No high tea pilgrimage is complete without an afternoon tea at the QVB Tea Room. Located in what was once the original Grand Ballroom of the landmark Queen Victoria Building, The Tea Room oozes style and grace. The addition of custom designed Baccarat crystal chandeliers in 2014 gave the interior a burst of glamour and sparkle.
Tea at The Tea Room is served on on authentic British silverware and classic Royal Albert china. I particularly love the heavy silverware. It feels very old world and classy.
The Tea Room serves three kinds of afternoon teas – traditional, Oriental and gluten free. We chose the traditional, but with a twist. Mine had to be vegetarian, and my dad’s needed significant adjustments due to his dietary restraints. Our server was one of the kindest, thorough waitstaff I have encountered. He went back and forth between our table ad the kitchen several times to make sure that my dad was being given a full afternoon tea that suited his diet. I wish I’d asked for his name to commend him to The Tea Room afterwards. He made the experience hassle free, while also ensuring that my dad was able to enjoy the tea entirely. Most importantly, my dad wasn’t make to feel like his requirements were a hinderance or annoyance, so the whole experience was very enjoyable, before we’d even tasted the tea.
Speaking of the tea, it arrived quickly in large pots. Once we’d poured all of our tea, helpful staff returned sporadically throughout our meal to ask if we would like a hot water top up in our little teapots. Very thoughtful.
Our selection of savoury and sweets came shortly afterwards on tiered platters. My dad’s arrived on its own platter (pic above), and the others all combined on another.
The vegetarian tea was very similar to the regular one. The only difference was the sandwiches – mine were cheese and tomato chutney and cucumber and cream cheese, while the regular sandwiches included ham.
The sandwiches were delicious. Fresh, light bread, and tasty fillings. We were offered extra sandwiches later on and were given an entire extra serving, including egg (yay!). The egg was actually my favourite. Also on the sandwich plate were a little cup of XX and truffle oil, and a bite of pastry with explosively tasty tomato and avocado on it.
One large scone per person was allocated (my dad scored two with his special menu). The scones were a mix of plain and sultana.The scones were warm, right out of the oven and the delicious mixed berry jam and thick cream were generously portioned. Also on the scone plate were spinach bites in pastry. Freshly cooked and so good.
Onto the sweets. Four tiny perfect desserts: a berry macaron, chocolate mousse square, berry tart and mango and strawberry mousse square. All four were perfect. Light, elegant, beautifully presented, and all bursting with flavour.
I couldn’t fault anything about our experience. From the staff to the food, it was perfect. This is why we will be back, and keep on coming back, year after year. Thank you Tea Room for making this such a special afternoon for me and my family.
The Tea Room QVB
3, Queen Victoria Building,
455 George Street,
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9283 7279
Hours: Daily 10am-5pm Get Directions
In the heart of Sydney’s CBD lies the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney, housed inside a gorgeous 1850s Beaux Arts property. It’s old world elegance at its finest, including the Lady Fairfax lounge area where we were seated for our high tea.
The room is lovely and spacious, with large windows allowing plenty of light to stream in. It’s the perfect spot for a quiet afternoon with family and friends.
We enjoyed sampling both the Traditional and Festive High Teas at the Radisson Blu, both served on a classic silver-tiered stand. The Traditional High Tea is available year-round, but the Festive High Tea is a limited edition, and only available until January 3.
Traditional High Tea
Cucumber and dill cream cheese sandwich
Feta, ricotta and spinach roll
Smoked salmon toast
Chicken curry puff
Barbecue pork filo pastries
(Because I’m vegetarian, I was given an extra cheese sandwich, tomato and avocado sandwich and a mixed vegetable sandwich as a substitute for the meat pastries.)
The sandwiches and savouries were among the best we’ve had of any high tea in Sydney. They were just delicious, with fluffy bread, delicious fillings, and pastries that were mouthwateringly good. Often high teas are all about the sweet, but I find I really need the savouries to be a strong component too, or I get sugar overload.
The scones were served hot, fresh and fluffy with vanilla bean cream, which was a really refreshing change. Each of the sweets was a perfect bite-sized portion, with the salted caramel swans as the stand out item on the platter. Not only did they look amazing, they tasted exceptional, too.
