Food & Drink

Here’s Where To Find The Best High Tea In Auckland

By Urban List Writers
18th May 2021

The high tea at Bluebells Cakery set out on delicate china.

What better way to treat yourself than enjoying one of Auckland’s best high teas? Let’s face it, it’s nice to feel that you’re a little bit classy. Those awesome, tea and cake (and sometimes champagne) filled occasions that allow us to get dressed up and drink flowery, fruity teas and sandwiches without even a speck of crust.

Whether it’s Mother’s Day, a graduation or you just want to spoil that special someone, high tea is the perfect thing to do. Not only do you enjoy tea, cake and sometimes a glass of bubbles, but they’re also a great present for your mum or grandma, as well as for a hen’s party for a bride-to-be who has asked you to keep away from other antics. 

Lucky for us, various venues across Auckland serve up swanky high tea that we think would be good enough for the Queen herself.

Without further ado, here are the best high teas in Auckland.

The afternoon tea at the Park Hyatt showing tasty bites on a white plate.

Afternoon Tea At Park Hyatt Auckland 

The Park Hyatt Auckland has turned the idea of the traditional high tea right on its head. A year in the making and the baby of executive pastry chef Callum Liddicoat, the high tea you’ll sit down to at the stunning waterfront Living Room—one of four epic restaurants in this ‘true’ five-star hotel—is unlike any other you'll find in Auckland or beyond. Rather than the food all being brought out at once, the high tea here is served over five delicious courses. If you're keen to up the ante you can also add a glass of Billecart-Salmon Champagne to your afternoon tea experience. Designed as a whimsical culinary journey to be enjoyed over a leisurely two to three hour period, each course is a decadent mix of sweet and savoury with the menu changing seasonally. Each item could stand as a work of food art on its own, and looks so good it’s almost too pretty to eat… almost. If you feel like you’re reaching your limit, you can take the rest home—because when the food’s this good, it’d be a travesty to leave it behind.

The high tea at Cordis.

High Tea At Cordis

One of the best high teas in Auckland can be found at Cordis, where tiers of exquisitely-crafted treats and a personalised tea sommelier service await inside their luxurious Chandelier Lounge. Settle into the super fancy surrounds (note their namesake chandelier), and prepare to indulge in edible delights like mandarin and coffee slice, shredded duck cannelloni, pecan, honey and pear tartelettes, and our personal fave—rum and raisin scones. However it's the tea that's the star of the show (and rightfully so), provided here by none other than one of the finest luxury tea brands in the world, TWG. Top things off by splashing out on a flute of Louis Roederer champagne (because let's face it, the occasion kind of demands it). P.S. Did we mention that the menu changes each and every season, and they also do a sweet set-up for the kids?

High Tea At Eden Gardens

One of Auckland’s best-kept secrets is Eden Gardens. Here, you can truly take a step back in time as the cafe is like visiting your grandmother, with its aged decor and seating. It comes as no surprise then, that they also serve up high tea. Relax in the lush surrounding and indulge in chicken and cucumber club sandwiches and sundried tomato filo cups. Or, from the sweet side of Eden Gardens’ high tea, you’ll enjoy the likes of macaroons and mini lemon meringue pies. Naturally, you’ll enjoy tea and scones too and entry to the gardens is included so you can take a tour around the grounds afterwards like the genteel people you are.

The New Zealand-themed high tea at Tuitui museum bistro and cafe.

High Tea At Tuitui Museum Bistro & Café

Days out don't get much better than this: wandering the halls of the incredible Auckland War Memorial Museum, followed by a delicious, New Zealand-themed high tea in the atrium at the new Tuitui Museum Bistro & Café. This stunning spot, which boasts views across the always beautiful Auckland Domain, has Kiwi kai on lock and nowhere is this more true than with their wonderfully unique high tea featuring ham club sammies, devilled eggs, Southland cheese rolls, snapper pate, quiche, sausage rolls, lamingtons, lollie cake and date scones... OMG.

High Tea At Cornwall Park Bistro

Cornwall Park Bistro is serving up an epic high tea every Wednesday-Sunday. This stunning venue, in the heart of the rolling hills of Cornwall Park, is a treat like no other. With various places to sit, nothing can beat the deck on a sunny day. There are so many tea options, you’ll be spoiled for choice. From rare white teas to Japanese green tea, Cornwall Park Bistro high tea has it all. And the food menu is just as delicious. Savoury treats include caramelised onion and blue cheese tart, smoked fish croquette and pork sausage roll. Just leave room for the sweets, because there’s chocolate tartlets, salted toffee eclairs and, naturally, warm puffy scones.

