The English custom of Taking Tea is a tradition that has lasted more than 400 years. Tea initially reached Paris in 1636 becoming quite popular amongst the royals. In 1662 when King Charles II was restored to his British throne, tea became the beverage of choice in high society and replacing ale as the national drink. Taking Tea became the afternoon meal served between 3 and 4 o’clock. Initially the working man’s meal, taken standing up or sitting on tall stools – hence the term ‘high’ – ladies and gentlemen soon turned tea with cakes, scones and cheese on toast into a social event. It became the perfectly ideal meal before hitting the theatre or cards before an evening supper of 8.30pm.
The weakness for those cucumber sandwiches cut into such elegant squares with crusts cut off is perfectly ideal for the everyday. Add attired in Sunday’s finest, pinky in the air and drinking from fine china teacups served within an elegant environment, and High Tea becomes more than Ladies doing Ladies Things – it is an exceedingly fashionable social act, incomparable in ladylike elegance, socialising and grazing. An eating destination will be defined by the high tea they serve. And as a tribute to Mother’s Day – the ultimate in honouring all great ladies – MyCityLife looks at the Top High Teas In The City. Because ladies should Take Tea on Mother’s Day – and every day.
HIGH END HIGH TEA
No expense is spared when it comes to mum – or any lady. Every lady deserves to feel as royal as the Queen herself. High-end culinary institutions call for the most glamorous runway looks.
Bacchus South Bank High Tea
Take the quintessential English High Tea experience, the elegance of French service and typical Sunshine State weather, and we have the Bespoke Bacchus Blend. Set against The City’s iconic cityscape from the heart of South Bank, High Tea at Bacchus South Bankpresents a mélange of High Tea options to suit every cultured palate and significant event, including gluten-free and going so far as Dom Pérignon.
* From $36 per person
From 2.30pm, Tuesday to Sunday
Bacchus South Bank, Corner Grey & Glenelg Street, South Bank
Queenie’s Traditional Tea House
Queenie’s Traditional Tea House is the tea connoisseur destination of Brisbane. Enjoy four options to choose from – including gluten-free and one for the littlies.
* From $25 per person
Queenies Traditional Tea House, 1279 Sandgate Road, Nundah
Hilton High Tea
A selection of High Tea menus will suit every taste, from Veuve Cliquot to specialty seasonal cocktails.
* From $35 per person, daily
Vintaged Bar + Grill, Level 6, Hilton Brisbane Hotel, 190 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane City
Magnifique High Tea
A harmony of classic favourites explores whims from Club Sofitel or Cuvee Lounge.
Sofitel Brisbane Hotel, 249 Turbot Street, Brisbane
Heritage High Tea
The epitome of English culture comes to the heart of the CBD where Executive Chef Steven Jones has curated the perfect English High Tea after his years serving in London.
* $45 per person, $25 per child
Lab Bar + Restaurant, 142 George Street, Brisbane City
Stamford High Tea
High Tea at the Stamford is pure elegance and sophistication served on a three-tiered silver stand, catering to all high-end High Tea needs. Every Saturday and Sunday, the chocolate lovers ultimate dream comes true with the golden ticket to Wonka delight with the Stamford Chocolate High Tea.
Stamford Brisbane High Tea
* $35 per person, $25 per child
Morning Tea available from 10am to 12noon, every Monday to Friday
Stamford Plaza Chocolate High Tea
* $49 per person, $25 per child
3pm-5pm, every Saturday and Sunday
Stamford Plaza Hotel Brisbane, 39 Edward Street, Brisbane
HIGH TEA FOR THE NEW AGE
These High Teas have all the traditional elegance of High Tea with a modern and contemporary twist.
Spring High Tea
Home-grown produce is the secret to Spring Food & Wine’s success and can be tasted in their High Tea menu.
* $50 per person, add a glass of sparkling for $10
Spring Food & Wine, 26 Felix Street, Brisbane City
Emporium High Tea
For the fashionistas, the Emporium High Tea takes things to levels of contemporary elegance and enchanting hospitality. Enjoy with a glass of Mumm Champagne on arrival
* $49 per person
The Emporium Hotel, 1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley
Native High Tea
Tukka Restaurant’s menu innovatively showcases Advanced Australian Fare with unique bespoke dishes such as lemon myrtle pumpkin scones and quandong fairy cakes as a refreshing take on the traditional and classic.
* $35 per person,last Sunday of every month
Tukka Restaurant, 145b Boundary Street, West End
Come Let Us Have Nest High Tea
It’s a range of tea adventures with Nest Brisbane from the heart of the City.
* $30 per person, add a glass of Perrier Jouet Champagne for $48 per person
Tea served 2pm-5.30pm daily
Nest Brisbane, Level 2, Hotel Jen, Brisbane, 159 Roma Street, Brisbane
COMFORTING HIGH TEA
Take tea casually where comfort and old world charm abounds. Relax the pinky and enjoy tea regally – minus the fuss and royal formalities.
Shingle Inn High Tea
As one of Australia’s most established café restaurants, the Shingle Inn is a household name with convenience, comfort and accommodation all rolled into one and beautifully stacked – just like their ribbon sandwiches, served with a Shingle Inn Mint Julep or glass of sparkling.
