Sydney may be known for its wonderful selection of world class beaches but what many may be surprised to hear is that it also has a fine range of private tea rooms. Whether you are looking for an elegant outing or a fun family experience with the kids filled with freshly baked goods, you will find it in the halls of Sydney’s tea rooms.
Here are a handful of places to start exploring the high tea culture in Sydney:
Burnt orange doubles up as both a shop and café in a classic golf club which was erected sometime in the 1920’s. What’s great is you really get the feeling of what times were like way back then just by walking into the venue. Prepare for an afternoon of fattening by cake and tart. Sugar highlights include a mouth-watering Moroccan orange and almond cake which can only be topped by the salted caramel and chocolate tart. Tea is served on a wooden balcony which overlooks the kookaburras that play on the lawn. Your tea towel comes with a delightful selection of chicken tarragon sandwiches and freshly made scones. Eat like a king and enjoy the stunning view on the balcony. Burnt Orange can be found in Mossman off Middlehead Road.
If royal service tickles your fancy then the Langham is the place to be. Every Friday, hordes of elegantly dressed locals pack out this little venue for cakes, scones and tea. Birthed in 1865 as a part of the greater Langham hotel, the afternoon tea here is served with a selection of salmon, ham and cucumber sandwiches. Even vegetarians will be pleased with the cheese and tomato sandwiches. Sweeter delights include scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream as well as little squares of chocolate fudge. The tea selection is bare but well put together. There is also a tea session for the little ones where they can make pretend with a menu packed with delicious treats like cookies and marshmallows. The Langham is located near the Observatory Hill Park off Kent street.
Sir Stamford at Circular Quay
A high tea at Sir Stamford is a rather smooth experience. Celebrations start early here as you can be expected to be served champagne upon arrival. From there, a well put together staff member will proceed to overwhelm your senses with the itinerary. The tea selection is extensive to say the least and the accompanying sweets and sandwiches certainly live up to the hype. An insider’s tip is for you to get a window seat.
Hydro Majestic Hotel
Choice is what makes the high tea at Hydro Majestic hotel interesting. While you can certainly have the classic British experience, the hotel has taken a modern approach to bring high tea to the masses. For instance, they do a gluten-free high tea as well as one that’s aimed for kids. For the more open minded and those with a more savoury palate, there is even an Eastern tea which holds Asian classics like dumplings and rice paper rolls on the menu.
This is another odd but interesting high tea experience. Unlike the usual special service that is common at high tea rooms, the Swissotel has a more accessible approach on offer; High tea via buffet. Traditionalists may have a hard time coming to grips with the concept of a high tea buffet until they see the beauty of having everything laid out on a table. Traditional items like cucumber sandwiches can be had but there is also a hot food buffet. All this will seem a bit over the top until you hit the dessert table where a fine offer of sweet tarts and creamy cheese cakes are available. Personalised service may not be the thing here but if you have a solid appetite and like sweets then you will love the high tea here.