You can eat your way through a world’s worth of cuisine without leaving the borders of Brisbane. This city offers everything from Kentucky fried duck to scotch eggs in curry mayo.
Not every dish in the city is off-the-wall, though; Brisbane’s high tea also offers tradition.
Hotels, restaurants and cafés around the city serve up quintessential afternoon teas, often on tiered trays, with ribbon sandwiches, plump scones, cakes and cup after cup of tea.
Here are a few options in the city, including a few that include a little twist.
Best high tea in Brisbane for children from RedBalloon
Tucked within City Hall, this family-friendly high tea includes special treats for kids like teddy bear biscuits and marshmallow wands, as well as adult beverages like a glass of sparkling on arrival.
Location: City Hall, Brisbane
Includes: Freshly-baked scones and cakes for adults, sausage rolls, biscuits and sweets for children, plus ribbon sandwiches for all. Adults get a glass of sparkling with tea, coffee or hot chocolate, while children choose from a milkshake, juice or babyccino
Best high tea in Brisbane on a river cruise from RedBalloon
Take high tea while drifting along Brisbane River, during a Kookaburra Showboat Cruise. These indulgent voyages take place on Saturdays and Sundays and the menu includes the likes of baked NY cheesecake, chocolate fondant and double-layered chocolate mousse in addition to scones and sandwiches.
Location: Brisbane River
Includes: Savouries, sweets, tea, live music and a scenic cruise
In addition to its classic high tea, Sofitel offers a Gouter Tea. It’s a French take on high tea and features French hot chocolate, crunchy baguettes with creamy brie, rich nutella crepes, rillettes and gougères, which are baked savory choux pastries.
Tea time: 11am-3pm
Address: Club Sofitel Lounge, 249 Turbot Street, 4000 Brisbane
On balmy days you can take high tea in view of the Brisbane River, at the Stamford Plaza hotel. The menu here is inspired by Queensland and features items like petite Daintree barramundi, leek and dill mini quiches plus A Day at the Ekka, which is a deconstructed strawberry sundae in a glass. Meanwhile, scone options include cheese and vegemite flavours.
Tea time: Friday 3pm-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 3pm-5:30pm.
Address: Corner of Margaret and Edward Streets, Brisbane
Vintaged Bar is the setting for high tea at The Hilton. You can count on a classic menu of precisely-cut sandwiches, chunky scones topped with clouds of cream and layers of jam alongside a selection of cakes and other sweet treats. You can also top up the experience with a glass of fizz or a seasonal cocktail.
High tea at the Marriott is perfectly traditional.
The menu features sandwiches with classic fillings like smoked salmon, ham and cheese with mustard, and free-range egg followed by sweet treats like soft scones with jam and cream. Top it all off with options like gooey chocolate brownies and choux pastry.
This regal high tea served up in the contemporary Motion Bar and Grill.
There’s a French theme to the high tea that’s served at Bacchus in Rydges, Brisbane. The tiered trays here are stacked with items like black brioche with chicken and celery, croissants with ham, almond dacquoise, salted caramel macarons and crumbly scones with jam and cream, of course.
Tea time: Tuesday-Sunday
Address: Corner of Grey and Glenelg Streets, South Bank, Brisbane
Views of Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens are served up alongside the high tea at McMahons Restaurant at The Sebel Quay West. Meanwhile, the food selection is the time-honoured combination of finger sandwiches, chunky scones with the jam and cream trimmings and a selection of cakes.
High tea at Customs House is served up beside Brisbane River within sight of Story Bridge. The menu is traditional with finger sandwiches, scones with slicks of jam and cream and a selection of picture-perfect cakes and pastries.
There are a few options for high tea at Room with Roses. Opt for the classic option and you’ll find yourself tucking into quintessential finger sandwiches with traditional fillings like smoked salmon, crumbly scones with jam and cream as well as three home-made cakes or pastries.
Perched on the top of Mt Coot-tha overlooking the leafiness of Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Summit Restaurant serves afternoon tea with a view. The food is served on tiered plates and pairs sandwiches and hot savouries with crumbly scones and indulgent cakes and pastries.
Tea time: Sunday 3pm-5pm
Address: 1012 Sir Samuel Griffith Drive, Brisbane Lookout, Mt Coot-tha
Phone number: (07) 3369 9922
Price: From $35
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Alex Keshen is the global travel publisher at Finder and has been living, breathing and, of course, writing about all things travel for more than 10 years. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada and has appeared in Travel Weekly and the Huffington Post. A master of maximising her annual leave and finding the best bargains around, she can’t remember the last time her backpack weighed more than 10kg and is happy to share her tips and tricks to help you travel better.
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