* From $27.50 per person.
Shingle Inn City Hall, Brisbane Square, George Street, Brisbane City
Room With Roses High Tea
Located in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD inside the heritage-listed Brisbane Arcade, Room With Roses is a High Tea specialist with old world charm – take your pick of three.
* From $42 per person
Room with Roses, Brisbane Arcade, 160 Queen Street Mall, Brisbane City
PassiontreeVelvet All Sorts
English high tea, Parisian pastries, Beligan chocolate: As high tea specialists, PassiontreeVelvet are a brewing powerhouse with four high teas on offer – the Chocolatiers High Tea will particularly challenge the worthy.
From $9.95 per person
PassiontreeVelvet, Westfield Carindale, 1151 Creek Road, Carindale
Two Old Ladies Tea Shop
A Tea House and a High Tea escape within the most unexpected of places, the two hour drive from the City makes this Queensland’s #1 high tea destination and a preeminent tea dream.
* So old fashioned, they don’t even do social media. Bookings essential 07 5485 0147
Two Old Ladies Tea Shop, 25 Factory Street, Pomona
The Old Teahouse Gallery High Tea Gold Coast
Sip from fine china and savour the flavours of elegant treats. BYO bottle of bubbly for that extra special touch
* From $39 per person
The Old Teahouse Gallery Gold Coast, 7 Johns Road – Springbrook Road, Mudgeeraba
Summit Sunday High Tea
Sunday afternoons have never been so high above the City until Summit’s Sunday High Teas with panoramic views to the Bays and beyond. Just add sparkling.
Summit Restaurant & Bar, Brisbane Lookout, Sir Samuel Griffith Drive, Mt-Cootha
High Tea Cruise
Jump onboard the Kookaburra Showboat Cruise for high tea, flowing bubbly, live music and a two hour cruise on the Brisbane River.
Showboat Cruises Brisbane, 3.30pm every Saturday & Sunday
QTea With A QT
QTea combines the High Tea favourites with a sprinkle of QT quirk. Option with Champagne Perrier-Jouët also available.
FIXX Cafe, QT Hotel Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise
MAKE YOUR OWN HIGH TEA
Make Your Own and enjoy where ever you choose – which means planning in advance. But nothing tastes sweeter than anticipation when all good things come to those who wai
There’s nothing like the freshest and most fragrant leaves, and Tea Centre is the heart for every hearth – particularly the especial Stockholm Blend.
Tea Centre, Brisbane Arcade, 160 Queen Street Mall, Brisbane City
Pop in and explore the cupcake, tart and slice cabinets, grab croissants and bagels or order in advance for your bespoke cakey confectionary.
Chester Street Bakery & Bar, 32a Chester Street, Newstead
Jocelyn’s Provisions, Shop 8, Centro On James, James Street, Fortitude Valley
Cakes by Judy C, Shop 1, 227 Waterworks Road, Ashgrove
To Market To Market
Smoked salmon, capers, fresh herbs, eggs, churned butters, pates, fresh fruits and produce: only the best markets and delis can provide
Black Pearl Epicure, 26 Baxter Street, Spring Hill
Sourced Grocer and New Farm Deli & Cafe, New Farm
Swiss Gourmet Delicatessen and Davies Park Market, West End
Rosalie Gourmet Markets, 164 Baroona Road, Rosalie
Wray Organic & Market Cafe, 110 Enoggera Road, New Market
No tea is worthy without grapes added to the mix.
Clovely Estate Cellar Door, 210 Musgrave Road, Red Hill
Studio Pop Up Wine Bar & Cellar Door, 1543 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley
Malt Traders, Emporium, 1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley
Cru Bar + Cellar, 1/22 James Street, Fortitude Valley
The Gardens Club Picnic Basket
Grab a 470ML tea infuser vacuum insulated flask from David Jones available here, grab your favourite blend and enjoy with a picnic basket in the Botanical Gardens. Order a family picnic or couple’s picnic basket 24 hours in advance where it is assembled just for you with goodies galore.
The Gardens Club, Botanical Gardens, Brisbane City
Pair Cowch’s Classic Cocktail of Earl’s Fruit Cup to mini sliders and chocolate fondant to hot shots followed by a glass of sparkling with a pot of Earl Grey – purely to hydrate.
Cowch, 2/179 Grey Street, South Bank
HIGH TEAS OF A HIGH NOTE
Forget Me Not High Tea
So outstanding, they are frequently booked out a week in advanced – so plan ahead.
* From $34 per person
Forget Me Not Cafe, Shop 2, 399 Honour Avenue, Graceville
High Tea Berkley’s Style
* From $37.50 per person
Berkley’s On Ann, 255 Ann Street, Brisbane
High Tea At Manx
Manx Restaurant & Bar, Portside Wharf, 11 Hercules Street, Hamilton
High Tea Royaltea
Dandelion & Driftwood, Shop 1, 45 Gerler Road, Hendra
Verdant High Tea in The Garden
Verdant Restaurant, Garden Way, 269 Monier Road, Darra