This article first appeared on the former NRMA Living Well Navigator site on October 2, 2015.
There are plenty of ways to spend an afternoon in the company of good friends, but none quite as nice as catching up over sweet and savoury delights in luxurious surrounds.
From the traditional to the modern, we’ve rounded up some of the city’s best places to stick out your little finger and indulge in the ritual of high tea.
Wentworth Road, Vaucluse
Set among 10 hectares of manicured gardens that stretch all the way down to Sydney Harbour, Vaucluse House is a historic sandstone mansion that was built in the 1830s and is now managed by Sydney Living Museums. Added to the building in the 1930s, The Tearooms are art deco in style and overlook the gardens. High tea is served from 10am between Wednesday and Friday and from 8am on weekends, through till 4.30pm. It includes a glass of sparkling wine, tea or coffee, with a selection of savoury and sweet sandwiches, scones, tarts, doughnuts, macaroons and eclairs.
Queen Victoria Building, 455 George Street, Sydney
Crystal chandeliers hang from the Victorian ceiling of this beautiful tearoom, which was once the QVB’s original Grand Ballroom. Here, scones, finger sandwiches and savoury pastries are served on pretty Royal Albert china with British silverware and white linen dressed tables. There’s also an array of morning and afternoon teas to choose from – traditional, sparkling, champagne and cocktail to gluten free and oriental. Served seven days from 10am.
89-113 Kent Street, Sydney
Those looking for an opulent high tea experience should head to The Langham for a British-inspired affair of pastries, truffles and macarons made by their in-house patissiere. Set in the hotel’s elegant Palm Court in the grand lobby with pretty harbour views, tea is served daily from 12pm to 5pm.
End of Suakin Drive, Georges Heights
Cosy up in the elegant tearoom or take a seat on the enclosed terrace with its stunning harbour views for high tea at Gunners Barracks, a colonial sandstone building built in 1873. Take your pick of a traditional, sparkling (Australian wine), champagne (French bubbles), gluten free or cocktail high tea boasting Asia Pacific’s largest selection of Ronnefeldt teas. There’s also a children’s option, should you bring the grandkids. It includes a range of delicious pastries, finger sandwiches, cakes and scones served on tiered silver stands and English china. Served daily from 10am.
117 Macquarie Street, Sydney
Enjoy a high tea – or high coffee – set beneath the atrium and sandstone arches of the Cortile lounge at the Intercontinental Sydney. Served from 11am to 5pm weekdays and at the set times of 1pm and 3pm on weekends, the high tea menu brings together a generous selection of savoury and sweet treats.