Who wouldn’t say no to plates upon plates of decadent sweets and savouries while leisurely sipping tea and champagne in the company of friends and family? High tea originated in England in the 1800s with tea, cakes and scones and while the classics are still popular, there’s also some modern twists on the originals to be found.
Marybrooke Manor, a National Trust-listed Tudor-style mansion on the edge of Sherbrooke Forest, is the perfect setting for high tea, offered on Sundays, 1pm-4pm. Enjoy unlimited house-made scones with jam and Chantilly cream, plus other sweet and savoury morsels, Madame Flavour teas and brewed coffee. Cost is $40 per person, with children under 12 half price. Bookings are essential, phone (03) 9755 2755 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Olinda Tea House
It’s not just the traditional high tea on offer at the Olinda Tea House. For people who want a different twist on the classic fare, the oriental high tea (starting from $59 per person) features gua bao, house-made dumplings, spring rolls, Asian-inspired desserts and, of course, scones with house-made jam and double cream. Their English high tea (starting from $49 per person) includes sandwiches and savoury pastries, macarons, tartlets, choux pastries, mini swiss rolls and scones. Both variations include tea and coffee and are available every day except Tuesdays, 11am-1pm, 1pm-3pm and 3pm-5pm. For bookings go to www.olindateahouse.com.au or phone (03) 9751 0556.
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie
The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie is home to thousands of premium chocolates and free tastings, and now the popular tourist attraction is cooking up high tea on September 8 and 9, with sessions at 11am and 2pm. Enjoy a refreshing drink on arrival, plus petite sweets, scones, pastries, ribbon sandwiches and bottomless organic local tea, barista-made coffee and real hot chocolate. Tea will be served at the chocolaterie’s shared long table in its private “experience room”, with each treat introduced by the head pastry chef and European chocolatier. The cost is $59 per person and bookings can be made at www.yvci.com.au/classes or phone (03) 9730 2777.
Mary Eats Cake
The newest addition to the Yarra Valley’s high tea menu is Mary Eats Cake in Montrose. Its quaint English front garden and intimate cottage interior décor is the perfect setting for traditional and seasonal treats. Think scones with raspberry jam and cream, chicken and cucumber sandwiches, cheesy pumpkin and sage arancini, lamb and rosemary pies, salted lemon meringue, apple teacake, plus artisan teas blended by a tea sommelier. High tea is served on weekends at 10am, 1pm and 4pm, and on weekdays at 1pm, and run for two hours. The cost is $52 per person ($26 for children under 10), with add-ons including French sparkling on arrival, workshops, wine pairing, and take-home tea gifts. They cater for vegetarian, vegan, nut-free, gluten-free, and pregnancy. For bookings, go to www.maryeatscake.com.au/montrose or phone (03) 8394 5661.
Coombe – The Melba Estate
There’s nothing quite like high tea at the estate that was once the home of opera singer Dame Nellie Melba. Set on seven acres of landscaped gardens, the restaurant at Coombe offers high tea at 2.30pm on Wednesdays (cost $49) and Saturdays (until September 2, cost $55), with elegant finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones with clotted cream and house-made jams, and other desserts and cakes. Bookings are essential, at www.coombeyarravalley.com.au/melba-estate or phone (03) 9739 013.
Have traditional high tea in five-star style at Chateau Yering on Saturdays, 1pm-3pm, and Sundays, 1.30pm-3.30pm and 2pm-4pm, in Eleonore’s Restaurant or the lounge. Sweets and savouries and house-made scones with fresh jam and cream are individually served to each table. Cost is $75 per person with a glass of French champagne, $60 with a glass of sparkling wine and $45 for children 12 and under. Bookings are essential, and dietary requirements catered for, at www.chateauyering.com.au/dining/high-tea/ or phone (03) 9237 3333.
The Cuckoo Restaurant
Enjoy afternoon tea with a side of live entertainment at the Cuckoo Restaurant, on Saturdays and Sundays, 3.30pm-5.30pm. The delightful offerings include savoury finger food, freshly made pancakes, a full dessert buffet featuring cakes, pastries and fruit, and unlimited tea and coffee. Entertainment includes Bavarian bell ringing and yodelling. Cost is $30 for adults, $27 for seniors and $15 for children aged 6 to 12. For bookings, phone (03) 9751 1003 or go to https://www.cuckoorestaurant.com.au/food/
Yering Meadows Golf Club
Bottomless tea and filter coffee overlooking the picturesque Yarra Valley is on offer at Yering Meadows Golf Club’s high tea. Each Saturday and Sunday, 3pm-5pm, enjoy delicious food, tea, coffee and a glass of either house red or white wine, sparkling or soft drink. Cost is $45 per person, with children half price. Bookings are essential, phone (03) 9738 9000 or email email@example.com
Yarra Valley Lodge
When you think high tea, you probably don’t think of curry puffs (using a 100-year-old recipe, no less), but that’s what you get at Yarra Valley Lodge’s local take on the classic spread. Take time out of your Sunday afternoon, 2pm-4pm, for high tea including a tiered stand of curry puffs, pork belly croquettes and gluten-free scones plus condiments. There’s also a buffet of house-made patisserie sweets that showcase fresh, seasonal and local ingredients, and served with beverages from the Yarra Valley Tea Co and Yarra Coffee. Cost is $49 for adults, and $27.50 for children aged 3 to 12. For bookings, phone (03) 9760 3355 or go to http://www.yarravalleylodge.com/dining/high-tea
SkyHigh Mount Dandenong
Have high tea accompanied by some of the best views of Melbourne at SkyHigh Mount Dandenong on Sundays, 3.30pm-5pm. Take in the scenery from the Mornington Peninsula to Mt Macedon while indulging in ribbon sandwiches, mini quiches, savoury scones, traditional scones with jam and cream, mini lemon tarts and mini pavlovas. There’s also bottomless tea and coffee served buffet-style. Cost is $24 for adults and $12 for children aged 5 to 12. To book, go to https://www.skyhighmtdandenong.com.au/sunday-afternoon-tea/ or phone (03) 9751 0443.
Piggery Café at Burnham Beeches
Take in the surrounds of the historic Burnham Beeches estate in Sherbrooke while enjoying afternoon tea at celebrity chef Shannon Bennett’s rustic Piggery Café. Available daily from 2.30pm, a minimum of two people can get a selection of petit sandwiches, scones and sweet treats with tea or coffee ($35) or a glass of prosecco ($45). For bookings, (03) 9691 3858 or go to http://piggerycafe.com.au/