Festive High Tea
Celebrate the Christmas season with a Festive High Tea from 1 December until 3 January.
Roast turkey sandwich
Ham and cheese sandwich
Chicken curry puff
Pork, apple and thyme roll
Chocolate mint mousse
Fruit Mince Pie
Christmas chocolate slice
Vanilla scones with cream and preserve
The sweet treats served with the Festive High Tea had the cutest hand-made sugar decorations attached, such as a santa or snowman. You can see my daughter’s delight as she spots them when they arrive.
We found the mint in the mousse a refreshing change, quite a bright, strong flavour, that was a good contrast to the sweetness of the other items on the platter. Often the sweets are all so sugary that you can feel quite ill after eating them, so having this mint mousse, and also savoury fruit mince pie on the Festive Tea and the salted caramel swans on the Traditional Tea, were very welcome components to balance out the sweetness.
Both high teas are served with a choice of handcrafted teas from La Maison Du Thé. There is wide range of teas to choose from, from a standard English Breakfast to some exotic varieties of black and white tea with fruity and flower flavours added in.
$49 per person with tea or coffee
$59 per person with a glass of sparkling wine
$69 per person with a glass of Champagne
The Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel also serves a Kids in the City High Tea which we will be trying on our next visit. It’s described as including ham and cheese sandwiches, dotty blue fairy bread, sparkling lemon meringue, laminations, mini sausage rolls, mini beef pies, seasonal jelly shots, a specially mixed ‘Out of the Blu’ mocktail, marshmallowy hot chocolate and freshly squeezed fruit juice for $25/per child.
Circular Quay finally has a reasonably-priced place to get a delicious bite to eat – the brand new Gateway Sydney complex has opened, with the first of the 25 planned eateries open for business.
Gateway Sydney is kind of like a fancy food court – think upmarket chain restaurants and takeout joints. It’s located directly behind Circular Quay train station, making it the perfect place to eat for tourists as well as local workers.
We ate at Four Frogs Creperie, the first of the restaurants to offer an eating area that is more cafe-like than food court, including full table service.
Four Frogs Creperie has an extensive menu of both savoury and sweet crepes, including a cute little kids’ menu that is very reasonably priced – on the menu are a ham & cheese galette (crepe) $7.50, ham, cheese & egg $8.50, bacon, cheese & egg $8.50.
We ordered a plain egg and cheese crepe and were charged an extremely reasonable $5.
For the adults, we enjoyed a Spinach, Feta, Mushroom and Avocado galette ($15) which came with a side salad, and a summer special with Feta Cheese, Cherry Tomatoes, Toasted Pine Nuts, French Dressing & Salad ($15) with added Avocado ($3).
The galettes arrived very quickly, cooked to perfection. The crepe base is made from home-milled Australian buckwheat flour and is naturally gluten-free.
If crepes don’t strike your fancy, you have plenty of other options to choose from:
Bekya (Egyptian street food)
Bread & Fill (roasts and sandwiches-style of food)
Burger Project (to come)
Chat Thai (to come)
Din Tai Fung (to come)
Espresso Room (speciality coffee)
Gelato Messina (best gelato ever?)
Hero Sushi Express & Train (amazing-looking sushi to stay or go)
Mad Mex (Baja-Mexican food)
McDonalds (located outside the main entrance)
Neptune Palace (Chinese and Malaysian dishes, located on level 1)
Oporto (Portuguese flame-grilled chicken)
Paragon Hotel (pub food from noon)
Quay & Co (to come)
Rolld (Vietnamese cuisine)
Schnitz (specialising in schnitzels)
Ship Inn (an informal restaurant and bar outside the entrance to the Gateway)
Spiced by Bilus (Coming soon)
The Golzeme Co. (Turkish golzeme)
Top Juice (fresh juice, salads and yoghurts)
Urban Orchard (wholesome, healthy food made from natural ingredients)
Workshop Espresso (Italian-style espresso bar)
Zumbo (delicious sweet treats)
There is a large area in the middle of the centre with general seating, as well as seating attached to each eatery.
Entrance is on ground level and the entire centre is wheelchair and stroller-accessible.
