Is there anything better than a warm scone slathered with jam and cream, a crustless cucumber sandwich or a perfect, bite-sized eclair? Combine that with a fancy cup of mint tea or a cheeky glass of champagne, and you’ve found yourself the perfect afternoon.
No matter if you’re celebrating a special occasion, catching up over tiny sandwiches or having a mother-daughter date, Sydney has some pretty spectacular places to slip into civilised society.
Here are the best high teas in Sydney.
Sofitel Sydney Wentworth: Archibald High Tea
This one is for the art enthusiasts. It's inspired by this year's Archibald Prize—specifically the Packing Room Prize 2023 winning portrait, Clown jewels, by artist Andrea Huelin. A part of Sofitel's ongoing partnership with the Art Gallery of NSW, this arty high tea features a lineup of luxe sweet and savoury goodies, like slow-roasted truffle beef mini baguettes, Tasmanian smoked salmon blinis with finger lime and crème fraiche, jewel-coloured macarons, the Sofitel Sydney’s signature Wentworth cheesecake, and Bordeaux-style vanilla canelé. To drink, sip an assortment of premium Silver Jubilee Dilmah teas and bottomless French champagne (for an extra $20pp). Book here.
Where: Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
When: Saturday and Sunday, 1pm-3pm
Cost: From $69pp
The Waiting Room
Get to the elegant, understated waterside space at TWR at Crown Towers Sydney for a high tea experience that's as much about the bubbles as the beautiful treats. Champagne high tea is available between 2pm and 5pm, Friday–Sunday, with various experiences on offer from $105pp. All options include a decadent multi-course menu with the likes of crab salad sandwiches, lobster bon bons with charred lime aioli, mandarin cheesecake mille feuille, and apricot scones, which can be paired with tea or coffee, a glass of Bunnamagoo Blanc de Blancs ($115pp), Veuve Clicquot Rosé ($140pp), or Ruinart Blanc de Blancs ($150pp). Read up on all of the champagne options and book your high tea here.
Where: The Waiting Room, Crown Towers Sydney, Barangaroo
When: Friday–Sunday, 2pm–5pm
Cost: Various, from $105pp
High Tea Cruise
Take in the spectacular sights of one of the world's most beautiful harbours with this special high tea cruise. Hosted aboard the MV Sydney 2000 cruise ship, you'll experience 360-degree views of the water while you tuck into sweet and savoury treats, cocktails, pink sparkling wine, tea and coffee. The high tea menu has been given a distinctly local feel, with blinis topped with prawns, chocolate-coated strawberries, and mini savoury pastries. Book your spot here.
Where: Aboard the MV Sydney 2000 cruise ship, in Sydney Harbour
When: Thursday-Sunday, 2pm-3.30pm
The Charles Grand Brasserie
The Charles has launched a daily afternoon tea menu and, having been crafted by its head of pastry Rhiann Mead (who has experience at Harrod's Food Hall, Bennelong and Quay), it's safe to say it's an indulgent afternoon affair. The set afternoon tea is available for $99pp, starting with a glass of Moët & Chandon to sip alongside scones, smoked salmon on toasted brioche, brillat-savarin gougères, and a cauliflower and bacon muffin. The dessert trolley then rolls up, loaded with the likes of 28-layer Russian honey cake, tarte aux pralines, hand-made chocolates, macarons and more for you to select three items from. For a special treat, a traditional caviar service with N25 Oscietra is available as an add-on for $140.
The Charles' Afternoon Tea is available in the mezzanine level overlooking the main dining room between midday and 5pm, every day. Bookings are required between midday and 3pm, and walk-ins welcome from 3pm—learn more and book here.
