tea Providores