Sydney’s Best High Teas
Whether it’s the traditional sandwich and scone combination, or a more decadent and unique long ladies lunch you’re after, we’ve sought out the top high teas in Sydney just for you.
High tea. It’s an English tradition that tends to conjure up images of ladies in gowns, pinkies in the air, the tiniest and most fragile of teacups and Kirsten Dunst in a high-mop wig. Don’t deny it, the image crossed your mind too.
Use it as a lavish excuse to dress like a lady, catch up with your girlfriends and tantalise your tastebuds over three tiers of intricately crafted sweet and savoury nibbles and a bottomless pot of exotic leaf-tea. Or, if you’re feeling naughty, a shot of vodka. It’s past midday. Even the queen would approve.
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Top 10 High Teas in Sydney
Tea not your cup of, er, tea? There is another option in the renovated Treasury Building’s Cortile Lounge.
Renowned for its exquisite high teas, you’ve the choice of the classic Cortile Afternoon Tea Stand or the Weekend High Tea Affair complete with French pastries, French waffles, French crêpes and a French waiter (well, hopefully.)
And then, you’ve the choice of busting the stereotype and indulging on a High Coffee experience, where sweets are paired with your favourite java and crêpes are lined with chocolate and espresso.
Tea times: Weekdays 11am-4pm, Weekends 1pm-4:30pm across two seatings
Address: 117 Macquarie St, Sydney
Phone number: (02) 9240 1396
Cost: From $55pp
If you’re a high tea connoisseur, then you’ve heard of — nay — you’ve experienced this before: an Alice in Wonderland inspired high tea that’s guaranteed to have you tumbling down the rabbit hole in glee.
Fanciful and fun doesn’t even begin to describe the experience of one of the Westin’s Mad Hatter offerings, which include A Mad Tea Party (served with bottomless tea or coffee), Down The Rabbit Hole (comes with a Drink Me cocktail) and Ruinart’s Queen of Hearts (with a flute of ‘R’ de Ruinart Champagne).
All that’s left for you to decide is how far down you’d like to tumble.
Tea times: Daily 12pm-6pm
Address: 1 Martin Pl, Sydney
Phone number: (02) 8223 1111
Cost: From $49 pp
For something excessively indulgent and undeniably opulent yours has to be the Afternoon Tea Buffet at Sheraton on the Park. At $55pp, which includes a fresh cup or coffee or tea you'd better come with your sweet tooth ready.
This one's only available on weekends so if you feel like saving those for a more relaxing activity (errr- what could be more relaxing than a high tea buffet?) during the weekday traditional high tea ($49pp) and sparkling high tea ($59pp) is available.
Tea times: Daily from midday or 12pm or 2:30pm on weekends (buffet)
Address: The Gallery Tea Lounge @ The Sheraton Hotel, Lobby Level, 161 Elizabeth St, Sydney
Phone number: (02) 9286 6000
Cost: $89 for two
This one’s strictly for queens and princesses seeking a traditional high tea in the grandest of settings.
Located on the top floor of the Queen Victoria Building, The Tea Room offers one of Sydney’s most established and esteemed high tea services and plates up its finger sandwiches and homemade scones on authentic Royal Albert china.
All its teas and tisanes are of the high quality single estate loose leaf variety and are imported from China, India, Japan, Sri-Lanka, Taiwan and Africa. You’ve pages of options. Choose wisely.
Tea times: Daily 10am-close
Address: Level 3, North End, Queen Victoria Building, Sydney
Phone number: (02) 9283 7279
Cost: From $40pp
How better to experience high tea than on the beautiful colonial estate of Vaucluse House? Its dedicated tea rooms boast views overlooking the 10 hectares of gardens that stretch all the way down to the banks of Sydney Harbour.
Dating back to the 1830s, this sandstone estate is a quiet oasis away from the busy city life. The Tea Rooms’ High Tea is a tour through English dining history, offering scones with berry preserve and clotted cream and chicken and tarragon Harry's Bar sandwiches.
Tea times: Wednesday to Friday 10am-3:30pm, Weekends 9:30am-4:30pm across three seatings
Address: Wentworth Rd, Vaucluse
Phone number: (02) 9388 8188
Cost: From $55pp
And now for something completely different. While many high teas offer a gluten free option, there’s none in Sydney quite like this one.
Meet Sydney’s first and currently only, organic raw vegan high tea.
It’s a glorious affair with all the sweet and delicious things that make life worth living for, but without all that refined sugar, gluten and lactose that can test the taste-bud/stomach relationship for some.
