16 Indulgent Afternoon Teas In Melbourne To Pamper Yourself Silly

High Tea

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In the city that is so famously known for its coffee and hipster cafes, one easily forgets about the traditional afternoon tea, or high tea as it is also sometimes known. Once created as a way to curb hunger pangs between lunch and a late dinner, this old favorite has made a resurgence in Melbourne. I mean who doesn’t desire an afternoon spent sipping tea and nomming on dainty ribbon sandwiches and heavenly pastries!

Be it inside an elegant dining room, outdoors with a stunning view, chic settings or even a hot springs, this list will have something for everyone.

1. Hopetoun Tea Room

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Be lured inside by the sweet creations displayed in the windows of the Hopetoun Tea Rooms. Probably one of the most-photographed pastry shop in Melbourne, if not Australia, they constantly have a long queue of customers.

Channelling a Victorian style burlesque charm, the interior is tastefully decorated with gold framed mirrors, emerald draping and dark green floral printed wallpaper.

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Savour the High Tea Set($49) which includes an assortment of savoury canapes, like vegetable scrolls, pinwheels, and soft sandwiches, along with an array of signature petite fours and refreshing seasonal fruits at the end.

They have an extensive selection of organic teas befitting of such a place, ranging from tradition to herbal blends and even modern infusions like the l Congo Bongo – a black tea with coconut and mango. Just like the warm service, scones are served fresh from the oven with clotted cream and jam.

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If you are slightly peckish, order off the counter and dive into one of their amazing fruit tarts, plump cream filled rolls or cakes. It is best to make a reservation to avoid some major food envy.

Afternoon Tea hours:: Daily 10am to 2.30pm
Address: The Block Arcade, 1-2/282 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Website: Here

2. Langham hotel

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Indulge in some of the most glorious afternoon treats at the Aria Bar & Lounge at The Langham. Feel like a princess as you are served flawless, perfectly formed bite sized morsels on a three-tiered floral china. The Classic Tiffin Afternoon Tea ($54) offers a plethora of sweet treats and savoury delicacies. Anticipate pillowy ribbon sandwiches, watercress and tomato salads, adorable mushroom meringues and a to-die-for salted caramel and macadamia tart. The fluffy scones are paired perfectly with a delicate strawberry and rose preserve, butter and clotted cream.

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For an additional $5, chocolate lovers can enjoy a rejoice with a selection of cocoa pastries in the Chocolate Indulgence Tea. If that is not enough to satisfy your chocolate cravings, come back on weekends to inhale more dark decadence at the Chocolate Bar Afternoon Tea ($79).

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There is also a wide selection of gluten free products at the buffet and a special gluten-free menu for the weekday tea! Teenagers are also in luck as there is a designer high tea made just for them. With pastel rose meringues to a gold doughnut, this high tea is très chic!

Afternoon Tea hours:: High Tea/Chocolate Indulgence High Tea – Daily 10.30am to 4.30pm | Chocolate Bar Afternoon Tea – Sat 12pm to 2pm & 2.30pm to 4.30pm; Sun 12.30pm to 2.30pm & 3pm to 5pm
Address: 1 Southgate Ave, Melbourne VIC 3006, Australia
Website: Here

3. Yardmill

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At Yardmill, you are able to have your cake and eat it too. You don’t have to ditch the diet at this quaint café which serves up delicious seasonal raw treats, specially curated by owner Tracey Sisson and head pastry chef, Emma Granleese. Made with fresh fruits, dates, nuts and other superfoods, the beautifully plated Afternoon Tea Set ($65pp) comes with a wide range of sweet and savouries, The canapes include dehydrated sandwiches, and refreshing spring rolls. However, it is the medley of colorful sweets that steal the show, like the carrot cake with luscious cashew-cheese frosting, matcha cookies, creamy mousse and fruit shots.

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Despite being raw and vegan, you will be craving for more once you are done. Nutritious and tasty, this place is perfect for those seeking a healthy lifestyle.

