In a city where fancy usually means opting for getting an UberX over an UberPool, sometimes it’s nice to feel like you’re a little bit, y’know, classy. And I don’t mean that new range at that fast food restaurant. I mean high teas. Those awesome, tea and cake (and sometimes champagne) filled occasions that allow us to get dolled up and drink flowery, fruity teas and sandwiches without even a speck of crust. Seriously, people will get killed over that speck of crust.
So, because I am nothing if not a facilitator for the finer things in life, I bring you a list of the best high teas in Sydney. They’re awesome because, y’nkow, tea and cake and sometimes booze, but also because they are a great activity. They’re the perfect present or outing with your mum or grandmother, as well as an ideal hen’s party for the bride that has asked you to tone down the penises (although, you could probably still sneak some in).
Without further adieu, here are eight of the best high teas in Sydney. Pinkies up!
Primus Hotel Sydney
Let’s start with one of Sydney's most beautiful hotel lobby's, Primus Hotel Sydney in the CBD. These guys offer high tea from 3pm-5pm every day, and allow you to choose between three options, the first including food and tea, and the latter two being slightly more boozy (woop). The Wilmot High Tea includes a delightful selection of sweets, scones, and dainty sandwiches for the gurls among us. Primus Hotel also offer The G’n’Tea, a concept aimed at the gentlemen folk, who apparently like different things to women, which includes such delicacies as oysters kilpatrick, a beef and burgundy pie, and salt and pepper squid. Bloke-a-licious.
This one is great for those people who like to enjoy their tea with a view of Darling Harbour, darling. Every weekend from 12pm-3pm, the team at Theloft pull off one of the most delicious high teas in Sydney. For $45 a head, you and your tea-loving guests can enjoy a delightful assortment of sweet and savoury canapes and OVViO tea pots (these are the good teas that don’t just taste like slightly sweet hot water). Bookings are essential here, so get in touch before you go!
The high tea at Abode in Darling Harbour is particularly special because it’s a friggin’ chocolate high tea. Yep, it’s riddled with rich, chocolatey goodness and you better be excited. The savoury course comes with finger-lickin’ sandwiches, a broccoli and blue cheese tart and plenty more. But let’s get to the sweet bits, because… Chocolate. I won’t spoil too much, but there’s a cuban black chocolate jaffa cake and a Madagascan chocolate fondue involved. So, yeah… Run, don’t walk.
Woollahra & CBD
When the place that is responsible for some of the best macarons in Sydney offers a delicious high tea, you just know you have to get your toned behind in there quick smart. Apart from the six oh-so-moreish macarons (of your choosing), you’ll find your tea tower adorned with so light they could fly Madeleines, financiers, and cake. Oh, and tea, obv. It’s a proper French experience in the middle of Sydney, and I recommend getting dolled up… Just because you can.
Who in their right might doesn’t like a good scone? I feel like everyone who isn’t bothered by a warm, soft scone topped with sweet jam and clotted cream should be met with a furrowed brow. Luckily, the signature vanilla scones at The Langham are eye-rollingly good. Served on the finest of Wedgwood china and best enjoyed while wearing a designer dress, the high tea at The Langham is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Victoria Room Tea Salon
One of the original venues for high tea in Sydney, The Victoria Room always nail that old school throwback charm thing that others try to emulate but miss the mark. There are several menus to choose between at The Tea Salon, including a couple of darling children’s menus for the little ones that enjoy a spot of tea and some cheeky cake. There is also a large selection of scones to choose between, including rose or lavender flavours. Hell, yeah.
If it’s got the name Anna Polyviou anywhere near it, you know it’s going to be a good time all around. And luckily the afternoon tea at Sydney’s Shangri-La hotel was inspired by Anna herself. During the week, you can enjoy your high tea in the lobby, but if you can wait for a reservation, I recommend holding out for a weekend so you can take in Sydney’s breathtaking views while nibbling on a delicious cucumber sandwich and some heavenly scones. Life made.
Vaucluse Tea Rooms
As this article draws to a close, I’d like to reference the fanciness I mentioned in my (undoubtedly) future award-winning opening paragraph. Vaucluse is probably the fanciest it gets this side of Buckingham Palace, so I’m happy to end with a bang (but not, like, too loud, because that would be distasteful and you might spill your tea). There are three seatings for Vaucluse Tea House’s high tea on weekends, but during the week they’re a little more lenient on times. You must pre-book, however, because it’s all made to order, and they require at least 24 hours notice so it’s perfect. It’s worth it, though, because sitting in the lush gardens and sipping a lovely cup of tea while enjoying some of the finer things in life, like elderflower cheesecake filled doughnuts and buttermilk scones. Yup.
Need more sweetness in your life? Check our Sydney's Best Nutella Pizza here.
Image credit: The Langham Sydney