Where: The Charles Grand Brasserie, King Street, CBD
When: Daily, 12pm-5pm
Cost: $99pp with champagne or mocktail on arrival, tea and coffee ($75 for food only)
Australia's dessert king, Adriano Zumbo, has teamed up with fun-loving boutique hotel group QT for a whimsical high tea at its CBD location. The extravagant QTea is reminiscent of a Mad Hatter's tea party in the best kind of way; expect patterned china, gold cutlery, and colourful quirky sofas and chairs to lounge on. The main event is the food, of course, so expect prawn rolls, goats cheese and asparagus tartlets, and Zumbo's signature macarons. As for drinks, try the High Chai daiquiri or select a few glasses from the champagne trolley. Bonus: they also offer gluten-free and plant-based takes. See more here.
Where: QT Sydney Lobby Lounge
When: Saturdays and Sundays, 11am, 1pm, 3pm
Cost: $95–$125 per person
The Langham is one of Sydney's most luxurious hotels, and you can take your high tea to new heights at their restaurant Kitchens on Kent's exclusive afternoon tea by pastry powerhouse Anna Polyviou. You'll be tucking into pastries such as a flourless chocolate roulade, a baked cheesecake with biscuit crunch and a breakfast-inspired mousse with honey cereal financier. On the savoury side of things, expect a mini prawn cocktail, roast chicken and stuffing roll and goats cheese tart, all with Anna's signature twist and stunning presentation. View The Langham's high tea menus (which include a vegan option) and book in here.
Where: The Langham, The Rocks
When: Every day, from 11am
Cost: From $98pp, including a glass of sparkling
Reign At QVB
If you’re a big-time cheese fan, get yourself down to Reign at QVB to try their dedicated cheese high tea. This savoury spin on afternoon tea—aptly called High Cheese—lets you select three types of cheese to be enjoyed with lavosh, oat crackers, grapes, quince, chutney, dried fruits and nuts so you can create your perfect cheesy morsel. Explore their bubbles-focused list including champagne flights, cocktails and more, or go all out and pop a bottle. Learn more and make a booking here.
Where: Reign at QVB, CBD
When: Daily, until 10pm
The InterContinental Hotel
If you’re looking for an iconic Sydney dining experience, look no further than InterContinental Double Bay’s renowned high tea. The luxe Eastern Suburbs hotel is the ideal place to feel like royalty—particularly with its exquisite high tea offering that caters for all tastes and dietaries—they even offer a Children’s Tea Party filled with quintessential Australian delights. Expect everything from scones and sandwiches to quiches, cakes, and cookies, and accompany your high tea with a grand selection of artisanal loose-leaf teas and bubbly. For more information and to book, head here.
Where: Stillery Bar and Dining Room, InterContinental Double Bay
When: Every day, 11am–5pm
Cost: $85–$389.50 per person
This gorgeous spot takes its high tea to new heights, serving it on a spinning Ferris wheel instead of the traditional tiered stand. Chow down on smoked salmon tarts, prosciutto brioche, burnt Basque cheesecake and macarons, and pair your nibbles with bottomless cocktails (their iconic colourful cocktails are a must-try), or the traditional tea and coffee. See the full menu and book in here.
Where: Loftus Lane Cafe, Circular Quay
When: 18 November–25 December
Cost: $59-$159 per person
Hyatt Regency Sydney
High tea is served with a twist, literally, at the Hyatt Regency, where their G&Tea sessions include a high tea spread featuring native Australian ingredients, and your pick of two fragrant hin and tonics. Menu highlights include native scones with strawberry eucalyptus jam, pork buns with sweet plum sauce, torched aniseed creme brulee, and apple and wattle seed zucotto. See the full menu and book your visit here.
Where: Lobby Lounge, Hyatt Regency Sydney, CBD
When: Saturdays from 2:30pm
If you’re looking to shake up your typical high tea date, then head to Alibi inside Ovolo Woolloomooloo. The Ovolo crew have pledged to go veg with its Plant'd initiative—and its high tea is no exception, giving this British custom a creative makeover. The menu includes a yuzu cake with cremeux and milk chocolate, white radish and shiitake terrine with hoisin and onion, and roasted pear with maple pecan frangipane, plus tea and coffee. There’s also the option to get a little fancy by adding free-flowing sparkling rosé or NV Taittinger Prestige Cuvée. To book, head here.