Afternoon Tea hours:: Sat 9am to 6pm | Early bookings required
Address: 434 Toorak Road, Toorak VIC
Website: Here

4. Fancy Nance

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Tumble down the rabbit hole and enter Adriano Zumbo’s high tea wonderland. Almost a year old, this place has already won the hearts of Melbournites. In typical fashion, Adriano Zumbo has reinvented the classics, adding crazy and bold touches such as capsicum jam, coconut espuma, and much more. The only thing remotely traditional would be the scones!

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Where high tea meets fine dining, food is served by course in degustation style. A 12 course I’m So Fancy costs $65, whereas the 7 course Pretty Flamingo is priced at $45. If you are after something light, get the Sconti – tea/coffee with scone ($15).

Despite the industrial framework, the place is bright and whimsical, with colourful walls covered in Alice in wonderland inspired artwork –think pink flamingos and mushrooms. Diners can watch the magic unfold in the open kitchen. You can choose from up to 16 varieties of Harney and Sons tea served in mismatched pots or try the hot chocolate. Keeping up with the topsy turvy theme, dessert is served first since it usually sits on top of a tiered high tea set. Think cacao nib creme brulee with pineapple and pina colada ice cream, chinese chicken rice ball and deconstructed cakes! A vegan and gluten free menu is also available.

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When a renowned pastry chef is at the helm, you know you are in for an indulgent sugary experience bound to leave your tastebuds craving for more. So grab a few friends and be ready to loosen your jeans.

Afternoon Tea hours:: Wed to Sun 11am to 6pm
Address: 21 Daly St, South Yarra VIC 3141, Australia
Website: Here

5. The Tea Room

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Pamper yourself at the Tea Room, set on the first floor of the National Gallery of Victoria. Situated just beside the iconic water wall, the interior is sleek and sumptuous. Priding itself on traditional dishes with a modern twist, the visually stunning dishes are usually inspired by current exhibition.

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The Tale of Two Cities High Tea ($57), was specially designed based off the current Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei exhibitions. Relax in the comfy deep bucket seats as you sip a glass of sparkling while choosing from the eclectic selection of teas on offer. The sweet tier consists of exceedingly pretty handmade treats like melt-in-your-mouth macaroons, buttery tarts, eclairs and cakes. The savoury plate has an array of finger sandwiches ranging from a refreshing cucumber, mint and cream cheese variety to a more hearty vintage cheddar and tomato. Regardless of what is served, I guarantee they will more than satisfy you.

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For a place with a bit more flair and drama, the Tea Room is perfect for a quick rendezvous with friends or a more intimate affair.

Afternoon Tea hours:: Daily 10am to 2.30
Address: Level 1, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3006, Australia
Website: Here

6. The Tea Salon

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Sandwiched in the middle of The Emporium, is Sydney-based outfit The Tea Salon. Relax after a day of shopping or have a quick catch up with friends in this easily accessible whimsical shop. Think modern day victorian glamour, with plush purple couches against the wall, white garden seats and intricate floral wall decals.

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Served on a vintage style three-tier stand and complementing flower-printed wares is the Summer High Tea ($39.95); which requires a minimum of two people per order. Other than the usual assortment of sandwiches and mini cakes, there is also a gingerbread donut with Honeycomb shards included in the selection. A children’s high tea set is also available but served with a milkshake or iced tea instead of one of their 29 loose-leaves teas available. Spoil yourself from the selection of scones they have on offer, you are bound to find a favourite amongst the 11 types they make. To heighten the experience of feeling like a royal lady, upgrade to their Couture High Tea ($52) and get a flute of De Perriere Sparkling French Rosé.

