In recent years there seems to have been a revival and rise in popularity for the traditional high tea. From casual get together, large event or party, people are embracing this once outdated concept of socialising. Although the cucumber sandwiches, scones and bit sized cakes still abound, gone are the days of the stiff and stifling high tea of old; where ladies with parasols would sit, sip and politely chat the morning away.
Of course people still chat the morning away, but as this isn’t the 1800s, high tea is no longer just for the toffs, it is for anyone who wishes to sip tea and indulge in some sweet delicacies and gossip. So why not spend a morning at one of the following for a spot of tea and a little tête-à-tête.
The High Tea Garden
Located in the beautiful leafy suburb of Lane Cove, The High Tea Garden tea house may be modest in size but robust where it truly counts, with over 50 loose leaf teas and freshly baked scones and pastries every forty minutes. The High Tea Garden is for ladies who lunch to individuals who want to treat themselves on a sunny Sunday afternoon, with the welcoming smiles of the staff making you feel right at home. With its walls adorned with vibrant and detailed floral patterns that Florence Broadhurst would be proud of, the tea is served in botanic themed Royal Albert Tea ware, making your visit to the humble High Tea Garden tea house feel all the more special.
High tea at a shopping centre I hear you ask? How common you exclaim? Of course not, no need to be all bourgeois, especially when you see what’s on offer. Available via locations at Macquarie Centre, Castle Towers and Broadway, high tea at Passiontree Velvet is nice for the actual tea, but the true highlight is all of the devilishly decadent cakes that would make even the most ardent health nut weak at the knees. From a plethora of mini multi-tiered cakes to a rainbow of macarons, the tea at Passiontree Velvet is merely there to cleanse the pallet between each divine bite of their heavenly desserts.
The Tea Room QVB
The Queen Victoria Building is a Sydney icon and landmark that represents not only the city’s historic past but its perseverance and vibrancy. So what better way to spend a weekday morning than having high tea at the top of the QVB. The tea, cakes and finger sandwiches on offer are all satisfying but what makes this place truly special is the grandeur of the interior. When you enter the tea room, with its walls and ceiling adorned with gold and silver mouldings, you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time. Sipping tea while seated on an Edwardian velvet chair underneath a crystal chandelier, you can’t help but feel like royalty.
For a change of pace and scenery I suggest travelling on up to the Gunners’ Barracks for a heritage high tea. Located on the North Shore in Georges Heights, Mosman, the historic barracks showcase stunning harbour views with Victorian era furniture and fixings, all the while surrounded by local flora and fauna. Taking in the scenery you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a Hans Heysen landscape. Spend the morning indulging in freshly baked scones with clotted cream and preserves, all to compliment the 41 Ronnefeldt teas to choose from.
Atura Blacktown’s Hip High Tea
If the more traditional high tea seems a little stuffy or old fashioned then look no further than Hip High Tea at Hotel Atura Blacktown. Think of high tea, mixed with a little vintage 1950’s Americana and add a postmodern pop art twist and you’ll have something resembling Hip High Tea. The atmosphere and overall vibe is very much uptown hipster but without the pretentiousness; polished concrete floors, industrial artwork covered walls, with your cakes and scones served on a three-tier cake stand made of vinyl records. It’s intentionally whimsical and fun without making you roll your eyes in exasperation.
So if you want a sophisticated birthday party, a refined hen’s do or if you simply want to have some time out with tea and scone in hand, why not have high tea, for many or for one.