A note on bathrooms – while there was a sign leading to a parents’ room, we looked and couldn’t find it, so it’s unknown if the gateway has babychanging facilities/family room. I did however find the disabled bathroom which was completely accessible.
Sydney’s Sheraton On The Park has given their Gallery dining area a major refurbishment, and with it, their high tea offerings too.
Recently reopened to the public, the new Gallery dining area is modern and cool, with a silver backdrop representative of the adjacent Hyde Park. When ordering a classic High Tea stand at the Sheraton On The Park, you’ll notice an elegant twist on their traditional stands of old.
The indulgent High Tea is now served on a silver three-tiered stand that is elegantly designed to reflect a tree. It’s a thoroughly modern stand and quite a unique offering in the world of high teas.
The tree High Tea stand is served daily at Sheraton On The Park from 12pm. Included in the classic High Tea is a selection of savouries, scones and sweet treats, plus a choice of Vittoria espresso coffees, fragrant Dilmah teas or hot chocolate made with Lindt chocolate, milk, dark or white.
Sheraton On The Park have partnered closely with Dilmah to deliver a selection of quality teas. I chose the recommended Uda Watte from the Watte range – Sheraton On The Park are the first high tea establishment in Australia to offer this particular tea range to the public.
The Watte tea range is grown at different elevations in Ceylon’s central highlands. Strong, robust teas are supplied from the mid country, rich, rounded tea from the high country, with delicate, subtle tea found at the highest elevations.
My Uda Watte tea was classified as “high grown”, at 5000 feet above sea level, and described as “Rich and lively, with intense aroma and well-rounded flavour”.
The tea stand is served with the savoury and sweet treats first, the scones following after these are finished.
Warm serrano ham, caramelized onion and ricotta dip (vegetarian substitute dried tomato)
Red pepper hummus with pita – grilled zucchini, chickpeas & feta
Duck & currant pate brioche – cranberry, mache & orange (vegetables used instead of pate on vegetarian substitute)
Hot smocked salmon dark rye – avocado, fennel & chives (pumpkin used instead of salmon on vegetarian substitute)
Schinkenspeck schiacciata – bush tomato, fig & goat’s curd (zucchini used as substitute for vegetarian option).
The savoury food was delicious. Fresh, fluffy bread, a warm quiche and delicious ingredients. My favourite was the pumpkin sandwich, while my dining companion loved her quiche.
Green tea cake
Decadent passion fruit truffle
Pampa jelly tart
Hazelnut cream eclairs
Carrot cheese cake
The sweet treats were the perfect size for sampling. I really enjoy the colour and variety of the treats, with a variety of ingredients highlighted, from creamy hazelnut to refreshing berry. Each treat was decadently good, with my favourites being the pampa jelly tart (I loved the bright fruit jelly in the centre) and the passion fruit truffle, with its layers of cream and jelly. Just delicious.
Fruit and plain
Strawberry jam and devonshire cream
The scones are served last, warm and fresh. They come with a variety of toppings – butter, jam and cream in plentiful amounts, but I find the scones to be a bit on the hard and dry side, more like biscuits than the big and fluffy scones I prefer.
The Sheraton on The Park is one of Sydney’s iconic high tea venues for a very good reason. Their consistently high quality of food and service make an afternoon in the Gallery a memorable affair.
The Gallery High Tea is served daily from 12pm and includes one coffee, tea or hot chocolate, $49 per person. The Sparkling Tea Stand includes one glass of sparkling house wine and is $59 per person.
No longer missing from my adventures in high tea, is the very elegant high tea at The Cortile, InterContinental, Sydney.
This is definitely the most beautiful building of all the high teas so far. The InterContinental Hotel was built inside the restored Sydney Treasury Building of 1851. The outside facade of the building is just gorgeous, with sandstone blocks and even some lions to welcome you, and inside the atrium that is where The Cortile is situated,is a gorgeous blend of old meets new. Soaring ceilings, brick archways, with modern fittings and elegant lighting. Just beautiful.
The InterContinental is in a superb position too – just a few blocks from the Sydney Opera House and across the road from Sydney’s Botanic Gardens, it’s a wonderful spot to stay for a few days, or just to experience a high tea like we did.
