By Georgia Condon
23rd Mar 2023
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 with an old friend or having a mother-daughter date, Sydney has some pretty spectacular places to enjoy high tea—here are 14of the best high teas in Sydney.
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 ofBunnamagoo Blanc de Blancs ($115pp),Veuve Clicquot Rosé ($140pp), orRuinart 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
The Charles Grand Brasserie
The Charles haslaunched 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 ofMoët & Chandon to sip alongsidescones, 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 isavailable 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 groupQT for a whimsical high tea at its CBD location. The extravagant QTeaisreminiscent of a Mad Hatter's tea party in the best kind of way; expectpatterned 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 fordrinks, try the High Chai daiquiri or select a few glassesfrom 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 Langhamis 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
If you’re a big-timecheese fan, get yourself down toReignatQVBto try their dedicated cheese high tea.This savoury spin on afternoon tea—aptly called High Cheese—lets you select three types of cheeseto be enjoyed with lavosh, oat crackers, grapes, quince, chutney, dried fruits and nuts so you can crate your perfect cheesy morsel. Explore their bubbles-focusedlist including champagne flights, cocktails and more, or go all out andpop a bottle. Learn more and make a bookinghere.
Where:Reign atQVB, CBD
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 Suburbshotel 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 aChildren’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
The Waiting Room
While glitzy casinos and traditional British high teas may not go hand in hand, the Crown's TWR serves up some pretty fabulous views with its high tea offering. TWR islocated right on the waterfront, making itan ideal spot for sunny afternoons spent withgruyere and trufflesandwiches, lobster bon bons, yuzu meringue tarts, and apricot scones—among many other treats. As for drinks, you've got the option to go booze-free and sip tea and coffee, or upgrade to Aussie sparkling or champagne. See the full menu and book your high tea here.
Where: TWR, Crown Towers Sydney, Barangaroo
When: Friday to Sunday, 2pm–5pm
Cost: $105–$150 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 pairyour nibbles with bottomless cocktails (their iconic colourful cocktails are a must-try), or the traditional tea and coffee. See the full menu and book inhere.
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 itsPlant'd initiative—and its high tea is no exception, givingthis British custom a creative makeover. The menu includes a yuzu cake withcremeux and milk chocolate, white radish andshiitake 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 addingfree-flowing sparkling rosé orNV Taittinger Prestige Cuvée. To book,head here.
Where: Alibi, Ovolo Woolloomooloo
When:Saturdays andSundays, 12pm–2:30pm
Cost: $70–$210per 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 andloose-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 inhere.
Where:The Tea Room at Queen Victoria Building, CBD
When:Every day, 10am–5pm
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. Themenu 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 by booking here.
Where: Gunners’ Barracks, Mosman
When: Every day, from 10am
Cost: $70–$95per person
For those searching for a more casual high tea that still offers sparkling views of theharbour and surrounding bushland, head to Burnt Orange. You’ll be able to soak up the incredible views whilefeasting on a charming assortment of savoury and sweet treats including choux buns, macarons, scones, and quiches, plus the venue'ssignature Burnt Orange tart with blood orange curd and Swiss meringue. You'll also score alarge 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: Fridayfrom 12pm, Saturday and Sunday from 3.30pm
Cost: $60–$670per person
Altitude At The Shangri-La Hotel
Take afternoon tea to great new heightsat Altitude, 36levels above the city. You'll getthree tiers of sweet creations and savoury treats, all whileenjoying some of the most breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour. Savourbarbecued pulled duck brioche sliders, tuna tartare, and raspberry pavlova, paired with tea,coffee, aglass 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, harbourfrontgrounds 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 mushroomtarts, 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 indulgence, check out this list of the bestdoughnuts in Sydney.
