It’s an age old tradition that’s survived all today’s modernisms, because 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 Gold Coast 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 all paired with your choice of teas and coffee. Or push the boat out with the addition of bubbles for a little extra cost.
Where: QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Price: $49 per person ($64 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 personal favourite, outside under the vaulted-ceiling terrace of Chapter & Verse. Marriot’s circular towers of curious finger food currently include savory bites such as smoked salmon brioche, pencil asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, and smashed organic hen egg on mais loaf. Sweet dishes include salted caramel macaron, kahlua and chocolate sabayon cups, lemon meringue tart and more. All High Tea offerings are served with freshly baked scones with double cream and homemade jams. Sips include a welcome glass of sparkling wine, freshly brewed Org brand organic coffee and a beautiful selection of Ronnefeldt leaf teas. Even better, it's available seven days a week.
Where: 158 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Price: $42 per person
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—$65 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 while you sip on tea, coffee and Moet & Chandon Imperial. Think tasty delicate eats like Byron bay prosciutto wrapped asparagus, pickled enoki mushroom, Japanese style crab salad with ponzu, seaweed cone, pistachio profiterole, cherry jelly and chantilly and chai-spiced panna cotta. You can also upgrade to the Royal Couture high tea which includes a glass of Ruinart R Champagne.
Where: Palazzo Versace, 94 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach
Price: From $86.90 per person
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, smoked salmon savoury profiteroles, gourmet frittata, 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. They also let you BYO bubbles for a small corkage fee and offer gluten-free and vegetarian menus. That's a big win in our eyes.
Where: 268 Tallebudgera Creek Road, Tallebudgera
Cost: $42 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 four-hour Glenmorangie smoked brisket slider, char-grilled dry aged Cape Byron marinated beef skewer, Morton Bay Bug roll, a mini taco with sashimi on a crisp wonton and mini loaded fries with bacon, chicken, spring onions with a delish injectable cheese sauce. 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: From $54 per person
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 delights like Wagyu beef and thyme sausage rolls, goat’s curd and olive tapenade tartlets and mushroom medley filled choux balls. For the sweet tooths, you'll love the coconut and lime panna cotta plus the mini pavolas, flourless chocolate cake and eclairs. They can even do a vegan version, just ask. You can also add French or pink Champagne for a small fee. Call up your besties, put on your vintage threads 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