High Tea at the InterContinental is a truly elegant affair. It consists of a plate of sandwiches, followed by a three tier stand filled with pasties, scones and sweets.
The Three Tier High Tea Stand is served Monday to Friday from 11am–5pm and costs $55 per person (including a glass of sparkling wine).
As a vegetarian I was given a seperate plate of sandwiches and pastries which i thought was very considerate of the staff to arrange.
• Club sandwich, roasted chicken with crispy bacon & tomato
• Tasmanian smoked salmon, cucumber, horseradish & lemon on laugen bread
• Paprika prawns, chili, lemongrass, green shallots, thai basil, red quinoa
Vegetarian sandwiches included mixed vegetables, a tomato, cheese and basil salad.
The sandwiches were light and fresh. I really enjoyed the inclusion of the salad.
Hot Savoury Treats
• Tuscan chicken & roasted vegetable roll
• Caramelised onion & goat’s cheese quiche
• Beef and Guinness pie
Vegetarian savoury treats included the same quiche plus a pumpkin piece and Moroccan sausage roll.
Nice bite-sized treats. The pumpkin in particular was great – a slightly spicy mix with creamy pumpkin.
My fave was the perfect creme brulee and the lemon and herbal infusion cup, with its light, fresh creaminess.
Hot Sweet Treats
• Buttermilk vanilla scones, vanilla whipped cream, cherry jam
Delicious, warm, fresh scones.
• Green Tea Affogato; the classic Italian dessert with a twist.
The finale to this meal is a shot of Matcha poured over vanilla bean ice-cream. Our lovely waitress mixed the matcha in front of us and poured it, hot, over a large scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. The fresh ice cream was the perfect way to finish the high tea – refreshing and light.
If you dine at the InterContinental on weekends, you can try the Weekend High Tea Buffet. It’s served Saturday & Sunday from 1pm–2:30pm and 3pm–4:30pm. It costs $60 per person includes a glass of sparkling wine.
Inner city cafes that are kid-friendly with room to run are extremely rare. The Junction, a cafe attached to the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo, is an oasis of space for families to relax, eat and take time to relax on a busy day in the city.
The Junction is located on the lower street level of the Powerhouse Museum complex, positioned so you can enter the cafe and enjoy the courtyard and playground without entering the museum. This means, of course, that you can drop by any time for a coffee, snack, play or bathroom break.
The cafe has a very simple menu. Burgers, fries, kids’ meals, milkshakes. It has a wide selection of snacks like fruit, yoghurt, pre-made sandwiches, banana bread, donuts, pretzel cups and a crazy amount of lollies.
Order at the counter and take your number to a table. I’m not sure what the numbers were for, however, as when the order was ready it was placed on the counter to be collected, rather than brought to our table.
The cafe has indoor and outdoor seating in a bright, open space. It’s a very light and airy environment, with open panels so the air flows freely, and there is plenty of ambient sound to cover the noise of cranky kids, but also no loud music to prevent conversation. My favourite!
The walls are glass or open to the courtyard so when dining inside there is a clear view of the playground – both from inside and outside the cafe. It’s a fantastic design so if you have young children you can sit at the end of the cafe outside, right next to the playground.
The playground itself is pretty big, with shade cloth covering. It’s clean, big and well-designed. There are several public bathrooms inside the courtyard including a disabled and baby change toilet.
I was impressed at how the entire set up was stroller and wheelchair assessable. The entry from the street into the cafe and courtyard is wide and smooth, and the cafe has plenty of space to enable wheelchairs and strollers to maneuver.
We had eaten lunch earlier when we visited, so we only tried the donuts ($4.50 each, delicious!) and milkshakes. The milkshakes were incredible value for Sydney – $7 for a massive shake.
The Junction is a great cafe to try if you’re in the area or visiting the Powerhouse Museum.
The Junction, Powerhouse Museum 500 Harris St, Ultimo NSW 2007 Hours: Daily from 8:30am Online
We end up in the Darling Harbour area quite a lot due to its proximity to the Powerhouse Museum, excellent water playground and Maritime Museum. Finding somewhere to eat that is reasonably priced and also great for kids is a bit of a challenge. I’ve recently discovered Yots Cafe, a super cute nautical themed place attached to the outside of the Maritime Museum.