Image credit: Shangri-La Sydney, 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
What are the best tea to serve at high tea? ›
Top picks: Earl Grey, Darjeeling, and English Breakfast are seen as the traditional choices for Afternoon Tea, but more exotic varieties like Lapsang Souchong, Assam and Matcha varieties are also often expected to be among the options on offer.What is high tea in Australia? ›
High tea is a light meal typically eaten between 3 to 5 p.m., served with desserts, cakes, and light tea sandwiches. Also called afternoon tea, its origin is attributed to Anna Maria, 7th Duchess of Bedford.What do you wear to a high tea? ›
A sweater set is always a good idea for high tea because it can be paired with a skirt or pants but still looks pretty and feminine. Additionally, the sweater will help to keep you warm if the tea is being served in an air-conditioned room.How is high tea now served in Australia? ›
High Tea is being served while sitting on high-backed chairs and a table full of plated items - this is where the name comes from. The belief that it is served for “high” class people is incorrect. High Tea is in fact for working-class people who usually do intensive jobs in farming and mining.What is the most luxurious tea? ›
DA-HONG PAO, CHINA
Priced around a whopping $1.2 million/kg, Da-Hong Pao tea is hands down, the most expensive tea in the entire world. This ultra luxurious tea is declared as a national treasure for its rarity. An oolong breed, its record dates back to the Ming Dynasty.
The correct order to enjoy the food that accompanies afternoon tea is savory to sweet: sandwiches first, then scones, and sweets last. You can use your fingers to eat all three courses. To eat a scone, you simply break it in half with your fingers.What is the number 1 tea in Australia? ›
When it comes to variety, Australian tea drinkers have chosen Twinings as the top brand with a score of 4.61/5. The brand's tea range includes Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Australian Afternoon, Rooibos, Lemon & Ginger, Peppermint, Camomile and several green teas and green tea blends.What is the best tea made in Australia? ›
- Australian Breakfast (Black Tea) From $12.00. ...
- Australian Caravan (Black Tea) From $14.50. ...
- Australian Sencha (Green Tea) From $17.90. ...
- Australian Daintree (Black Tea) ...
- Australian Lemon Myrtle (Black Tea) ...
- Australian Summer Dreams (Green Tea) ...
- Australian Rainforest (Black Tea) ...
- Organic Lemon Myrtle (Herbal Tea)
Drinking tea is practically an Australian national pastime. Last year we bought almost 10,500 tonnes of tea from supermarkets. And although premium loose-leaf tea and flavoured tea varieties are increasingly popular, black tea in tea bags is still our favourite.Do you tip at high tea? ›
It's not your average plated meal, so what's the appropriate gratuity? “Tea servers are working just as hard as traditional meal servers and have studied diligently to learn the different varieties of teas, the menu, the types of Champagne, etc. So, tip the same as a standard meal,” suggests Mercer.
Is it OK to wear pants to high tea? ›
Usually, the attire requested for guests to adhere to for afternoon tea is 'smart casual'. This will generally mean no sports-branded trainers, t-shirts, shorts, or sportswear. A typical outfit for afternoon tea for men would include smart trousers and shoes, with a shirt.What is the best time of day for high tea? ›
So what time should you go? People usually have afternoon tea between 3 and 5pm, and 4pm is often cited as the best time for afternoon tea. Many hotels and restaurants offer it from noon until early evening, though, so you don't have to stick to the rules if you want to have it earlier or later.Are Australians big tea drinkers? ›
Tea is a large part of modern Australian culture due to its British origins. Australians drink tea and have afternoon tea and morning tea much the way the British do.What's the difference between afternoon tea and high tea? ›
Whilst they both include tea as a beverage, afternoon tea includes delicate pastries, little sandwiches, scones and cakes. Whereas high tea is typically a more wholesome meal of meat, potatoes and vegetables served after a long hard day at work.What is the No 1 tea in the world? ›
According to the World Tea Export Council, black tea is the most consumed tea globally, making up approximately 75% of the total tea consumption.What is the most delicious tea in the world? ›
- Matcha. JAPAN. shutterstock. ...
- Sencha. JAPAN. shutterstock. ...
- Pu Erh. Yunnan. China. ...
