Crook that pinkie and pass the sugar – it’s time to check out Melbourne’s best high teas.
Afternoon tea at the Langham has become a Melbourne tradition involving Sunday best and Wedgwood china made especially for the hotel. Tea sommeliers flit around dispensing advice on the best choice of specialty leaves and the all-important cake selection is simply irresistible. From $59 per person.
1 Southgate Avenue, Southbank; (03) 8696 8888
Mary Eats Cake
Mary wears two hats: the quaint Euro-styled tearooms in the leafy Dandenong Ranges suburb of Montrose and the shabby-chic Brunswick terrace. The combined talents of its young owners, tea sommelier Sarah de Witt (of Impala & Peacock, which provides the loose-leaf tea) and pastry chef Jessica Hillbrick make either choice glad-rag-worthy. Mary’s a thoroughly modern gal, so she also provides a vegan and gluten-free high tea. From $49 per person.
558 Sydney Road, Brunswick; (03) 8394 5661
13 Leith Road, Montrose; (03) 8394 5661
Mansion Hotel & Spa at Werribee Park
Whether you swing sweet or savoury, the lavish Italianate mansion Werribee Park beckons. A top high tea destination in collaboration with tea heroes T2, the experience moves with the seasons by serving high tea by the library’s open fire in winter and on the majestic balcony when the mercury rises. From $80 per person.
Gate 2, K Road, Werribee; (03) 9731 4000
Another of Melbourne’s grand dame hotels serving a timeless high tea, the Windsor has clocked up 130 years and served more than two million people. Poured and plated delicately in the hotel’s One Eleven Spring Street tearoom, expect ribbon sandwiches, hearty small serves of lamb and rosemary pie and a show-stopping layer cake with strawberry jelly and chocolate mousse. From $75 per person.
111 Spring Street, Melbourne; 03 9633 6004
Om Nom at Adelphi Hotel
A dedicated dessert bar has a duty to perform well in the high tea stakes. Lucky, then, that Om Nom lives up to its name with its weekend high tea taking the road less travelled, from raspberry fizzy meringue to Granny Smith panna cotta and a glazed lime cheesecake. Backed by St Ali coffee and T-Bar boutique teas, it’s a fun modern spin on a time-honoured tradition. From $69 per person.
187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne; (03) 8080 8827
Hopetoun Tea Rooms
Generations of Melburnians have trod the intricate mosaic floor of the Block Arcade en route to the Hopetoun Tea Rooms. A century of high tea has perfected the formula: namely, irresistibly pretty cakes, fine bone china and more than 20 varieties of tea. From $55 per person.
The Block Arcade, 1-2/282 Collins Street, Melbourne; (03) 9650 2777
Part of the Calia empire, this salon decorated with artistic paper flowers and draping greenery treads a gentle Italian-Japanese fusion in the savoury line but its Le Cordon Bleu-trained chefs are sticklers for the old ways when it comes sweets. Hit the signature Earl Grey creme brulee with almond tuile or a rainbow-hued crepe cake; just add Seven Seeds Coffee or sparkle with a glass of Moet & Chandon. From $45 per person.
Level 2, Emporium Shopping Centre, 287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne; (03) 9654 8882
It’s pure ooh la la at the High Tea Szalon of Collingwood hipster hangout Mamor. Central European style and delicate floral china combine their superpowers over a variety of afternoon tea options, including the top-tier high tea with flaky savoury pastries, scones with all the trimmings and petit fours; or the “seven sins of chocolate” high tea – no explanation needed. From $65 per person.
153 Johnston Street, Collingwood; (03) 9419 3869
For a more relaxed approach to afternoon tea, chocolate wonderland Koko Black delivers the dine-in goods with its dessert degustation sharing plate featuring a selection of its greatest hits including black forest gateau, caramel delice and raspberry French almond cake. From $29.50 per person.
Royal Arcade, 335 Bourke Street, Melbourne; (03) 9639 8911
High tea and habitat combine for the Melbourne Zoo’s afternoon offering, served in their rainforest room looking onto the tamarin monkey enclosure. Held on one Sunday every month (fortnightly during winter) guests are invited to take an hour-long gander about the zoo before letting the squirrel-sized monkeys watch them enjoy scones with jam and cream, mini quiches and dainty sandwiches (crustless, of course). From $71 per person.
Elliot Avenue, Parkville; (03) 9285 9440
Top image: Café Blush