It’s almost impossible to drag kids past this cafe when they spot the giant connect four game that is out the front for its customers to use. I’ve also seen kid-sized tables and chairs out the front on previous visits, although they weren’t there when I dined recently myself.
The view from Yots is pretty stunning, which you do pay for in the prices of the menu. You can however get takeaway items for yourself and the kids if you prefer to grab a meal and eat it on a nearby bench or park.
We chose to dine in, and hubby ordered the Wild Barramundi (grilled or battered, with beer battered chips and house made tartare sauce, $20), while I struggled with no brunch/brekkie items for a vegetarian and settled for a yoghurt cup ($6). Cheese had just eaten and wasn’t hungry so we let her play and ordered her a takeaway lunch box for $7.50. Dine in options for kids start at $10 which is very reasonable for city lunches.
The lunch box was great value – a full-sized vegemite sandwich, a fruit cup, Nudie juice, chocolate coin and an eye patch.
One of the best bits about the cafe is it is right underneath the Maritime Museum, so it’s easy to duck out for lunch or a snack, and then go back inside for more fun. You get a break from the museum without having to go very far.
A kid-friendly restaurant in Sydney’s CBD is quite a find. We end up spending a lot of time around Circular Quay at the Sydney Opera House, the AGNSW and the MCA, so are always in search of Sydney’s best kid-friendly cafes in these areas.
On our recent visit to the MCA we tried their rooftop cafe, which I previously didn’t even know existed. To get to the cafe, enter through any of their regular entrances, then take the elevator to the 4th floor. Entrance to the general exhibitions at the MCA is free, so you won’t need to pay if you stop along the way to check out some art.
When you reach the top floor of the MCA, turn right to enter the cafe and sculpture terrace. Dining is casual, so grab menus at the front, choose a table, then order and pay at the counter.
The cafe currently has a British Grayson Perry-inspired menu, running at the same time as the gallery has the Grayson Perry exhibition on downstairs. I love themed menus, so this was a fun, unexpected bonus. The menu was a celebration of all things British, such as Devonshire tea & scones, crumpets, fish & chips, bangers and mash, or their Little Pretty Eton Mess.
I chose the Honeyed Oats, Summer Berries, Elderflower, Yoghurt & Pistachio ($12),
Alec had the Roasted Salmon (with green beans, roast potatoes & lemon, $28), and Cheese selected the Battered Fish & Chips ($14) from the kids’ menu.
While we were waiting for our meals, Cheese amused herself by checking out the giant sculpture on the terrace, while we admired the view. Not too shabby, eh?
My honeyed oats were really delicious, but I did find them to be a tad dry and would have liked more yogurt. I thought the dish was colourful and beautiful, and really tasty. Alec’s salmon was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, and Cheese’s fish and chips were also a winner. The portion was so big it would have done an adult who wanted a smallish-sized lunch.
After our brunch we strolled downstairs to take part in the free drop in craft session for kids. The MCA usually has a kid-friendly component to their major exhibitions where little ones can experiment with different materials in the spirit of the big show, which, in this case, was Grayson Perry’s “My Pretty Little Art Career”.
With the stunning view, free admission to the MCA plus the also-free art-making session, this was one extremely good value restaurant, perfect for kids, right in the heart of Sydney.
Is it possible to ever have too much gelato? I thought not. La Mama del Gelato Anita, also known colloquially as “Anita’s” began in a small Mediterranean kitchen, almost 20 years ago, by Mama Anita. From selling ice cream out of her home with the help of her son, Anita progressed to an ice cream cart, local market, and then her first store. What started out as a little home run business is now an international chain, with stores from New York to Australia.
Mama Anita still gives every new flavour her stamp of approval before it’s sold in stores.
In Australia, Anita’s serves gelato and frozen yogurt. They have a range of classic flavours like pistachio, chocolate and strawberry, but the most popular are imaginative blends like pavlova and Cookieman, a mash up of chocolate, hazelnuts, meringue and biscuit.
