On the foodie front, Adelaide has a reputation for its world-class Central Market and for Gouger Street, or “eat street” as it’s known, which is lined with restaurants from the four corners of the globe.
What you might not know is that the city is also a great place to get high tea. Take your pick from traditional experiences that involve pressed white table clothes and tiered china plating or go for something a little more left field.
There’s chocolate high tea, cheesy high tea, high coffee and theatrical high tea events where the sweets and savouries are only part of the experience, alongside face painting, fancy dress and live entertainment.
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Treat yourself and someone special to afternoon tea for two at the InterContinental. The experience starts with the popping of a bottle of G.H. MUMM Champagne, and you can sip on your glass of fizz until your tiered plate of soft sandwiches, scones and savouries arrives.
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It’s easy for children to switch off during a traditional two-hour high tea. So the High Tea Walking Tour keeps things interesting by visiting a handful of different venues. There’s a covert bit of education in this experience, too, as the tour guide will deliver a bit of triv on the history of high tea as you hop from place to place.
For something a bit more out of the ordinary, you can book an afternoon tea cruise on the Murray River. As you bob along the water, you’ll learn about the history and heritage of the river. Then you’ll tuck into a traditional high tea before heading home.
In addition to traditional high tea, the Stamford Plaza offers a chocolate high tea. The experience begins with an espresso martini before the tiered trays are brought out. The trays are crowded with the likes of chocolate scones, chocolate gateau, dark chocolate biscuit rolls and chocolate macarons. The hotel also puts on regular high tea events like its Wizardry High Tea, Halloween High Tea and Aladdin High Tea.
The high tea menu at Topiary puts seasonal and local produce on a pedestal. The finely cut finger sandwiches are filled with ingredients like locally smoked ham leg while the petit fours and pastries such as lavender shortbread are handmade in house. Even the coffee served alongside the tea is a special Topiary blend.
Seven minutes from Adelaide CBD, The Lenzerheide offers high tea with a twist. The menu changes depending on the season, but you can always expect the unexpected when it comes to recipes – examples include passionfruit and white chocolate scones as well as strawberry and goats cheese bruschetta.
There are macarons on the high tea menu at Madame Hanoi, but that and the tiered plates it’s served on are all that’s traditional about this experience. The menu also includes soft shell crab sliders and seared tuna bites, and everything is served up alongside a tea pot of Hendrick’s gin tea.
Tea time: Monday-Friday 12pm-5pm and Saturday-Sunday 2pm-5pm
Address: Madame Hanoi, Adelaide Casino, North Terrace, Adelaide
High tea is served up on Wedgewood crockery at Mayfair Hotel. The menu is true to tradition, too, featuring sandwiches and a few savouries, alongside plump scones and pastries. If you still have room at the end, you can choose an extra dessert from the vintage dessert trolley for a little bit more.
InterContinental offers a hat trick of high teas. In addition to the traditional high tea, there’s a lunch high tea that lets you upgrade the sandwiches to something a bit more substantial, like chicken wings. Then there’s the belt busting indulgent high tea, which comes with a selection of tapas dishes in addition to the sandwiches, scones, pastries and pies.
Coal Cellar and Grill describes its high tea as “the most important meal between lunch and dinner”. But you’d be lucky to fit dinner in after you’ve tucked into this menu of macarons, eclairs, cakes, homemade scones, sausage rolls, brioche sandwiches and smoked salmon bagels.
A heritage building is the setting for The Rising Sun’s high tea. Tables are set with white linen, fine china and silver cutlery for the occasion and the menu is classic, featuring finger sandwiches, crumbly scones, cakes and petit fours.
The high tea at Udder Delights is an ode to cheese. Served in the underground cellar of a cheese cellar door, the tea features items like goat curd and caramelised onion tarts, Adelaide Hills brie with vanilla saffron pears and crackers, and raspberry cheesecake.
Tea time: Daily, 12pm-4pm
Address: 91a Main St, Hahndorf,
Phone number: (08) 8388 1588
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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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