Melbourne's Best High Teas for When You Want to Feel a Little Bit Fancy

From art-inspired creations to ultra-decadent chocolate degustations with bottomless sparkling wine, Melbourne's high tea scene is full of contemporary twists.
Andrew Zuccala and Concrete Playground
Published on April 24, 2024

Melbourne's Best High Teas for When You Want to Feel a Little Bit Fancy

From art-inspired creations to ultra-decadent chocolate degustations with bottomless sparkling wine, Melbourne's high tea scene is full of contemporary twists.

Most of us hit up Melbourne's best high tea spots because we want to spoil ourselves with some old-world luxury. It's not one of your three main meals of the day. The finger sandwiches don't have to have the crusts cut off. And who really needs to sip on tea and champagne in a grand dining room while eating tiny ornate cakes? No one. But that's kind of why we love afternoon tea so much. It's just for the sake of it — to really treat yourself to something special.

And while we are fans of traditional high teas that some of Melbourne's best hotels create, there are stacks of neighbourhood tea rooms and cake shops that have made the whole affair more contemporary. Some are a modern interpretation with Japanese elements. Others are all about chocolate. But just about everyone comes with freshly made scones — so you can continue the age-old debate of whether the jam or cream goes on first. We won't participate in that feud, but we will round up some of the best Melbourne high teas for you to try for yourselves. Check them all out here.


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    The Tea Rooms 1892 in Block Arcade - formerly Hopetoun Tea Rooms

    Located within the marvellously opulent Block Arcade, The Tea Room 1892 (formerly the Hopetoun Tea Rooms) projects class, decadence and fun — with lavish wallpaper, impossibly attractive cakes and five-star service. This is one of the very best high tea experiences in Melbourne, and having opened way back in 1892, it is one of the oldest in the country.

    This is old-world fun steeped in nostalgia. Think fine bone china, hanging chandeliers and opulent mirrors with la belle époque and art nouveau influences. The high tea experience here is curated by head chef Indika Rajapaksha and comes served on an elegant three-tiered stand. Expect all your classic high tea dishes and teas, plus a special option to make the whole affair gluten-free. It will cost you an extra $10, but it’s all worth it once you try the incredible gluten-free scones.

    Image: Robert Blackburn for Visit Victoria

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  • 9
    Yugen Tea bar in South Yarra

    If your idea of Melbourne high tea is all white table cloths, frilly pink serviettes and pretty cakes with extravagant icing, then Yugen Tea Bar is here to challenge you. Located in a dimly lit, dark and metallic space in South Yarra, Yugen is just about as far from a traditional high tea experience you’re likely to find.

    The team includes culinary director Stephen Nairn, head tea sommelier Thibaut Chuzeville and pastry chef John Demetrios, so you know you’re in good hands. Here, the savoury and sweet options all have a slight Japanese twist, and the teas are some of the best in Melbourne — expertly chosen, brewed and served. You can always add bubbles to the experience, but we also recommend following it up with a cocktail in Yugen Dining downstairs, even if it is just to marvel at the interiors of one of Melbourne’s top Japanese restaurants.

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  • 8
    Afternoon tea at the Langham - one fo the best high teas in Melbourne

    The Langham is a proper Melbourne institution. It’s one of the city’s best hotels, home to one of the top spa experiences, has brilliant dog-friendly hotel services and is home to one of Melbourne’s best high teas. The team here often makes special themed high teas for different seasons, but we are all about the classic experience.

    Set within the luxe Aria Bar & Lounge, guests get fine tea, champagne and three-tiers of brilliant eats. Start with homemade savoury pastries and crustless finger sandwiches before hitting up the scones and regularly rotating selection of bite-sized cakes. Feel like making it bottomless? The crew gives you two hours of unlimited champagne for an additional $115 per person. And if you are extra keen to treat yourself, The Langham offers a spa and afternoon tea package from Monday to Thursday. This includes a massage, valet parking, afternoon tea and access to the facilities (including the rooftop pool overlooking the city).

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  • 7
    Tea Room at the NGV - one of the best high teas in Melbourne

    The National Gallery of Victoria isn’t just good for art — it’s also good for a bit of wining and dining, with cafes across all three levels and the Garden Restaurant on the ground level. The gallery’s Tea Room on level one is perfect if you’ve brought your mum along — and she’s mentioned she’d love a cup of tea five times or more — or for you if you want to treat yourself to something a bit fancy.