The delicious afternoon tea at Miann Chocolate Factory.

Afternoon Tea At Miann

If sweet treats are your jam, then afternoon tea at Miann is an absolute must. Creators of some of the city's finest confections—often made from their own in house chocolate—their Morningside Chocolate Factory is the perfect place to indulge your love of the sugary stuff. Settle into one of their gorgeous Winter Garden glasshouses (initially introduced as a way of social distancing) and let the face-stuffing commence as you're served a spread of their signature sweets, savoury pastries and Scottish scones with clotted cream and jam, washed down with your choice of hot chocolate, coffee or tea (including a rather delicious blend made from cacao husks).

High Tea At Waitakere Resort & Spa

If you’re looking for an alternative to high tea in Auckland City, then we suggest you plug Waitakere into Google Maps, stat—they say West is Best for a reason, you know. For the ultimate luxury escape, head to Waitakere Resort & Spa and soak in the views of the Waitemata Harbour, mighty Rangitoto and Auckland City while enjoying one of the best high teas in Auckland (think sweet vanilla scones, custard profiteroles with chocolate, and confit chicken croquettes).

High Tea At Ostro

Situated in the Seafarers building in Britomart, Ostro has won the heart of many an Aucklander with its delicious food, friendly and talented staff and spectacular views. Nothing beats the beauty of Auckland on a sunny day... except, perhaps, high tea on a sunny day.  That’s right, one of Auckland’s best restaurants also serves up delicious high tea for you to enjoy with your mum, your gran or your besties, each and every Sunday. Slightly hidden, you’ll need to go up the elevator, but when those doors open, you will be impressed. With large, sea-facing windows that are left open on sunny days, it’s one of the most beautiful places in Auckland. Ostro’s high tea menu has been carefully curated by Josh Emett and his pastry team. The savoury menu includes a prawn toastie and roast mushroom and parmesan quiche. This is followed by delicate sandwiches filled with curried egg, cured cucumber, champagne ham and smoked salmon. The sweet menu features treats like charcoal pavlova, yuzu meringue tart and passionfruit marshmallow, to name a few. Naturally, there’s also the fanciest teas to choose from... but no doubt you’ll also want to buy that bottle of champers.

High Tea At The Wintergarden Café

Auckland's original tea kiosk continues to serve up a delectable high tea on the first and third weekend of every month. Think three-tiered stands chocka with deliciousness, including the crowd-favourite scones with cream and jam. The Wintergarden Café serves premium teas or bubbles to be enjoyed with your tower of treats. An inner-city oasis in the Auckland Domain, it’s a must-try. Take a leisurely stroll afterwards and soak in the beauty.

High tea fancies aboard the Nautilus.

High Tea At Sea

Obviously, we love a high tea situation but have you heard of High Tea At Sea? Yeah, it’s a thing. Here to help you take your high tea experience next level with epic and wide sweeping views of Waitematā Harbour is New Zealand Maritime Museum. Hop aboard NAUTILUS, the vintage motor launch, and cruise across the waters for an hour while you indulge in goodies like cake, treats and tea on this private heritage vessel experience. If you’re chasing something unique to do with your nearest and dearest, well this is it. Bookings essential. 

High Tea At Fisher House

If you live in South Auckland or fancy a drive, head to Manukau to enjoy high tea at Fisher House. Found on what used to be a racing horse stud farm, this is one building steeped in Auckland history. Once the home of Sir Woolf and Lady Fisher, it was built with entertaining in mind and includes a grand lobby, a sweeping, curvy staircase, a billiards room and a stunning garden terrace. And, if high tea at Fisher House was good enough for the Queen Mother, chances are, it’s good enough for you too. Served on a three-tiered stand, choose from high tea, royal high tea or even the majestic high tea. Each includes finger sandwiches, fresh homemade scones with jam and fresh cream, a hot savoury, a sweets selection and a collection of sweet pastries and slices. Opt for tea, Marquis de la Tour French bubbles or a flute of Mumm Cordon Rouge, depending on your tastes and extravagance. Fisher House also caters to sprogs with their kids' high tea—it includes fairy bread, butterfly cake, a hot savoury and a fluffy. So, head South now, and enjoy one of the best high teas in Auckland.

