1. Home News The Best High Teas in Australia & Our High Tea Dress Code


We love any excuse to sit down and gossip with our girlfriends, so why not look good and eat scrumptious food while doing so? After all, we have yet to eat a sandwich we didn’t like.

Here are high teas in Brisbane and across Australia that we’re dying to try - and our deep dive into high tea dress code (yup, it’s a thing - we’re sure the Queen likes a loungewear set as much as the next girl, yet she pulls out her tweed suit for the occasion, everyday).


Best High Teas in Brisbane

Looking for the best high tea in our hometown of Brisbane? Here are just some of the beautiful venues serving delicate crustless sandwiches and bottomless teapots of Earl Grey.

1.Champagne High Tea at Customs House

Arguably one of the most iconic venues in Brisbane, Patina at the Customs House offers a high tea with uninterrupted views of the Brisbane river and of the Story Bridge. And it’s not just your traditional high tea; here, sandwiches and canapés are served with a glass of Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne - you know we love our bubbles here at Blue Bungalow (and we know you do too, judging from all the bottles consumed in store over the years).

2. High Tea With a Modern Twist at the W Hotel

As you would expect from the W chain of hotels, there is nothing ordinary about its high tea offering! Think afternoon tea is a dated concept? Well, think again. With a menu that will please even the most modern and discerning palates, the W manages to retain some traditional British elements but puts a fresh twist on the tea ritual by incorporating a cheese course and all-Australian flavours (Fraser Island crab, native finger lime, Milo) - they don’t call it the “High Tea of Aus” for nothing!


3. High Tea Fit For a Queen at Stamford Plaza

If it’s good enough for the Queen, we like to think that it’s good enough for us too. The Majesty herself indulged in Stamford Plaza’s Spirit of Queensland Lobby High Tea on her most recent visit to our beautiful city in 2011 - showcasing local delicacies (think cheese and Vegemite scones served with Maleny Dairy cream and deconstructed Ekka strawberry sundaes) and complete with river views, we don’t blame her for including this stop on her itinerary.

4. High Tea on the Water with Kookaburra River Cruises

Whether you’re spending a weekend discovering our beautiful city for the first time or want to fall in love with Brisbane all over again, an afternoon spent cruising the Brisbane River while enjoying a high tea is sure to delight! Departing from the city, you’ll get to see all the sights including the Story Bridge, Kangaroo Point and the Botanic Gardens with a glass of bubbly in hand, truffled egg sandwiches on your plate and live entertainment in the background - the perfect girls day.


5. Traditional High Tea at Room With Roses

Walking through the heritage-listed Brisbane Arcade is a blast from the past in itself, but add ribbon sandwiches and raspberry scones and you’d think you just hopped in a time machine! Room With Roses offers three different high tea menus, including the option to add a chocolate fondue - the perfect spot to sit down and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

6. At-Home High Tea From Dello Mano

Dello Mano sweets need no introduction! But did you know that you can now order a high tea set for delivery? Whether you want to surprise a special friend or have the ladies over for the afternoon, the handmade selection of brownies, sweet cakes and savoury bites is sure to please. Of course, you also have the option to make a booking at their Tattersalls Arcade or Merthyr Village location - you can’t go wrong when food is being delivered on gold platters fit for royalty. 


7. French-Inspired High Tea at Emporium Hotel

Located on Brisbane’s South Bank, Emporium Hotel’s Belle Époque restaurant is famous for its in-house pastry team and the decadent high tea menu created by its chefs which include delicacies such as smoked salmon & cream cheese finger sandwiches and soaked sultana scones served with rhubarb & rosella jam. Oh, and did we mention that you’ll feel like you just stepped into a Parisian patisserie thanks to the opulent decor? Oui, s'il vous plait! And while you’re there, why not book yourself in for a massage at the hotel’s spa and turn it into an afternoon of pampering, complete with a dip in the infinity pool!

8. Kid-Friendly High Tea at Shingle Inn City Hall

Bring the littlies along and introduce them to high tea with Shingle Inn’s Teddy Bear High Tea - the perfect way to bring generations together in an iconic location! The kids will relish in a selection of ham & cheese ribbon sandwiches, teddy bear fairy bread and patty cakes whilst the adults enjoy one of the high tea menus on offer and sip a glass or two of Pol Roger champagne - the perfect way to babysit the grandkids if you ask us!


9. Country-Style High Tea at Spicers Balfour

Short of heading out for a country escape, Spicers Balfour in New Farm is about as close as you’ll get to feeling like you’re in the hinterland without leaving Brisbane. You can enjoy treats on the old Queenslander’s verandah, complete with uninterrupted views of the Story Bridge, or sit in the courtyard under the Frangipani trees. Bookings are a must as high tea is a special event, hosted only once a month - lemongrass and sesame chicken bao, tea-smoked trout served on a kumara rosti, sticky date pudding, house made scones - yup, our mouths are watering, we’ll see you there.

10. Urban High Tea at The Matriarch

Just steps away from our Newstead boutique, you’ll find a little hidden urban oasis in the Matriarch - think drooping olive trees, chandeliers and velvet seating in an old, renovated warehouse. Being a cocktail garden at night, the venue hosts a Fancy Tea which includes your choice of champagne, gin or a set of mini cocktails in addition to your traditional cup of tea. And don’t you dare make your way to our side of the woods without popping by for a visit at the Blue Bungalow Boutique - our amazing retail team would love to meet you!


