From oolong in an amusement park to a sugar-filled but impossibly elegant buffet, these five takes on high tea stand out amongst the pack.
Luna Park’s ferris wheel high tea
The city’s most iconic harbourfront theme park likes to do things a little differently. In the winter months, they swap up their lavish ferris wheel dinners for a dainty high tea — with a Mediterranean twist. Not to mention splashy uninterrupted views of the city’s famous Harbour Bridge and Opera House from your cosy carriage, which can seat 2-4 people.
Forget those finger sangas — Altum’s head chef Dionisio has crafted a multi-tier feast featuring such satisfying nibbles as mini spanakopita, Sfincione, decadent pots of tiramisu and panna cotta. Served with orange juice and Champagne, like it should be.
Price: $80 per person
Location: 1 Olympic Dr, Milsons Point NSW 2061
Phone: (02) 9033 7670
Swissotel Sydney’s buffet high tea
If three tiers of goodies just doesn’t quite cut it, then perhaps it’s time to head to Swissotel’s eighth floor for a sinfully sugar-filled afternoon.
Grab a plate and plan your attack, filling up on unlimited finger sandwiches, hot bites, pastries and decadent desserts, including a chocolate fountain.
Price: Adults $79 (includes glass of sparkling), children $39.50
Location: 68 Market St, Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: +61 2 9238 8888
The Gunners Barracks Tea Room
Hosted within the heritage walls of Mosman’s Gunners’ Barracks, flanked by sparkling harbour and verdant gums, guests are transported to another time with a mostly traditional menu of freshly baked scones with clotted cream, preserves, dainty sandwiches and other savoury delights, served on fine, floral crockery — as it should be.
Nab a spot on the harbour-facing balcony for sparkly blue outlooks and a tranquil Aussie bush soundtrack — it’s a lovely way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city without straying too far from civilisation, and guests can cap their indulgent tea with a scenic tour of Headland Park. Tea buffs will delight in the extensive selection of Ronnefeldt teas, with 41 specialty brews to choose for, while those interested in something a little stiffer or more effevescent can opt for a sparkling, Champagne of cocktail version.
Price: $55-80 per adult, $40 per child
Location: End of Suakin Drive, Mosman NSW 2088
Phone: (02) 8962 5900
Anna Polyviou’s Barbie high tea at Shangri-La Hotel
Australia’s Punk Princess of Pastry Anna Polyviou has crafted a pastel-tinged twist on the beloved tea time tradition that the kiddies (and nostalgic adults) will never forget, running from July 5-28, 2019.
Injecting plenty of fun — and obscene amounts of pink — into the beloved multi-tiered tradition, you’ll want to have the camera on the ready as the dessert queen pays homage to the iconic doll with vibrant morsels like the Rainbow Truffle, Fairybread Cake, Barbie Macarons and a Shake pimped with pastel floss. There’re also chicken sandwiches, fluffy scones and vegetable sushi, perfect for fussy palettes.
The hotel has likewise embraced the high tea theme by decking the lower Lobby Lounge in Barbie pink, and exhibiting a wall of restrospective Barbie photographs, that capture the doll’s evolution over the decades.
If you’re a fan of the Family Food Fight star, you can even meet Polyviou in the flesh at a special Barbie birthday party on July 6, 2019. This one-off event includes high tea, a rocky road workshop, a live DJ, and a take-home Barbie gift featuring a doll and cookbook.
Price: $50 per child, $65 per adult (adult price includes a Barbie doll)
Location: 176 Cumberland St, Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9250 6000
Intercontinental Sydney high tea buffet
Forget simple three-tiered platters; Intercontinental’s The Cortile has gone next-level — we’re talking a high tea buffet, folks.
That’s right, guests can gorge themselves on tea sandwiches, gourmet pies, fresh scones,and an obscene amount of dessert, fruit and cheese at what is arguably Sydney’s most decadent high tea offering.
The hotel’s head pastry wizard Simon Veauvy has elevated the simple tradition into something positively OTT, with the addition of a dedicated macaron bar, sweets station loaded with artful pastries, and a fruit and cheese display. An extra $15 upgrade your Aussie sparkling to a proper French Champagne — you’re already going all out so you may as well!
Price: Adults $68-$83, children $30
Location: 117 Macquarie Street, Sydney 2000 Australia
Phone: +61 2 9253 9000