Since the 1800s, ladies and gentlemen have been enjoying high tea in the afternoons. Until recently, sipping on earl grey and nibbling cucumber sandwiches was an activity reserved almost exclusively for the blue rinse set, but these days it may as well be known as iTea due to its rapidly growing popularity with a younger, trendier crowd.
A tradition at Melbourne’s Hotel Windsor and Hopetoun Tea Rooms since the late 1800s, high tea is now available throughout Melbourne and you only have to glance at the long list of venues to see just how popular this Victorian ritual has become. Here’s our list of the best and most traditional places in the city to enjoy a spot of tea.
The Hotel Windsor, 111 Spring St
This grand, old dame has been serving traditional afternoon tea since 1883. Enjoy scones, pastries and finger sandwiches served on a three-tiered silver stand in surrounds straight out of an Agatha Christie novel.
Hopetoun Tea Rooms, The Block Arcade, Collin St
Melbourne’s first tearoom has been serving high tea in The Block Arcade since 1893. Get a taste of what life was like for Victorian ladies as you nibble on a delightful selection of cakes and pastries in the beautifully restored Block Arcade.
Myer Mural Hall, Myer Building, Bourke St
This newcomer to the high tea scene is actually an art deco hall that was restored to its former glory in April 2011. Open for high tea on the last Sunday of every month, this is an occasion you’ll want to dress up for.
The Langham Hotel, Aria Bar & Lounge, Southbank
High tea at The Langham Chocolate Bar is sweet and not stuffy. Honoring tradition, tea is served on three-tiered stands, finger sandwiches have the customary fillings and the cream for the scones is clotted to perfection. The desserts are the real excitement, however, and chocolate lovers are spoilt for choice.