High Tea in Sydney

Heritage-Listed High Tea at The Tea Room

If you want to feel like a princess for the day, then look no further than The Tea Room in Sydney’s famous Queen Victoria Building. Glamorous crystal chandeliers, high vaulted ceilings, plush velvet chairs - yup, you’ll be having high tea in a ballroom. Delicacies such as petits fours are served in Royal Albert fine china and some of the finest and rarest single estate teas are on offer to please even the most demanding of tea snobs! If you’re gluten-free, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a menu just for you - and no need to put in a special request, it’s available daily.  

Psst! This is the perfect backdrop for a European-inspired Instagram shot, just put on some red lipstick and a beret and you’re good to go.

High Tea in Melbourne

Small & Intimate High Tea at Mámor Chocolates & High Tea Szalón 

The decor at this Collingwood tea salon is straight out of a movie set; the walls are painted fire engine red, the guests are seated on gothic velvet sofas and the atmosphere is moody. So different and so very Melbourne! Guests have the option to choose between a few different high tea packages, including a vegan menu which is hard to come by when scones are involved. The best part and the reason why this high tea made our list in the first place? Artisan chocolates handmade by Chef De Patisserie Janet McKenzie - need we say more.

High Tea in Perth

Contemporary High Tea at Bar Uma

A Peruvian bar known for its Pisco Sours is probably not the first place that comes to mind when you think about high tea. But think again! Bar Uma offers a contemporary and refreshing take on the afternoon tea ritual; guests are treated to an all-inclusive experience in a modern garden-like setting complete with free-flowing Australian sparkling wine or French Champagne. The Autumn Menu sounds delectable - a Wild Forest Mushroom Velouté followed by Cinnamon Infused Pulled Pork and its Pineapple Coulis finished with Buttermilk Date Scones accompanied by tea, coffee or a Latte Martini… don’t forget our invite!

High Tea in Adelaide

High Coffee at the Intercontinental Adelaide Hotel

There’s only one thing in life that we love more than tea and fashion - coffee! So when we saw the High Coffee available at Intercontinental’s Riverside Restaurant we knew we had to add it to the list. Listen to this: an espresso martini on arrival, continuous coffee while you indulge in a selection of classic sandwiches, hot pies and buttermilk scones and an affogato to finish, served with an espresso lamington and wattle seed macaroons with Callebaut chocolate-coffee curd. We’re feeling jittery just thinking about it. If tea is your thing, don’t worry the high menu looks just as good!

High Tea in Canberra

Tipsy Tea at the White Rabbit

If you like a cocktail with your tea then this is the place for you! Start with a Tea Party Cocktail - bourbon, peach liqueur & spiced vanilla syrup topped with T2 French Earl Grey tea - and enjoy an array of sweet and savoury treats which include duck floss served with orange curd in a shortcrust pastry and a Chai panna cotta served in a tea cup. How’s that for fun?!

What Is The Dress Code For High Tea?

So you’ve planned your outing, but what should you wear to high tea? And can you wear jeans? Now, we won’t tell you what you can and can’t wear, but high tea dress code is formal or smart casual so we would opt for a dress, skirt or trousers over your faithful pair of jeans. And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t like having an excuse to pull out their prettiest frocks!

Here is what we would wear if we got the girlfriends together for some savoury sandwiches and warm scones:

- A Flowy Dress

This would be our top pick - not only does it look good but it leaves you room to enjoy all the sweets without having to sneak out to the ladies to unbutton your pants - perfect high tea attire if we do say so ourselves!

We love prints or florals and a below the knee length - you may even wish to winterise one of your summer dresses for the occasion as the weather drops over the next few weeks. And you can never go wrong with a silk kaftan!

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- A Skirt and a Drape Top

If you prefer to mix and match, a longer skirt and a flowy drape top is a great, versatile option! It may also be easier to find the perfect fit as you can select different sizes for top and bottom and it can be as chic as a dress if you choose the right accessories.

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- Trousers and a Shirt

If the mercury drops, don’t fret! A well-fitting pair of pants in a fun print can make for a great statement piece when paired with an understated top and the right shoes.

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- All the Accessories

No outfit is complete without accessories! A dainty pair of earrings and a clutch (no, not to save canapés for later) make for the perfect finishing touches, while a cute pair of flats or high heeled boots that complement your look will tie your outfit together.

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Blue Bungalow, home of high tea fashion? Who knew.

What Is High Tea Etiquette?

No need to raise your pinky finger when you’re drinking your cup of tea, if that’s what you’re thinking. But you may want to mind your manners.

Finger sandwiches can be eaten with... you guessed it, your hands. But use the serving tongs or your fork to bring them from the platter stand to your plate before indulging. Cakes and other sweets, on the other hand, should be eaten with a fork or dessert spoon.

As for scones, eat as you would a piece of bread, breaking it off in bite-sized pieces with your hands before adding jam and clotted cream - yum! And no, we’re not weighing in on the whole “jam or cream first on a scone” debate - but we’ll let you take a stand in the comments below.

HINT HINT, Mother’s Day is coming up and we can’t think of a more perfect activity… share this blog post with your kids or grandchildren, sometimes there’s nothing like a good subtle hint.

BB xx

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