If there’s one food trend that Sydney’s elites are swooning over this season, it’s high tea. It’s easy to see why this genteel tradition has swept through the city, and picked up thousands of well-heeled converts along the way; high tea is the very essence of sophistication, boasting a distinctively old world charm which revels in an attention to detail that exudes luxury at every opportunity. It’s not just about staying on top of trends, though – Sydney’s high tea hotspots also offer the chance to sample the very best of modern Australian baking, as well as a new wave of delicious artisan teas. On top of all this, a good, relaxed high tea also gives you some time to take in some spectacular surroundings, while catching up on all the high society gossip. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to do all that?
Here are our top picks for a sensational, luxurious, truly decadent high tea in Sydney. Go on – spoil yourself!
This hotel ticks every box when it comes to serving a fantastic high tea. Opulent furnishings? Check. Attentive service? Check. Beautifully made sandwiches, cakes, cold cuts and drinks? Absolutely. However, it’s the Hydro Majestic’s willingness to go the extra mile which earns it a place on this list, as it is one of the very best high tea venues when it comes to variety. Not only does it offer a gluten-free option (which we’re told is every inch as good as the regular one), it also has a special set of options for children, and a whole list of alternatives (including a superb sounding oriental menu) for those who fancy something a little different from the British classics.
Here’s one for the real lovers of grandiose, imperial luxury. The Vaucluse House Tearooms feels a lot like a private members club, being nestled in an impressive estate and boasting shady corners where ladies sip tea beneath vast fig trees. All in all, it’s a beautifully curated place to spend an hour to two among friends, and for just $55 per person, it’s great value for money. The sandwiches are sublime, the Italian inspired pastries are baked to perfection, and the scones are among the finest in the southern hemisphere.
There are plenty of great reasons to spend your afternoons taking tea at The Gunners Barracks. The imperialistic charm, the efficient staff in their pressed white uniforms, the cakes and sandwiches… but really, the star attraction at this stunning venue is the view. A panoramic wonder, the balconies of this tea room open out to a vast and breathtaking view of the harbour which is hard to beat.
We usually associate high tea with a very British set of sensibilities, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for experimentation and touch of home grown beauty. Burnt Orange has a decidedly Australian feel to it – not just with the view of a ‘20s lawn visited by the occasional kookaburra, but also with its approach to the food and drink. Expect local blush sparkling wines, a combination of high tea classics and pan-Asian specialties, and a more relaxed, laid back sort of attitude and approach to the whole affair. Gorgeous!
Housed inside the imposing and impressive Mosman Mansion, high tea at the Boronia Tea Room feels a little bit like being invited into a secret club, where everything has been designed to delight your senses. It’s a great venue for return visits, as the menu and selection of treats on offer changes daily, and is inspired by seasonal ingredients and the whims of the top chefs who work there. Just make sure you keep it to yourself…