- Green Tea. CHINA. shutterstock. ...
- Black Tea. Fujian. China. ...
- Darjeeling. Darjeeling District. India. ...
- Ceylon Black Tea. SRI LANKA. shutterstock. ...
- Longjing Tea. Zhejiang. China. shutterstock.
Da Hong Pao Tea or Big Red Robe Tea is one of the most valuable teas in China, with a commercial value higher than gold. The price and rarity of this royal tea are due to the diminished production of leaves due to the prolonged age of the trees. There are several legends surrounding the origin of Da Hong Pao tea.What not to do at a tea party? ›
- Don't lift your pinky. ...
- Don't add the milk first. ...
- Don't add milk to white or green tea. ...
- Don't forget to use the strainer. ...
- Don't stir your tea like you're beating cake mix. ...
- Don't leave your spoon in the cup after you stir it.
There aren't any rules when it comes to the food, but a standard afternoon tea menu comprises a tier of sandwiches, a tier of cakes and one of scones or teacakes.What goes on each tier of a high tea? ›
What does that mean? The bottom tier of a 3-tier tea tray consists of finger sandwiches; the middle tier holds scones, clotted cream, and preserves; the top tier hosts a selection of mini desserts and cake, hence the theme for each class.
Do Australians drink tea with milk? ›
It was also fortuitous that the Australian dairy industry expanded at this time, making fresh milk available, so black tea with milk and sugar became the national beverage.Who drinks the most tea in Australia? ›
The age demographic with the highest tea consumption rate in Australia is the 65 years and older group, followed by the 45-64 years age group.Where is the best tea in the world? ›
Assam and Darjeeling are popular varieties of tea in India, and some of the best tea in the world. These teas are named for the region where they are grown. About 50% of the tea in India is produced in Assam, while 25% of the tea is grown in Darjeeling. Kerala and Tamil Nadu are other tea regions in India.What is the Queen's Favourite brand of tea? ›
Twinings of London Earl Gray Black Tea
You might as well try a cup of the queen's favorite. It's been reported that Her Majesty often enjoyed Twinings of London Earl Gray Black Tea — a classic and all-natural selection that includes notes of citrus and bergamot — with a splash of milk and no sugar.
- Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire Tea.
- Tetley Tea. ...
- PG Tips. ...
- Twinings. ...
- Clipper. ...
- Tick Tock. ...
- Typhoo Tea. ...
- Pukka. ...
- 1 MOROCCO. ...
- 2 SRI LANKA. ...
- 3 INDIA. ...
- 4 CHINA. ...
- 5 JAPAN. ...
- 6 UNITED KINGDOM. ...
- 7 TURKEY. ...
- 8 KENYA.
Cuppa - a cup of tea or coffer 'Drop by this arvo for a cuppa' means please come and visit this afternoon for a cup of tea or coffee.What do Australians eat for tea? ›
Australian, South African and New Zealand
In South Africa and New Zealand, and historically in Australia, a small informal social gathering usually at someone's home for tea and a light meal (e.g. biscuits, scones, or slices of cake or sandwiches) in the mid-afternoon is referred to as "afternoon tea".
If your total bill is $200 and you want to tip 15%, work out the tip by multiplying the total bill by 0.15. You can then add this amount to your bill when it comes to pay. Simple. Or alternatively, you can multiply the bill excluding service by 1.15 (assuming you want to leave that same 15% tip).Can you ask for more food at high tea? ›
You can ask for more scones, sandwiches, cakes and tea—not that you'll need it. Afternoon tea is usually quite filling, which brings us to our next point… Do treat afternoon tea as a meal.
Can I wear black on high tea party? ›
Black is a completely acceptable option for high tea styling.Are tea dresses flattering? ›
The 1950s Tea Dress
They suit all manner of occasions. They can be spotted at the races, weddings, graduations. dinner dates and holidays. Comfortable and flattering for most figure types it's no wonder they have remained so popular.
