9 of the best high teas in Sydney

From The Rocks to the Northern Beaches, high tea never goes out of style. Opt for something traditional served on tiered platters and fine china, or go for something quirky channelling flavours from around the world.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Feb 2024 -
min read

High Tea on Level 36 @ Shangri-La Sydney 

For high tea with a view, it doesn’t get any better than this experience at the Shangri-La hotel. Enjoy vistas over the Harbour Bridge and Opera House – if you can tear your gaze away, you’ll be equally delighted by what’s on your plate. You can opt for tea only, or up your dining game with free-flowing sparkling wine. Waiters present three tiers of goodies, including kingfish sashimi with lemon myrtle aioli, beef brisket on brioche, roasted grape eclairs, mandarin tarts and earl grey chocolate mousse. Vegans are well catered for as well.  

Shangri-La Sydney High Tea on level 36 at Shangri-La Sydney, The Rocks

Shangri-La Sydney, The Rocks - Credit: Shangri-La Sydney

The Tea Room QVB

All ornate ceilings and glittering chandeliers within the heritage Queen Victoria Building in the heart of Sydney, The Tearoom is the ultimate place to indulge. High Tea here is a grand affair, served on tiered silver platters with Royal Albert china. You can opt for something simple, like Devonshire tea with scones and cream. Or go for the full extravaganza, featuring sweet and savoury pastries, finger sandwiches, scones, tea and coffee – and a glass of champagne. Because, why not?  

Couple enjoying The Tea Room QVB at Queen Victoria Building, Sydney CBD

The Tea Room QVB, Sydney CBD

Couture High Tea @ Sofitel Sydney Wentworth 

While the Sofitel Sydney’s dining establishments are undergoing a makeover, when they reopen this year you’ll be able to enjoy one of the most glam high tea experiences in the city. The Couture High Tea here channels the hotel brand’s French heritage, with oh la la treats like baguette topped with truffled beef, dainty quiche with smoked duck, pea choux and caviar, macarons and opera cake. We suggest a glass of French champagne to round out the experience.   

Afternoon Tea @ Capella Sydney 

It’s hard not to feel your worries fade away when you step into Aperture, a gorgeous light-filled dining space with an indoor garden and bespoke art. There’s an all-day-dining menu, but it would be a shame not to indulge in the creative high tea offerings – there’s even a menu dedicated to kids. For grown-ups, dig in to lobster rolls, nori crackers topped with tuna tartare, truffled chicken mousse on brioche, ossobuco pie with bush tomato relish, Davidson plum and strawberry lamingtons, pandan and finger lime choux… the native ingredients used throughout are a delightful touch. 

Selection of high tea dishes at Capella Hotel, Sydney CBD

Capella Hotel, Sydney CBD

QTea High Tea @ QT Sydney 

This decadent high tea is brought to you by the master of desserts, chef Adrian Zumbo. Things unfold in the QT Hotel’s Gilt Lounge, a seductive union of velvet and brass, mirrors and art. Decide whether you want your nibbles served with a cocktail or champagne, then get set to devour caprese tarts, spinach and feta parcels, miso and chicken rolls, scones with lemon myrtle jam, macarons, and yuzu and strawberry meringue tarts, among other delicacies. The teas on offer are just as creative as the food.  

Champagne high tea at QT Sydney, Sydney CBD

QT Sydney, Sydney CBD - Credit: QT Sydney

High Tea @ InterContinental Sydney 

Framed by the InterCon’s 170-year-old sandstone arches of the original Treasury Building of 1851, experience a time-honoured ritual that invites you to slow down, savour and share. The hotel’s high tea experience unites beloved classics alongside more modern interpretations – think salmon sandwiches with caviar, goat’s cheese and pear tart, chocolate parfait and scones, done two ways. A selection of organic Mayde Teas and a glass of Australian sparkling wine complement your three tiers of goodies. Special menus cater to vegans, those with gluten intolerances and children.  

High tea at Intercontinental Sydney, Circular Quay

Intercontinental Sydney, Circular Quay

High Tea @ Gunners’ Barracks

Celebrate the time-honoured tradition of high tea in one of Sydney’s most historic buildings, Gunners’ Barracks, a series of 1873 barracks excavated into the cliffs of Mosman, established to protect Sydney Harbour from attack. Savour Ronnefeldt teas paired with freshly backed scones with cream and jam, finely cut finger sandwiches, savoury pastries and delectable petit cakes. If the views over the harbour don’t woo you, then the feast before you surely will.      

High Tea at Gunners’ Barracks, Mosman

Gunners’ Barracks, Mosman - Credit: Gunners Barracks

High Tea @ Loftus Lane 

This cafe in Circular Quay specialise in high tea, so you know you’re in good hands when you sit down in the dining room decorated with fresh flowers, colourful designer furniture and French tableware. Choose from the Ferris Wheel or Carousel high tea options – your treats are presented on custom platters that resemble each. Sample chicken coronation sandwiches, smoked salmon and cream cheese sliders, macarons and cranberry scones, alongside a series of seasonal pastries. We recommend adding on a cocktail – or even going for unlimited boozy beverages for the ultimate day out.  

Ferris Wheel & Carousel High Tea at Loftus Lane, Circular Quay

Loftus Lane, Circular Quay - Credit: Loftus Lane

The Tea Cosy

This quirky cafe is tucked away in Sydney’s historic Rocks precinct, just a short stroll from Sydney Harbour. The range of teas on offer is impressive, from green tea with strawberries to earl grey and black banana tea – you can also get your beverage iced, if the weather calls for it. When it comes to food, you can order as much or as little as you like. Perhaps just scones with jam (there’s a good selection of preserves to choose from), or maybe ‘The Grandstand’: those homemade scones in addition to a selection of finger sandwiches. You won’t be disappointed.  

High tea of scones with jam and cream at The Tea Cosy, The Rocks

The Tea Cosy, The Rocks - Credit: The Tea Cosy

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