Afternoon Tea hours:: Daily 10am to 6.30pm
Address: Level 2. 295 Lonsdale Street Melbourne VIC 3000
Website: Here

7. Craig’s Royal Hotel

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Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and step back in time. The spacious dining room is adorned with ornate tapestries and large gold mirrors, with the soft sound of classical music resonating throughout. Classy and sophisticated, the Craig’s Royal Hotel is fit for a queen- literally! Queen Victoria’s sons and even Queen Mary have patronised this historical establishment.

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Served in the Grand Dining room, the high tea menu ($59.50) is a nod to tradition. Classic fillings such as smoked salmon and cucumber, curried egg are sandwiched between soft white bread. The crowning glory is the top tier with an assortment of picture-perfect petite fours. Ranging from meringues, to lemon tarts, decadent truffles and chocolate brownies, this is the best plate!

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End of the afternoon with a guided tour of the marvellous hotel that is included in the tea set and walk of the calories while you’re at it. With its casual Downtown Abbey vibe, the Craig’s Royal Hotel is perfect for any occasion.

Afternoon Tea hours:: Sun 3pm
Address: 10 Lydiard St S, Ballarat VIC 3350, Australia
Website: Here

8. Zimt Patisserie

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This quaint and cosy café is tucked away in the corner of Surry Hills. Many locals have been won over by the tempting display of cakes and hand dipped doughnuts. The European styled café serves simple and elegant no-frills afternoon tea set on a three-tier glass stand.

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Your eyes will immediately be drawn to the big and fluffy scones on the top tier! Slather on double cream and jam and savour this buttery creation! Below, an assortment of petite fours like macarons and mini cakes and tarts sits silently, beckoning you to take a bite. The pastry shell for the tart is wonderfully crispy and buttery; the perfect vessel to hold any filling. The lowest tier has a selection of Zimt’s crowd favourite savouries- bacon and cheese croissant, miniature chicken baguette and more.

Great food, value for money and friendly service, Zimt’s is ideal for a fuss-free afternoon tea.

Afternoon Tea hours:: Mon to Sat 7am to 5pm | Sun 8am to 5pm
Address: 171 Union Road Surrey Hills 3127. Cnr Montrose St
Website: Here

9. Hihou

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Feel like an empress and enjoy an oriental high tea experience in the heart of Melbourne without travelling to Japan. Chic, minimalistic and zen, with dark timber furniture and high top bar stools, Hihou serves food in true Japanese etiquette. Tea is an art in Japanese culture, and you can be assured that the tea in Hihou is of top quality! Try the Ume Vert, a Japanese plum tea that is fragrant and taste slightly sweet.

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Although the setting is modern, the food is traditional. In place of the common egg or smoked salmon filling, you can find a crispy pork tonkatsu stuffed sandwich. Take in the views of the treasury gardens as you enjoy the sweet treats. Served in a wagashi box, dive into light and fluffy roll cakes, marshmallows, cookies and more depending on the day. The unique tofu cake is surprisingly spongy despite looking so dense! The great thing about these delicacies is that it satisfies your sweet tooth without the usual sugar coma.

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At $35 a head, this is definitely a bargain, so be sure to book in advance as the monthly high tea is quickly filled up.

Afternoon Tea hours:: Every last Saturday of the month 2pm to 5pm
Address: 1 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Website: Here

10. The Windsor Hotel

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For a taste of elegance and class, The Hotel Windsor is a definite go to. With a rich history dating back to 1883, this iconic hotel will make you feel as though you’re dining inside Buckingham palace. Light streams in from the floor to ceiling windows, illuminating the entire room. The chandeliers and artwork add a sophisticated touch, with soft music from the piano resonating throughout.

It is an impeccable setting to enjoy the weekday Afternoon Tea Set ($69pp), and sip some sparkling French while waiting for it to be served. Try their custom blend, steeped with 130 years of history, or try the Sultry Chai if you’re in the mood for something exotic. A sneaky addition of native Australian Mountain Pepper Leaf to a traditional chai blend, this is one tea that will definitely spice up your day.