If you have a short torso or you are average height or petite, super high rise may not work. Essentially, we want to be sure that you have a top, a middle and a bottom. If you keep moving your pants up too high, they'll feel like they are going too close to your bra.Can you have coffee at high tea? ›
Don't Order Coffee
It may go without saying that afternoon tea traditionally involves just, well, tea. While modern-day versions may offer coffee, it's very much a faux pas.
The phrase 'high tea' started to be used to describe a working-class meal served at a high table and high back dining chairs at the end of a long workday. The tea would be accompanied by a hot meal. This could be a meat or fish dish or baked food or vegetables.What is the pinky finger tea etiquette? ›
Proper manners include sipping your tea quietly, holding the teacup by the handle, and having your pinkie fingers down (yes, you read that right. Pinky's are meant to be down!) Another expected rule includes keeping electronic devices away.What kind of tea is served at tea party? ›
Lavender is common in afternoon tea parties, often used to flavor scones and other baked goods. Its sweet and perfumed flavor pairs well with scones, cream and cookies. Lavender tea can have different variations which include a mixture of chamomile and mint.What makes the perfect high tea? ›
An Afternoon Tea menu should include light cakes, scones and sandwiches. Traditional sandwich fillings are often cucumber, smoked salmon, coronation chicken or egg mayonnaise. But they should always be served with the crusts cut off - Anne, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, was quite insistent on this point!What are the three types of afternoon tea? ›
- Afternoon Tea. Afternoon Tea is a selection of finger foods like cake, scones, tarts, and other treats that is usually served more casually than a High Tea. ...
- High Tea. High Tea is served at a dining table, hence "high tea", and is more of a meal. ...
- Cream Tea.
- English Breakfast.
- Earl Grey.
- Green tea.
- Matcha tea.
Why is it called high tea? ›
So what is 'high tea'?
The phrase 'high tea' started to be used to describe a working-class meal served at a high table and high back dining chairs at the end of a long workday. The tea would be accompanied by a hot meal. This could be a meat or fish dish or baked food or vegetables.
Allow 3-4 sandwiches per person. But don't prepare them too early as they will either go soggy or dry out.
So what time should you go? People usually have afternoon tea between 3 and 5pm, and 4pm is often cited as the best time for afternoon tea. Many hotels and restaurants offer it from noon until early evening, though, so you don't have to stick to the rules if you want to have it earlier or later.What is a classic high tea? ›
Traditional afternoon tea consists of a selection of dainty sandwiches (including of course thinly sliced cucumber sandwiches), scones served with clotted cream and preserves. Cakes and pastries are also served. Tea grown in India or Ceylon is poured from silver tea pots into delicate bone china cups.What is a royal afternoon tea? ›
Royal tradition says Afternoon Tea is celebrated “between 3 pm and 5 pm with an assortment of cakes, pastries, dainty sandwiches and, of course, scones with clotted cream, curd, and strawberry preserves.”What is tea with cream called? ›
A cream tea (also known as a Devon cream tea, Devonshire tea, or Cornish cream tea) is an afternoon tea consisting of tea, scones, clotted cream (or, less authentically, whipped cream), jam, and sometimes butter.Which country invented tea? ›
The story of tea begins in China. According to legend, in 2737 BC, the Chinese emperor Shen Nung was sitting beneath a tree while his servant boiled drinking water, when some leaves from the tree blew into the water.What is number 1 English tea? ›
1 is a fresh and elegant black tea with a subtle hint of bergamot. Blended to give a delicately balanced brew, it's a tea for those who enjoy the finer things in life. Our Tea Masters balance Ceylon, Kenyan and Assam teas for this blend. They use plenty of high-grown Ceylon, sourced from the country's central hills.Which tea is best first thing in the morning? ›
Black tea will satisfy your need for caffeine in the morning without making you jittery or causing you to become overstimulated. Black tea has also proven positive for a number of health benefits that include lower levels of bad cholesterol, support for the immune system, and a decrease in blood sugar.