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High Tea at The Terrace

Home > Melbourne > Cafes | Food and Wine | Girls' Day Out | High Tea | Restaurants
by Flick Ross (subscribe)
Accountant by day, writer extraordinaire by night - I am having the adventure of a lifetime discovering my new city of Melbourne! Visit my blog at to find out what I've been up to.
Published June 25th 2015
High Tea with Bubbles in the Botanic Gardens
On Mother's Day, I surprised my mum with tickets to an opera concert at The Art Centre - followed by a leisurely High Tea at The Terrace Restaurant in the Botanic Gardens.

Mum and I really enjoy our High Teas and we've been fortunate enough to sample some amazing ones over the years - Raffles in Singapore, The Fairmont Resort on Lake Louise in Canada, The Tea Room at the historic Queen Victoria Building in Sydney.

So how did The Terrace in Melbourne's Botanic Gardens measure up?

Well, we certainly enjoyed the food and were impressed with the generous mix of sweet and savoury. Ribbon sandwiches, chicken pies, goat's cheese tarts and the usual selection of scones, macarons and other delectable sweets to indulge the palate.

The Terrace, High Tea, Botanic Gardens
High Tea at The Terrace

Having very healthy appetites, mum and I were surprised that we couldn't finish everything and even contemplated stashing a few of the leftover chocolate truffles in our handbags. The tea was quite lovely and freshly brewed, and a glass of bubbles was a nice touch.

The Botanic Gardens is the perfect setting for a High Tea and we enjoyed looking out on the Ornamental Lake that The Terrace restaurant is situated on.

Now for the downside, which is possibly a deal-breaker for many. The ambience. I can't figure out whether The Terrace is going for the casual cafe vibe, or elegant tea room setting. Unfortunately it is trying to do both, and it doesn't quite work.

We were seated amidst the bustling backdrop of families and tourists scrambling to order food in the "school-canteen" style cafe. Not exactly the perfect atmosphere for a leisurely High Tea.

Mum and I didn't let it spoil our experience though - we made the most of the situation, enjoyed the tea, food and bubbly - and ended up having a great chat with the family sitting at the next table.

After we had completely gorged ourselves, an afternoon stroll around the gardens was an absolute necessity. Something (anything!) to help our food digest. There is certainly no better place for a stroll than The Botanic Gardens and it was a lovely end to our day.

Botanic Gardens, Ornamental Lake
Strolling with the ducks in The Botanic Gardens

Would I return to The Terrace Restaurant? Yes I would, but perhaps for a quick bite of lunch or a cuppa and scones after exploring the gardens. I think I'll save the High Tea experience for the more refined venues and tea rooms across Melbourne.
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Phone: 0398209590
Where: The Botanic Gardens via Gate A - Corner of Alexandra Avenue and Anderson Street, South Yarra, VIC, 3141
Cost: $55 per head for High Tea
Your Comment
Such a pretty setting. I sure hope you did nick off with those chocolate truffles! It looks like a lot of food.
by Katy Holliday (score: 3|1133) 1749 days ago
The Adelade Botanic Gardens Restaurant has done what Melbournes needs to do. There's two separate dining options- a casual cafe and a formal sit down restaurant. The waterside position and use of a beautiful old building provides a gloriously secluded ambience. Go the Crows! Well, maybe. My favourite joking comment about my home town: who me biased ? It's gotta be your imagination!
by Janet Levi-Cohen (score: 0|2) 1743 days ago
Looking at the photo of the feast, I am wondering if the food was freshly cooked or brought in, perhaps the little pies were frozen? I'm interested to know.
Thanks for the interesting report and you've given me the urge to visit the gardens again - I haven't been for years.
by Larwos (score: 0|4) 1743 days ago
About 12 months ago had a leisurely walk around gardens. It was mid afternoon & we hadn't eaten, so decided we woul have something at the tea house but on looking in we decided against it, as it was expensive, very noisy & crowded. A big turn off.
by elain (score: 0|4) 1747 days ago
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