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The three tiered silver stand changes with the seasons, so you will always be getting something fresh each time. The crustless sandwiches contain winning combinations such as chicken with crunchy apple and celery, egg and mayonnaise, and smoked salmon, cucumber and caraway cream cheese. The famed scones are freshly made using the original recipe and served with cream, delightfully tart lemon curd and Windsor jam. If you’re in the mood for something more indulgent, try their chocolate fountain and dessert buffet ($89 pp) held on weekends.

For a place laced with history and a taste of tradition, the hotel Windsor is a must!

Afternoon Tea hours:: Mon to Tue 12pm | Wed to Thur 12pm & 2.30pm | Weekends 12pm & 3pm
Address: 111 Spring St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Website: Here

11. Mamor

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This hidden gem is tucked away along Johnston street. Leave present-day world the minute you set foot through the doors, and be transported back to Old Europe. The upholstered button-backed antique chairs and settees, leopard printed cushions, and crystal chandeliers add a touch of glamour and opulence. The tea setting is equally lavish, with embroidered tablecloths, China with intricate gold details and a silver water jug.

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Expect to be spoiled by an infinite amount of Hungarian treats, handmade by owner and chocolate-preneur Hanna. Sample the unique savoury Hungarian scone made from potato and flour, or the divine cheese tartlets. The sweet treats are just as appealing, with unconventional offerings of rosewater meringue and Rákóczi cheesecake – a traditional dessert with a sweet cheese curd base, a layer of jam and topped off with meringue.

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Just as impressive is their selection of tea, with over 30 different kinds of brews on offer. However, I implore you to try their house speciality chocolate teas, made with caoco nibs. The Chocolate Cherry Ripe tastes almost exactly like the chocolate bar, with cherry, coconut, chocolate and vanilla complementing the black tea.

Do get some hand crafted truffles to go, with unique flavours like native Maori Horopito and Kawakawa, Dark Beer Truffles and her special Aphrodisiac Chocolate.

Afternoon Tea hours:: Tues to Sun 10am to 5pm
Address: 153 Johnston Street. Collingwood VIC 3066
Website: Here

12. The Intercontinental

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Don’t let the stone Venetian style building fool you, the High Tea served here is anything but traditional. Located in the heart of the city, the Intercontinental has added an edgy twist to the usual high tea – the High Coffee ($55). Combining Melbourne’s love affair with coffee and afternoon tea, the High Coffee comes with your choice of Stefano Manfredi’s signature blended coffee along with an espresso martini.

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Complementing the sleek elegance, the simple metal tiered stand comprises of a rich black forest gateau, blackberry crumble, macaroons and a sublime strawberry cheesecake. What’s commendable is their scones, served wrapped up in napkins to ensure they remain warm. There is nothing worse when your scones becoming cold and dry because it has been left out too long.

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Equally impressive is their savoury section. Replacing the boring sandwiches are salmon and cream cheese bagels and chicken croissants. A palette cleanser in the form of a sorbet is also added in. Classy, modern and chic, this is the perfect place for anyone to try!

Afternoon Tea hours:: Wed to Sun 2pm to 5pm
Address: 495 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Website: Here

13. The Waiting Room, Crown Hotels

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Eluding a sense of luxury, opulence and glamor, the Waiting Room located in the lobby of Crown Towers, easily makes one feel like a modern day royal. The restaurant is decorated in a rather avant garde style, featuring crescent sofas, mirrored glass walls, and cylindrical art deco lights hanging from above.

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The menu itself is carefully designed based on seasonal ingredients. Served on silvered trays and crystal bowls, the current spring menu has an appealing array of sweets and moreish tidbits.

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At $55 a head, expect novel creations such as whiskey cured salmon on croissants, tomato or malted bread, clover honey & pecan parcels. The sweets are equally irresistible, with salted caramel slices and mango eclairs. End off with a palette cleansing sorbet. The basic tea set comes with coffee and bottomless tea. For an additional $10, you get a glass of Coldstream Hills Sparkling 2011 or treat yourself to a flute of Laurent Perrier Brut Premier ($75).