If you like fruity gelato, you’ll be happy to hear they are all fat-free and made with 70% fruit with no added sugar or fructose. There is also sugar-free gelato available.
All of the gelato is churned daily on the premise, where they produce around 250 litres a day.
Past the gelato is the unlimited frozen yogurt section. There is one flavour of frozen yogurt available – plain – to which you can add as many of the 54 toppings as you like. You can eat all the toppings off and then go back for more. Options include house made jams, lollies and fresh fruit.
I ordered the Cookieman and Marscarpone with Blueberry (regular size, $8). The serve was pretty big so great value. I loved the Cookieman best. It was actually all of our favourite, which was surprising for Alec, who doesn’t like chocolate ice cream. All the flavours were light and fluffy, and not too sweet (even the chocolate one).
High Tea, or afternoon tea, is an elegant affair that we have our British ancestors to thank for. In Sydney, high teas are thriving – and I’ve been on a mission to try each and every one on offer. After careful testing, I present to you a selection of the best high teas in Sydney.
Enjoy delicious square sandwiches, fluffy scones with plenty of jam and cream, with delectable sweet treats such as the salted caramel and chocolate tart at this Mosman, North Shore, cafe. The balcony wrapping around Burnt Orange offers stunning harbour views, so request a prime spot when making your booking. Burnt Orange, 1109 Middle Head Rd, Mosman
Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney
You’ll find fluffy fresh scones with vanilla bean cream, delicious sandwiches and savoury pastries, plus delectable sweets at the Radisson Blu high tea. The tea is topped with a pair of salted caramel swans that you’ll be torn between eating and taking home as a souvenir. Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney, 27 O’Connell St, Sydney
The Cortile, InterContinental Sydney
A classic high tea served with a modern twist. High tea at the InterContinental is served inside the restored 1851 Treasury building, making it the most visually stunning building of all high tea locations. The sweets are tea-themed, such as the Jasmine Gold tea crème brulée. InterContinental Sydney, 117 Macquarie St, Sydney
Sheraton on the Park
Choose from a classic tea stand or the buffet high tea. Their high tea stands are often themed, such as the Fashion High Tea, or Christmas. The buffet is excellent quality and value at $49pp, and includes an ice cream station, fresh creme brulee, sandwiches, savouries, scones, crepes and platter after platter of sweet treats. Sheraton on the Park, 161 Elizabeth St, Sydney
A classic high tea with the best view in Sydney. Ask for a seat on the balcony and watch out for kookaburras who like to swoop down and steal sandwiches. The scones are served fresh and warm, and the staff are outstanding. It’s hard to top this high tea, which is why you’ll need to book well in advance. Gunners Barracks, Suakin Dr, Mosman
Westin Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea Fall down the rabbit hole into a whimsical high tea land where all of the dishes are inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Enjoy delicacies such as the The Mad Hatter’s Hat (rich dark chocolate mud cake encased in chocolate icing) and The White Rabbit’s Pocket Watch (purple macaroon with a blueberry cream filling). Westin,Lobby Level, 1 Martin Place Sydney
Dining at the newly renovated Langham is an elegant affair. I enjoyed their Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood for Mother’s day last year, where a sophisticated high tea is served in Wedgwood china specifically designed for The Langham hotel. The environment is opulent and serene, the high tea full of tarts, tasty sandwiches and savouries. Do yourself a favour and book into the excellent Langham spa downstairs for a treatment after your tea is finished. The Langham Hotel, 89-113 Kent Street, Sydney
The Tea Room QVB
Set in the historic Queen Victoria Building, afternoon tea at the QVB is a popular outing. The Tea Room is owned by the same company as the Gunners Barracks, which ensures that both teas are of a high standard. Be sure to arrive hungry as the extremely efficient staff offer extra sandwiches once yours have run out. For something different, try the Oriental High Tea which features Peking duck pancakes and and scallop and ginger dumplings. The Tea Room QVB, 3, Queen Victoria Building, 455 George St, Sydney
The Tea Salon
