It’s 2022, season two of everyone’s favourite period drama Bridgerton is out and it’s time to drink tea (or champagne) in style. Be transported back to the 1800s and swoon over the most decadent treats, at the best high tea Melbourne has to offer.
We’ve compiled everything from your 19th century traditional venues to the more contemporary high-teas complete with Burlesque—they’re so good even Lady Whistleton would approve.
Hopetoun Tea Rooms
There aren’t many venues in Melbourne as iconic as Hopetoun Tea Rooms. Named after Lady Hopetoun, the wife of the first Governor of Victoria, who opened the rooms in 1892. Step inside this 130-year-old tea room and be transported back to the Victorian era, with white and gold fine bone china and classic melodies played live on a grand piano. The venue is now owned by a Melbourne family and they’re dedicated to providing the full authentic English tea room experience. This might just be the best high tea Melbourne has to offer.
High tea lovers can thank The Hotel Windsor for bringing the tradition to Melbourne, with the historic five-star hotel putting on our first high tea in 1883. Executive pastry chef Felix Goodwin presents some of the best high tea in the city on fine bone china and pristine silverware. The Hotel Windsor’s high tea will transport you directly from 2022 to the 1800s.
Why head to The Tan to run up the worst hill in Melbourne—Anderson Road, when you could simply go there for high tea instead. Located beside the running track is Jardin Tan, offering one of Melbourne’s best high teas. Sustainability is at the core of their ethos, with most of the produce grown in their very own organic gardens. You can go for a walk around the botanic gardens or even take a snap along the tan, your Insta followers don’t need to know why you were there.
Arguably one of Melbourne's most hyped bottomless brunches from last summer season was Pilgrim Bar's Gin High Tea, and in great news, it's returned 2022. Happening Friday through Sunday, $65 big ones will get you three tea-infused gin cocktails, bottomless prosecco, and a hefty selection of sweet and savoury delights. Keep a keen eye out mustard mayo pork & fennel sausage roll, mushroom toasties and salted praline cream tonic scone across the high tea tiers—they'll go quickly. Book in for your two-hour high tea session here.
Tea lovers, this one's for you. The Westin Melbourne has partnered with Jing Tea to bring you some of the rarest teas from across Asia. The company sources their teas directly from farmers in China, India, Japan and Taiwan. As well as their Seasonal High Tea, this five-star luxury hotel has something for the little ones too. Le Petit High Tea is perfect to bring kids aged 4-12 and even includes a Westin teddy bear with their visit.
Mary Eats Cake
Mary Antoinette once said, “Let them eat cake”, and that’s exactly what this Brunswick venue is doing. Mary Eats Cake has a range of high tea options including the Mary package, the fancy package, bottomless brunch high tea, and our personal favourite, the Gin High Tea. The venue is also the best high tea in Melbourne for vegans and gluten intolerant people, so there’s no excuse to not eat cake.
Who said the best high tea in Melbourne had to be all white tablecloths and bone china? If you’re looking for high tea with a modern twist, look no further than Om Nom. Sitting inside Adelphi Hotel, famous for its edgy design and rooftop pool, Om Nom aims to give guests a whole new take on high tea. Only available on weekends, this venue brings high tea right into 2022.
Tucked away between a record store and vegan restaurant on Johnston Street, is one of Melbourne’s best High Tea spots. Mámor Chocolates is here to bring all of your high tea dreams to life—want a harpist playing in the room? Easy. A burlesque dancer giving you a show? Done. This is the perfect place for all your 2022 special events, and for chocolate lovers, there’s even a “chocoholics anonymous” high tea. What more could you want?
Ever wondered what happens in the “Members Only” rooms in Parliament House? Well wonder no more, with a high tea in Strangers Corridor. This historic room has been serving afternoon tea since 1924 and is committed to using local Victorian food and beverages. Before sitting down for tea, take a guided tour of Parliament House—rumour has it you may even discover a secret underground passage.
Over 100 years ago at the Langham Hotel in London, the first commercial afternoon tea was served. And so began a tradition that lives on in the Melbourne branch of this famous Hotel chain. Headed by executive pastry chef Markus Bohn, you’ll find British classics with a modern twist. Tea fans will also be delighted to know the company used specialty tea brand JING, the UK’s favourite brew.
Old Man Drew
Step back in time at Miss Violets Tea Rooms, inside Old Man Drew Cafe. What started as a grocery store in 1868 for miners heading to the goldfields, is now a luxury tea house. Expect the full works — Royal Albert China, crystal chandeliers and decadent treats. There’s also a kid-friendly vintage garden with an Old Bedford Truck, a nod to its former life as a truck dealership.
Conservatory | Crown Melbourne
The Conservatory at Crown has long been one of the best high teas in Melbourne. Enjoy beautiful food surrounded by floor to ceiling windows, in an enchanting dining room. The venue often has special themed high teas so you may be in for a pleasant surprise—at the start of this year they did a high tea inspired by the Bulgari Serpenti collection.
Collins Kitchen | The Grand Hyatt Melbourne
Enjoy High Tea in Style by Cristina Re, at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne. Collins Kitchen located in the luxury international hotel overlooks Russell Street and offers delicious treats all served on Re’s vintage-inspired fine china, trimmed with 24-carat gold.
Following the french philosophy “joie-de-vivre”, which translates to “the enjoyment of life”, No35 at the Sofitel has one of Melbourne’s best high teas. Jump into an elevator and head up to the 35th floor for savoury and sweet delights with a view across Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay. But don’t forget to book in advance, this could just be one of 2022’s most popular high teas yet.
Royal Street Collins
St. Collins Lane is one of those hidden gems in Melbourne that you only really know about if you're a local. And situated on the ground floor is a European style tea house by the name of Royal Street Collins. It’s the perfect spot for a luxurious high tea amongst the chaos of the CBD.
Collins Coffee House
If there’s one good thing to come out of the last two years, it’s the rise of luxury food available at home, and that’s exactly what Colins Coffee House is offering. Opening in 2019, right before COVID struck, these guys have dine-in or takeout high tea options. They’re located inside a heritage building in Collins Street, so if you do decide to dine-in make sure to check out their garden grazing area.
The NGV Tea Room
Is there anything the NGV doesn't do well? Walk inside past the iconic waterfall to the tea rooms to discover a little bit of history with a modern twist. You don’t have to be seeing an exhibition to head inside, although with so many incredible artists on display we do recommend setting aside time for the gallery as well.
Olinda Tea House
Around 50kms out of Melbourne in the Dandenong Ranges you’ll find an Asian-inspired tea house in Olinda. The venue is architecturally designed and completely immersed in nature. After you've finished high tea, head out to the gardens, you may even see some Alpacas roaming around.
Coombe Yarra Valley
Located inside the garage in the former home of famous operatic soprano Dame Nellie Melba, is Coombe Yarra Valley. The restaurant sits on seven acres of beautifully maintained gardens and is offering high tea and a garden tour all in one. This lavish location is the perfect spot for high tea, especially if you’re an opera fan.
Prefer coffee to tea? Right this way to the best cafes in Melbourne.
Image credit: The Hotel Windsor