The ever-changing menu can include anything from mini coconut bacon pizzas to mini choc donuts and scones with white chocolate cream and raspberry chia jam.
Tea times: Daily 10am. By booking only.
Address: 147 Enmore Rd, Enmore
Phone number: (02) 9516 1334
Indulgence, thy name is Passiontree Velvet. For those venturing away from the city but still wishing to maintain that balance of English teahouse and Parisian patisserie (with a dash of Belgian chocolatier) Passiontree might be your cup of, well, tea.
Its menu ranges from High Tea to Light Meals right down to Tasting Experiences. But you're after the High Teas, aren't you?
To whet your palette are four delectable options, including the traditional Devonshire Cream tea (scones, cream and strawberry jam), the more ample Duchess Full High Tea (finger sandwiches, scones, high tea fancies), the indulgent Macaron High Tea (test taste every single macaron on the list and have sandwiches and tea, too) and - for the little ones - the Teddy Bears Picnic (served with a choice of juice or babyccino, naturally).
Tea times: Mon-Wed & Fri: 9am-5.30pm, Thurs: 9am-9pm, Sat: 9am-5pm, Sun: 10am-5pm. By booking only.
Address: K3415 (in front of Coles), Macquarie Centre, Corner Herring and Waterloo Roads, North Ryde, NSW
Cost: Ranges from $9.95 (Teddy Bears Picnic) - $38.95 (Macaron High Tea)
Thought we were joking when we said you could trade up your tea for a vodka sipper, didn’t you?
We never joke when it comes to vodka and Food Society’s done us a favour by concocting this winning combination of all things sinfully delish. Handfuls of sweet and savoury canapes, matched with your choice of mini vodka cocktails or vodka sippers.
We’ll drink to that!
Tea times: Saturday 12:30pm-4:30pm
Address: Lower Ground Floor, 91 Riley St, Darlinghurst
Phone number: (02) 8090 3462
Cost: From $45pp
This lazy long lunch is worth it for the Wentworth’s signature cheesecake alone. Soft to the touch, the recipe for this melt-in-your-mouth cake has been a secret Wentworth family recipe since it opened its doors in 1966. What's that 1966? That means the venue is celebrating it's 50th anniversary this year.
Why yes, it is.
As part of those celebrations comes its 50th Anniversary Wentworth High tea which features an exquisite array of macarons, lemon tart, chocolate and lime choux and that decadent cheesecake. At $69pp it's worth every cent, especially as you receive a Ronnefeldt Tea & Cristina Re gift with your high tea, too. It's available on specific dates throughout the year only.
Tea times: Daily 2pm-5pm
Address: 61-101 Phillip St, Sydney
Phone number: (02) 9228 9188
And finally: the high tea dark horse. The Shangri-La often gets overlooked as a high tea destination.
Perhaps it’s because it doesn’t always put its hand up for events such as Good Food Month’s Ultimate High Tea, but it should not be discarded - have you seen this hotel’s dessert bar?!
While high tea isn't on the list, afternoon tea is in a multitude of forms. There's your standard afternoon tea with live music offerings and then there's the Shangri-La’s signature Wickedly Sweet Chocolate High Tea experience. You know which one we're opting for.
Imagine: three-tiers comprising of 11 chocolate-based desserts - plus the option for a hot chocolate drink if your choc cravings haven’t yet been abated. To this creation we have one three words: death by chocolate.
Tea times: Daily 1pm-5pm
Address: 176 Cumberland St, The Rocks
Phone number: (02) 9250 6144
Cost: From $38pp (weekdays) or $42pp (weekends)
Inside this boutique luxury hotel you’ll sink into plush armchairs, sip on one of their specially blended Wedgewood teas, nibble on smoked salmon roulade with caviar and cream cheese before deciding between the freshly baked scone or lavender cake.
It’s okay, you don’t have to make a choice – have them both (and many other treats beside) over your afternoon. There are a range of packages on offer depending on the day and how fancy you like your champagne, but our advice is to book a mid-week afternoon tea with sparkling.
Tea times: Sunday-Wednesday 10am-11pm, Thursday-Saturday 10am-12am, Monday-Sunday 12pm-5pm
Address: 89-113 Kent St, Sydney
Phone number: (02) 8248 5252
Cost: From $65 per person
Buying high tea for a friend?
Treat them to one of these high tea experiences
We can’t give the game away, but you’re guaranteed a good time at any one of these high teas.
Isn't it time you treated your mum / sister / friend / annoying friend you want to one-up (deleted as applicable)?
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Teas from $6.95
Buy local and imported teas from David Jones from $6.95. Brands include Fortnum and Mason, T2 and Wedgewood.