Where: Alibi, Ovolo Woolloomooloo
When: Saturdays and Sundays, 12pm–2:30pm
Cost: $70–$210 per person
The Tea Room
If there was ever a place made for the perfect high tea experience then it would be the QVB’s historic Tea Room. Indulge in a delectable selection of petits fours and loose-leaf teas poured from Royal Albert fine china and set with impeccably polished silverware. There’s an array of high tea menus to choose from including Devonshire tea, sandwich plates or light teas on weekdays, plus traditional, gluten-free or children’s high tea any day of the week. Make your afternoon a bit fancier by upgrading to include sparkling wine, a cocktail, or a glass of French champagne. There’s something for everyone at this luxurious spot. View the different menus and book your high tea here.
Where: The Tea Room at Queen Victoria Building, CBD
When: Every day, 10am–5pm
Cost: $28–$95 per person
The Gunners’ Barracks
Nestled in the picturesque bushlands of Georges Head with 180-degree views of Sydney Harbour, the Gunners’ Barracks is definitely a top place for high tea in Sydney. This heritage-listed venue honours high tea tradition and is the perfect place for those looking to snack in style. The menu features freshly baked scones with clotted cream and preserves, finely cut sandwiches, savoury pastries, petit cakes, and a grand selection of 41 different Ronnefeldt teas. You also have the option to add on French champagne, rosé, Australian sparkling wine, or cocktails, and there's an option for the kids. Indulge in this delicate affair—book the traditional high tea here and the sparkling high tea here.
Where: Gunners’ Barracks, Mosman
When: Every day, from 10am
Cost: $70–$95 per person
For those searching for a more casual high tea that still offers sparkling views of the harbour and surrounding bushland, head to Burnt Orange. You’ll be able to soak up the incredible views while feasting on a charming assortment of savoury and sweet treats including choux buns, macarons, scones, and quiches, plus the venue's signature Burnt Orange tart with blood orange curd and Swiss meringue. You'll also score a large pot of tea, or you can upgrade to a sparkling high tea for an extra $10 a head. Find out more here.
Where: Burnt Orange, Mosman
When: Friday from 12pm, Saturday and Sunday from 3.30pm
Cost: $60–$670 per person
Altitude At The Shangri-La Hotel
Take afternoon tea to great new heights at Altitude, 36 levels above the city. You'll get three tiers of sweet creations and savoury treats, all while enjoying some of the most breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour. Savour barbecued pulled duck brioche sliders, tuna tartare, and raspberry pavlova, paired with tea, coffee, a glass of bubbles, or free-flowing sparkling vino. Find out more here.
Where: Altitude, The Shangri-La Hotel, The Rocks
When: Monday to Sunday, 12pm–2pm or 2.30pm–4pm
Cost: $74-$140 per person
Estate Vaucluse House
Set amongst the sprawling, harbourfront grounds of Nielsen Park, Vaucluse House is one of the most picturesque settings for a high tea. Dine on the likes of finger sandwiches, pithiviers, wild mushroom tarts, mini chocolate eclairs, buttermilk scones, and more. The high tea includes coffee, tea and a glass of Aussie sparkling, but you can also tack on champagne for an additional $22 or a lychee cocktail for $10. See the seasonal menu and reserve your spot here.
Where: Estate Vaucluse House, Vaucluse
When: Wednesday to Sunday, 11am–3pm
Cost: $70 per person
For more sweet indulgences, check out this list of the best doughnuts in Sydney.
Image credit: Shangri-La Sydney, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, The Waiting Room, The Charles (Steven Woodburn), QT Hotels, The Langham, Loftus Lane (Leigh Griffiths), Reign at the QVB, Intercontinental, Hyatt Regency Sydney, Ovolo Hotels, The Gunners Barracks
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