Sophisticated and effortlessly elegant, this is the perfect venue to impress your better half.

Afternoon Tea hours:: Daily 12pm to 5pm
Address: 8 Whiteman St, Melbourne VIC 3006, Australia
Website: Here

14. Madame Brussels

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Notorious for their fantastic cocktails, you would never have guessed this popular rooftop bar transforms into the perfect Garden Party on weekends ($48pp). Feel like royalty at your very own private soiree that can seat a maximum of 30.

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The outdoor setting complete with colourful parasols and garden chairs, boast a stunning view of the city skyline. However, in colder months, seating indoors is just as spectacular. Feel as though you’ve escaped to the countryside with artificial grass and a fake pebbled pavement. The staff complement the quirky and fun vibe of the pink and white rooftop bar with their flirtatious twenties inspired outfits.

Despite the whimsical atmosphere, food served remain old-fashioned, such as sandwiches filled with fresh butter, pickles and ham, poached chook and curried egg. Dainty chocolate eclairs filled with rich pastry cream and pink icing covered mini cupcakes with sprinkles are just some of the appealing sweets on offer, The fluffy scones are paired with clotted cream and jam, adding just the right amount of sweetness. Fun and casual, head to madame brussels for a laid back setting. Do be sure to make a reservation. Did i mention you get a jug of fruity cocktail as well?

Afternoon Tea hours:: Weekends 12pm to 3pm | Weekdays by appointment
Address: Level 3, 59-63 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Website: Here

15. High Tea in Paris

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Who would have thought there is a little parian paradise in mornington. The so apptly named High Tea in Paris, adds some french finesse to the very english High Tea. The decor is very feminine with pastel wallpaper, assorted flowers and luxe furnishing.

They have a variety of high tea sets on offer, but classic french pastries like eclairs and macarons, are ubiquitous across all. For mummy’s little girl, go for the Princess High Tea ($30pp). Nibble on quiches, tarts, cookies and moist cupcakes piled high with luscious buttercream frosting. Wash it down with some pink lemonade or milkshake.

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Gather a bunch of girlfriends and feel like Audrey Hepburn for the day at the Breakfast at Tiffany’s ($60pp, min 12) themed high tea.

The Grand High Tea ($50pp) has an assortment of cakes, sandwiches, petite fours and tarts, served on fine bone china. The scones are accompanied by fresh local jam and cream. For an additional $40, upgrade to the hot springs package and relax at the bath house before or after your meal. With a priority pass, you can enter the mineral springs at any time even on the busiest day! Catering to any occasion, there is definitely a high tea suited for you.

Afternoon Tea hours:: Daily at 11.30am
Address: 12/9-11 Blake St, Mornington VIC 3931, Australia
Website: Here

16. Jardin Tan

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Set amongst the lush greenery of the Royal Botanical Gardens, is Shannon Bennett’s Jardin Tan. Sit at the outside sitting area and heighten your afternoon tea experience by soaking in some sun and enjoying the view. Although tea is a very english thing, expect some vietnamese fusion to the classics. Items like Bahn Mi and dishes flavored with coconut or curry will be plated for you.

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Even the desserts have an asian touch such as coconut and brown sugar pana cotta, cake with toasted coconut and more. Choose to have a vietnamese drip coffee to a lemongrass tea to match the oriental experience. However, purist can be happy to note there are still many traditional choux pastries and scones on the menu!

Afternoon Tea hours:: Daily 2pm to 4pm
Address: Royal Botanic Gardens, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra VIC 3141, Australia
Website: Here

Keep calm and high tea!

Grab a friend and indulge in some treats that even the British monarchy approve of (literally). The best part is that they are all served in bite-sized portions so you can indulge in relative guilt-free comfort. If you ever find yourself looking for something to do over the weekends, keep calm and drink tea!

Priya Naresh Kumar

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