In need of a little respite from the season of late nights and revelry? Take a little time out and indulge your sophisticated side with sugar, spice and all things nice at Sydney’s finest High Tea establishments.
Channel your inner oriental aristocrat with a visit to the luxurious Lobby Lounge & Terrace of the Shangri-La. Overlooking Sydney’s world famous harbour, the hotel is up there with the city’s finest and offers a traditional Afternoon Tea, replete with three tiers of sweet and savoury creations, as well as their decadent Wickedly Sweet Chocolate Afternoon Tea. Go all out with chocolate cakes, macaroons, bavarois and brownies, all washed down with a glass of Perrier Jouet Champagne. Even the sweetest of teeth will be sated.
The Tea Room
Travel back in time to the days of English Victoriana with a visit to The Tea Room, located in the original Grand Ballroom of Sydney’s QVB. Exotically flavoured teas such as Jasmine Pearl and Nilgiri Mountains are dispensed from elegant silver pots, whilst homemade delicacies like finger sandwiches and freshly baked scones are served on the finest Royal Albert china, all to be enjoyed under the glittering lights of the Baccarat crystal chandeliers that adorn the ceilings. Queen Vic herself would be proud.
Just a stone’s throw from the water’s edge at Watsons Bay, the historic building of Dunbar House makes for a gorgeous stop off for a spot of High Tea. Once home to a zoo and open-air picture theatre, the venue still retains much of its old school charm with picturesque views across the pretty lawn and bay. Indulge in house made petit fours and other light bites complimented by a range of freshly brewed teas, coffees and of course, the obligatory sparkles.
The Langham’s specially created ‘Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood’ is certainly of a standard one would expect from a venue that claims to be the birthplace of the original high tea. Served in Palm Court on the 5-star hotel’s Lobby level, plump couches and plush surrounds abound as you enjoy homemade treats such as honeycomb banana and chantilly, and butternut squashed tartlets with spiced pepitas alongside an impressive range of Wedgwood teas.
Vaucluse House Tearooms
Tea not really your ‘thing’? Overlooking the peaceful oasis of Vaucluse House gardens, 1930s art-deco style café Vaucluse Tearooms is fully licensed, meaning you can choose from a full range of alcoholic tipples as well as hot drinks to accompany your High Tea experience. Find a spot outside on the dainty patio and soak up the sun over quaint cucumber sandwiches and salted caramel profiteroles, but don’t forget to book—this one is a popular choice.
The Tea Cosy
Loose leaf teas and hot buttered scones topped off with a healthy dollop of jam and cream are the order of the day at The Tea Cosy. Taking its name from the cute handmade cosies that adorn each of the teapots, the quaint family run tearoom is nestled at the back of a 180-year-old heritage building in The Rocks. Wondering just how they get those cakes to taste so darn good? Keep wonderin’! Their recipes have been passed down through the generations and are strictly top-secret. Looks like you’ll just have to order another slice to try and figure it out…
With its central CBD location, The Westin makes for an ideal escape from the frenzy of the city. Contemporary décor is dappled in sunlight thanks to the venue’s impressive glass atrium ceiling, where Afternoon Tea is served seven days a week. Treat yourself to one of their Mad Hatter menu options and delight in a rainbow of Alice and Wonderland themed sweet and savoury treats, perfectly set off by quirky ‘Drink Me’ cocktails. Curiouser and curiouser…
The Cortile at The InterContinental
Finish off an afternoon at the Art Gallery of New South Wales with a sumptuous treat at The Cortile, located at the InterContinental Sydney. Opt for a traditional High Tea, or for the true caffeine aficionados there’s also a tasty High Coffee. Kick things off with an espresso martini, followed by a series of Vittoria Coffee blends paired with sweet and savoury dishes, then cleanse your palate with green apple sorbet and finish with a delicious affogato. Coffee will never be the same again.
Keep on living the high society life by drinking some rosé at these Sydney spots.
Image credit: Federica Portentoso at Dunbar House