    The high tea option is $85 apiece and puts fresh finger sandwiches on the table, as well as homemade sausage rolls and mini quiches. As far as sweets go, there are scones, as well as burnt lemon meringue tart and salted caramel brownie. The classic high tea is served with a glass of bubbly and a pot of tea. And if you head over during one of the gallery’s major art exhibitions, it’s likely the high tea will have elements referencing the exhibiting artist or movement.

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  • 6
    Mamor Chocolates - home to one of the best high teas in Melbourne.

    Decadence is also a very relevant feeling at Mámor, where you can forgo a standard afternoon tea for something a little different. Sink into its plush red velvet furniture and feel a little bit beyond your means as you pick your high tea poison. The standard option — which is still quite extra — is more of a traditional sandwich situation, with scones included as well as petit fours and artisan chocolates, and bottomless tea or filter coffee — sparkling wine available as an extra.

    The Chocolate High Tea is a brilliant cacao-only dessert degustation, and the unique Evening Soiree High Tea is served from 7pm beneath the salon’s lit-up chandeliers — coming with larger dinner-sized savoury options, a selection of cakes and chocolates, a glass of sparkling wine on arrival and free-flowing tea and lemonade. For an extra $30 per person, you can also get unlimited bubbles. But note that you need a minimum of ten people to enjoy the evening high tea in Melbourne.

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  • 5
    Park Hyatt Melbourne - one of the best high teas in Melbourne

    Melbourne’s Park Hyatt may not have had a large-scale refurb in quite some time, but the five-star hotel still oozes luxury. From the moment you enter the timber- and marble-clad lobby and circle the balcony looking down on the grand spaces below, you can see why this has been one of the city’s most luxurious hotels for decades.

    And right by this lobby is where the hotel’s brilliant high tea is served. Start off with finger sandwiches and house-made sausage rolls before getting into the scones that are accompanied by a huge selection of jams. You’ll end on the essential tiny cakes, washing the whole experience down with unlimited Victorian sparkling wine, teas and coffee. At just $88 per person for the bottomless booze afternoon tea, it’s also got to be one of the most affordable in Melbourne. We also highly recommend the spa and afternoon tea package for those wanting to really treat themselves on the weekend.

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  • 4
    Mary Eats Cake - one of the best high teas in Melbourne

    Mary Eats Cake is serving up decadent high teas on two sides of Melbourne: Brunswick and Montrose. With an enticing selection of sandwiches, cakes, scones — and, of course, tea — it’s one of Melbourne’s best high tea options.

    You can choose from the standard package or the fancy high tea package with unlimited tea and scones. If you’re having an extravagant celebration off-site, with more than 50, they’ll even come to you. The two venues often host themed high teas, too, and work with sites across the state for seasonal pop-ups.

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  • 3

    The Hotel Windsor has been hosting Melburnians for high tea for over a century. And we mean that literally — the hotel has been serving up high tea daily since 1883. The restaurant One Eleven Spring Street is adorned with glittering chandeliers, velvety chairs, and stretches of Victorian-style carpet, which really adds to the extravagant experience.

    The tiered offering includes pastries, both savoury and sweet, a selection of ribbon sandwiches, and scones served with cream, jam and strawberries. You’ll also get a glass of sparkling on arrival, a choice of types of tea and, if you visit on a weekend, access to the dessert buffet. Bottomless French sparkling wine is also available for an additional $35 per person.

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  • 2

    The Stables of Como is a charming, wanderer-friendly setting on the grounds of South Yarra’s historic Como House, placing brunchers back in the days of dining in country gardens. As well as its normal brunch and lunch fare, the quaint cafe runs a daily high tea, and it’s suitably indulgent.

    Playing to the country manor feel of the estate, high tea goers will snack on the requisite finger sandwiches, scones and petit fours as well as savoury eats like prawn brioche sliders and croque monsieurs. The Stables’ cakes are also extra special, with minimal room to move around the cake display case thanks to oglers. The package also comes with free-flowing French sparkling wine and unlimited tea and coffee. You’ll almost definitely need a long nap in the gardens after all this.

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  • 1
    Ritz Carlton Melbourne High Tea

    The Ritz-Carlton is a fairly new addition to Melbourne’s hotel and high tea scene but is already one of the greatest. The rooms here are luxe beyond measure, the views almost unbeatable, and the dining experiences are some of the city’s finest — especially Atria. But for this piece, we’ll focus on the high tea.

    This one is served up in the Ritz-Carlton Lounge up on level 80 and boasts uninterrupted views across Port Philip Bay. Expect four indulgent courses paired with a huge selection of teas and the option to add a few different bottles of bubbles — from not-so-pricy to break-the-bank expensive.

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Top images: Mamor Chocolates & High Tea Szalon.

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