What do sophistication, smoked salmon and scones all have in common? High Tea of course! More popular than ever, the High Tea party allows you to get dressed up, go somewhere nice and gossip over scones with jam and cream. Beginning with a glass of sparkling wine or champagne and followed by a tea of your choice, conversations are held over colourful treats displayed on a three-tiered stand.
As an experienced High Tea attendee, it’s become my preferred method of celebration. I love the fashion, food, tea selection and the artwork that goes into the desserts. A High Tea is the perfect choice for a festivity and really goes hand in hand with the elegance of a 5-star hotel setting – the perfect value luxury complement.
But where to go to find the best afternoon tea in the world? Here are my favourite High Tea experiences:
The Grill Restaurant, Duxton Hotel, Perth
High Tea at the Duxton allows you to unwind in the heart of Perth’s CBD. Tea is served in the Grill Restaurant with a white glove hospitality that includes glowing tablecloths and shining silverware. They have an extravagant tea menu and I chose the summery ‘Dreams of Fruit’ tea which swirled with strawberry and peach flavours. The macaroons were melt-in-your-mouth-good and the lemon meringue tart hasn’t been forgotten.
The Montagu, Hyatt Regency London- The Churchill, London
High Tea in London was something I couldn’t pass up. Scones and salmon-cucumber sandwiches, could we get any more English? We chose the Montagu at the Hyatt Churchill because we wanted a reputable 5-star restaurant for our quintessential tea party. The restaurant was warm and our sparkling wine went down a treat! I drank Chinese Rose tea from a beautiful, delicate teapot and nibbled on fruit tarts, brownies and cakes that sat like exquisite sculptures on china plates.
High Tea was named by the British because it’s enjoyed at the dining table, not just short coffee tables! Traditionally known as “afternoon tea,” it started out as a meal between 3-4 pm and was very fashionable among the higher classes of society. You may also find it called “cream tea” if scones with jam and cream are on the menu!
The Victoria Room, Sydney
The Victoria Room is one of Sydney’s prestigious High Tea locations. I was in town for a girls’ weekend and celebrating with a decadent High Tea here was a no-brainer. At the top of a long staircase, the cosy Victoria room is themed to match the British Raj era. I sat among big lanterns, bamboo mats and high-back vintage chairs. With a great selection of seasonal and quality teas, I sipped on Russian Caravan and thoroughly enjoyed the dainty smoked salmon on rye sandwiches. It was worth flying interstate for.
Le Jardin Lobby Bar, The Palazzo Versace, Gold Coast
There’s something magical about walking into the sunlit vestibule of the Palazzo Versace. It’s like being transformed from commoner to royalty in an instant. Here, High Tea is served on the vintage sofas that decorate the lobby bar. Surrounded by pastel pillows, marble floors and expansive ceilings, I watched the sunlight sparkle through my NV Domaine Chandon while feasting on yummy brownies and scones with strawberry jam. Delicious!
Junsui Restaurant, The Burj Al Arab, Dubai
By far the most extravagant, opulent, and unusual High Tea I’ve ever had was at the Junsui Restaurant inside the Burj al Arab. Instead of tiers, we ate from central sharing plates, tapas style. This seven-course, Asian-inspired High Tea went from savoury to sweet and each course was more exotic than the one before. I nibbled fish cakes from antique pots made of clay and sipped on date tea as we sat by a window overlooking the Arabian Gulf. After, we were treated to a brief, yet unbelievable tour of the lobby.
The Fairmont Empress Hotel – Victoria, BC Canada
Victoria is one of the most British travel experiences you’ll find in North America, and the iconic Empress Hotel is the perfect spot to sample a spot of tea. The hotel has its own blend of tea, which is perfectly suited with the gorgeous cups and saucers, the rich and historic architecture and decor, as well as the best pastries and tea sweets you’ll find anywhere. A popular tradition – so popular that reservations are a must.
A good High Tea becomes great when:
- The waitress replaces the sandwiches when you’re extra hungry.
- You can try as many types of teas or coffees as you like.
- The restaurant has different dietary options available.
- Tea is served as loose leaf, not in tea bags.