Lounging back into the plush armchairs with Moet in our hands as we selected and sampled from the 3 trays of savouries, sandwiches and sweets. Above us, mountainous chandeliers, a forest of brocade drapes surrounding us and a meadow of carpet under our feet. We were bathed in opulence served by butler like waiters.
I felt very special and rich in an aristocratic sort of way, sitting on a voluptuous armchair eating my sandwiches, scones and cakes. Very high society indeed, you know, like Downtown Abbey.
Fast forward twenty-six years and high tea is available in a plethora around Melbourne. I've selected the following for their location in outer eastern Melbourne and Yarra Valley, for their picturesque views, location, variety, ambience, visual appeal or theatrical experience. Prices listed are for 2018.
Mother's Day is busy everywhere because the one who usually does the cooking for everyone else is taken out for a meal or treat like high tea. I don't even know how to start doing the math on that one - all those people eating out instead of mums cooking at home. If you don't get a spot or want to avoid lots of people, buy your high tea goodies and have it at home, or in a beautiful park - weather permitting. I've included a short list of cake shops and patisseries at the end as well as a couple of places where you can find decadent vegan sweets.
The Hatter and the Hare 1/21 Scorseby Rd, Bayswater 3153 While it doesn't have a picturesque view out its windows, no one cares because the view is all inside this local that the Baysie and surrounding residents throng to each day. They love a bit of liquid nitrogen theatre here too.
89 per adult, $59 per Child (12 and under) Bookings essential, no walk-ins on Mother's Day ph: 9720 5230
Gluten-free and vegetarian options available.
Yarra Valley Lodge
2 Heritage Ave, Chirnside Park 3166
Set in a luxurious boutique hotel situated in the Yarra Valley, Bellas's Restaurant is well known for its fine food mainly sourced from the Yarra Valley. They have an extra surprise treat for mum on Mothers Day.
$79 per Adult, $39 per child, Free under 5 Bookings essential: 03 9760 3333
2 Victoria Rd, Lilydale 3140
Experience high tea in an architecturally designed limestone building, surrounded by expansive views and a 100-year-old oak tree. Great if you have a large family as the minimum persons per booking is 10. Bookings essential.
ph: 03 973 0533
395 Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd, Sassafras 3787
Nestled in the Dandenongs, Fortnums has the quintessential English feel of a conservatory. The expansive glass frames look out onto walls of various textures of vegetation.
There are nine tea blends to choose from to have with your high tea or coffee. A glass of bubbly is extra.
$45.90 per person
42 Melba Highway, Yering 3770
A stunning mansion nestled in the Yarra Valley. Sweeping views all around. Eleanore's Restaurant and Sweetwater Cafe will both be serving high tea in this beautiful building. Its construction commenced in the mid-1800s. The Chilean Wine Palm is classified by the National Trust and two Bunya Pines are on the Register of Significant Trees of Victoria.
$60 per person Bookings essential: 03 9237 3333
Photo Credit: Facebook Page Mary Eats Cake
Mary Eats Cake
558 Sydney Rd, Brunswick 3056
13 Leith Rd, Montrose 3765
Let Mary indulge your mum. The décor has flowers everywhere, with exquisite porcelain and a distinctly nurturing feminine touch. You will feel like you are having high tea in a rose garden.
$65 per persons ($5 donated to the Royal Women's "Miracle Mums" Appeal
$95 per person (VIM: Very Important Mum Package) Book online
ph: 03 8394 5661
Beasley's Tea House
195 Heidelberg - Warrandyte Rd, Warrandyte 3113
Enjoy the view of Beasley's nursery as you munch on scones and sandwiches. Choose from Classic or Sparkling High Tea.
$30 - 35 per person
ph: 03 9844 1777
Photo Credit: Facebook Page RACV Country Club Healesville
RACV Country Club
122 Healesville - Kinglake Rd, Healesville 3777
Take a stroll on the expansive grounds of the club. Before or after high tea?
$34.50 per person
ph: 03 5969 9443