A freelance writer who can't resist good food and exploring new places. Visit my blog at www.travelchook.com
Published September 24th 2014
Indulge a little, you deserve it
Tea, coffee and cake lovers will want to get this list imported into their phones or inked onto their palms for quick reference. It is literally a guide to deliciousness and decadence in beautiful Melbourne. If you want the very best in High Tea (afternoon tea), hot chocolates, coffees or sweet edible works of art, then read on (top ten listed in no particular order).
1. The Windsor I celebrated my eighteenth birthday at The Windsor, luxuriating in the grand ambience that makes this magnificent heritage hotel so unique and special. To describe the place in one word, I would say 'unforgettable'. High Tea at The Windsor includes starting with a glass of French sparkling and dining like royalty on divine ribbon sandwiches and a wickedly indulgent dessert selection. Service is second to none with well trained staff who treat every guest as the most important person in the room. Reservations are required, and dietary needs can be taken into account at the time of booking.
Image courtesy of The Hotel Windsor
2. High Tea at 'The Langham'
The Aria bar and lounge serves The Langham's signature High Tea, a posh High Tea on a three tiered silver stand fit for a Queen. If you want to feel pampered, The Langham will indulge you.
3. High Coffee at the Intercontinental (The Rialto) For all those hard core coffee lovers, forget High Tea, because the Intercontinental Hotel does High Coffee in their Market Lane Bar (served daily from 2-5pm). A scrumptious set of sweet and savoury pieces of deliciousness are served with a variety of Stefano Manfredi's signature blended coffees.
Image Courtesy of The Intercontinental Hotel (The Rialto)
4. Takeaway High Tea - Le Petite Gateau For those just wanting to pick up something fabulous to take home for afternoon Tea, Le Petite Gateau at 458 Little Collins Street presents sweet things which look too gorgeous to touch. A stunningly array of cakes including a heavenly looking Passionfruit Chocolate Gateau, a selection of very special tarts, and a glorious hazelnut praline mud cake are likely to leave anyone weak at the knees. It is best to check out their website and order in advance if you want to guarantee specific cakes for your own home grown high tea.
5. Hopetoun Tea Rooms Don't be surprised to find a queue out front. Devoted customers will wait outside patiently, while gazing longingly at the array of colourful and wonderful looking homemade cakes, quiche and slices. They wait because they know this High Tea will be worth it. While they stand there salivating, the digestive juices are gearing up to work hard for an afternoon tea in Hopetoun's charming and fascinating tea room. Get there early or you are likely to miss out. Call to check closing times.
6. Park Hyatt The Park Hyatt in Melbourne serves afternoon tea in The Lounge which conveniently has lovely garden views. The Park Hyatt afternoon tea stand includes tea, sparkling wine, scones with vanilla Chantilly and jam, delightful finger sandwiches and petit fours and pastries.
7. Madame Brussels
Quirky, cute, fun and girly, Madame Brussels can provide organised garden parties on grassed areas with hedges and views of Melbourne for those who want to plan ahead. Alternatively, simply drop in for afternoon tea. The menu include items like French cheese plates, lemon sponge cupcakes with hot pink butter icing and chocolate fondue with marshmallows and strawberries. Madame Brussels is ideally located on level three at 59-63 Bourke Street.
8. Koko Black Okay, so it's not strictly high tea. But if you order right, you can certainly create your own fabulous customised high tea. Koko Black Salons at 52 Collins Street and the Royal Arcade in Bourke Street serve high quality pieces of chocolate perfection in cafes with stunning polish floorboards, and beautiful wood and glass cabinets showcasing the very best in chocolates. Dripping in decadence and class, these salons provide the ultimate morning or afternoon coffee or tea experience for chocolate lovers, or anyone who appreciates things of great beauty with flavour that delivers in abundance. I am in love with this place. I want to take my pillow and spend the night (with access to all cabinets).
9. High Tea at the Stamford Plaza I am a fan of the Stamford Plaza Hotel in Melbourne and always love staying there during the week. But on the weekends, it's even better, because they offer a wonderful high tea including a glass of bubbly, delightful ribbon sandwiches, pastries and sweet pieces of perfection.
10. High Tea at the Movies
Sometimes it's not about the perfect tea or the perfect cake, it's simply about having a unique fun experience which includes drinks and yummy things. For those wanting a movie and afternoon tea in the one package, Cinema Nova at 380 Lygon Street, Carlton does 'High Tea at the Movies' on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. With a great package including a movie and a High Tea of wine, tea, sandwiches, cakes and finger food, you can't go wrong.
There is something in this list for everyone. High Tea is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a leisurely afternoon with friends. It's bucket loads of fun to dress up and extend your pinkie finger straight out while holding your teacup ever so poshly. Dine like the Queen! Note: Just check with individual venues before bringing the corgis.