A delicious looking selection of small bites from Bluebells Cakery.High Tea At Bluebells Cakery

One of the best high teas in Auckland is at Bluebells Cakery—given their talent for delicious and beautiful food, it's a must. Served at their Hillsborough, Kingsland and Commercial Bay venues, there are a number of high tea menus to choose from—standard, pregnancy friendly, vegetarian, gluten-free and kids. Is there anything they haven't thought of? There are no champers at this high tea, but there is Supreme coffee, tea, juice or other sparkling drinks to choose from.  The savoury menu includes a herbed chicken tea sandwich, mini quiche Lorraine and even that Kiwi classic, the sausage roll. Onto the sweets menu, there's a mini cupcake, cheesecake, macaron, tart, coconut ice and a scone with jam and cream. Available any day of the week (24 hours' notice required).

High Tea At Hotel DeBrett 

If there's one venue for high tea in Auckland that's a must, it's Hotel DeBrett. These guys are taking things to the next level with their roaring 20's offering, held every Saturday and Sunday afternoon inside the hotel's gorgeous art-deco surrounds. Dress up flappers and dappers style (a pack of faux pearls, headbands, long gloves and bright feather boas is available for an extra $15) then enjoy 1920's-inspired eats and drinks, all to the sound of Gatsby-style tunes belted out from their restored gramophone. And that's not all—there's now a Tipsy Tea option, where you'll be treated to a flight of prohibition cocktails including the Bee's Knees, Mary Pickford and Strawberry Rickey, for the ultimate knees-up. We know where we’ll be this weekend.

High Tea at the Hotel Grand WindsorHigh Tea At Hotel Grand Windsor 

A modern take on this afternoon classic, high tea at Hotel Grand Windsor is far from the simple English breakfast, biscuits and tea trolly. Serving your favourite sips in exclusive fine bone china by T2, the spread before you is just calling to be photographed. The high tea is served daily from 2-4pm. There are three different options to choose from—tea, wine or champagne. The snacks at this high tea are both dainty and delicious. Every dish is crafted in-house, using only sustainable and locally sourced foods that sing with flavour. Start with the savoury specials of cured salmon with dill or arancini with aioli, then move onto the sandwiches—chicken and walnut, ham and cheese or a good old egg mayo. But save room for the sweet treats—isn't everything just better in mini form? We’re talking buttermilk scones with strawberry and rose preserve, elderflower profiteroles, geranium truffle pops and much more to satisfy a sweet tooth.

High Tea At The Pie Piper

High tea may be a British tradition, but that isn't stopping our friends at The Pie Piper sprinkling it with some of their signature American flair. That's right, you'll be able to stuff your face with all the usual high tea suspects (think sammies, quiches and scones) alongside the exciting addition of miniature doughnuts, cheesecakes and of course, some of The Pie Piper's famous dessert pies (yeeha). Complete your meal with a cup of Harney & Sons' fine tea, and you're living the transatlantic dream. Available exclusively at The Pie Piper's East Ridge store. Again, bookings are essential.

Bellini Bar high teaHigh Tea At Bellini

Another beautiful venue to enjoy high tea is at the Hilton’s Bellini. The expansive area boasts some of the best views of the sparkling Waitemata Harbour with floor to ceiling windows and the option to sit outside on a fine day—you’re practically on the water! With plush chairs to sink into and excellent staff to cater to your every need, you’ll feel like the Queen herself.  Bellini offers three different high tea options. The first is the refined high tea, with your choice of two hot beverages and a full selection of savoury and sweet, the second is the mixology high tea, where you swap your hot drink out for two cocktail teasers and finally the bubbly high tea where you can choose between three glasses of bubbles or cocktail teasers and still get two hot beverages. 

High Tea At Harbourside

Round up the girls and play legit ladies for a day by booking into Harbourside's deluxe high tea. Start your day the right way—with a glass of champers in hand (NV Mumm Cordon Rouge, no less)—then work your way through tier after tier of delicious treats including raspberry and vanilla panna cotta, Ora King smoked salmon and crème cheese sandwiches, opera cake, beef eye fillet mignonette with pomme purée and forest mushrooms, and matcha chestnut roll—washed down of course with plenty of tea and coffee. You'll also get to take in some of the nicest views on the waterfront, no biggie.

Why not keep your day classy and seek out Auckland’s Best Rooftop Bars.

Image credit: Bluebells Cakery, Park Hyatt Hotel, Cordis, Auckland Museum, Miann Chocolate Factory, Ostro, New Zealand Maritime Museum, Bluebells Cakery, Hotel Grand Windsor, Hilton Bellini.

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