Tucked away inside a quiet nook of Westfield Sydney, from the inside it’s easy to forget you’re dining inside a shopping centre. They have an extensive tea selection (try the “Creme Brulee”) and a choice of scone flavour (their speciality). On the day we visited we tried a limited edition Katherine Sabbath high tea, which was developed in conjunction with the amazing baker, featuring a fancy donut, and a special blueberry, white chocolate scone. The Tea Salon, Westfield Sydney, Lvl 4, Cnr Pitt Street Mall and Market Street, Sydney
The Tea Cosy
A family owned and operated cafe tucked into the historic Rocks district of Sydney, The Tea Cosy boasts “Scones and tea like Nana used to make”. Choose from a wide variety of teas and scones, which will likely be the best you’ve ever tasted. Scones are served warm and fresh with house-made jams (that are available for purchase). The high tea option comes with delicious finger sandwiches such as egg and cucumber and cream cheese, plus old English style pastries on top such as a lemon meringue tart and friand muffin. The tea pot cosies are so cute you’ll be tempted to buy one of them, too. The Tea Cosy, 33 George St, The Rocks NSW
Parliament House of New South Wales
The most exclusive high tea in Sydney, served only on the last Friday of each month, this is also the only high tea in Sydney that you’ll have to pass through a metal detector to gain admission. Dine in the Strangers’ Dining Room that is usually off-limits to the public, overlooking Hyde Park. The bocconcini tartlet with chive coulis was a fave, as were the sandwiches – with a second plate being delivered after the first was finished. Parliament House of New South Wales, Parliament of New South Wales, 6 Macquarie Street, Sydney
Sofitel Sydney Wentworth High Tea with Christina Re
The Wentworth hotel has partnered with High Tea and Lifestyle designer Cristina Re to create beautiful high teas presented on the designer’s vintage-inspired Signature High Tea collection, adorned in 24 carat gold finishes. The high teas are often themed in collaboration with Sydney’s art and culture scene – for example, when we dined on previous occasions, we enjoyed their limited edition Sleeping Beauty and Archibald high teas, which were in conjunction with the Australian Ballet and AGNSW. The Wentworth has the best value kids’ high teas around – at $40 they might sound a bit steep, but they are virtually identical to the adult ones so two or three kids could easily share one. Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, 61-101 Phillip Street, Sydney
Try the Traditional or Chocolate High Tea at the Shangri-La Sydney, created by their amazing Executive Pastry Chef, Anna Polyviou. As you’d expect from an innovative pastry chef, the pastries on this high tea stand are the most innovative and delicious you will find anywhere, including her famous carrot cake. Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, 176 Cumberland St, Sydney
Hard core chocolate lovers will enjoy this sweet-heavy high tea at Coco Chocolate’s studio and school location in Mosman. Sit outdoors and enjoy an informal high tea with a stunning view of the Sydney harbour. As befits a chocolate high tea, treats include a shot of hot chocolate, chocolate pistachio shortbread, florentines, scones with jam & cream, melting moments, flourless orange cakes, chocolate cakes, and, the star of the high tea, a selection of house-made chocolate. Bookings are essential as each tea is made to order. Coco Chocolate, Sydney Chocolate School and Coco Chocolate Studio, Past Burnt Orange and HMAS Penguin at Chowder Bay Rd turnoff, Building 21, 1110 Middle Head Road, Mosman
Vaucluse House Tea Rooms
Take a trip back in time and dine at historic Vaucluse House. The sandstone mansion was built in the 1830s and is set in 10 hectares of picture perfect gardens stretching down to the harbour. The high tea features a delicious array of savoury tarts and sandwiches, fresh scones, and sweets that include a sugar-covered donut and delicate fairy-floss. After your tea, wander through the building or meet the farm animals out the back. There is plenty of space to roam in solitude and enjoy the serenity. Bookings essential. Vaucluse House Tea Rooms, Wentworth Rd, Vaucluse
Park Hyatt Sydney
Located on the waterfront and delivering a perfect view of Sydney Harbour, high tea at the Park Hyatt is the popular location for a groups such as a bridal showers. The high tea features finger sandwiches, warm scones with jam and cream, and mini cakes, tartlets and macarons. For larger groups, a private room is available. Park Hyatt Sydney, 7 Hickson Road The Rocks Sydney
Are there any high teas I’ve missed? I’d love to know where to try next!