High Tea in and around Perth
Whether to celebrate a special occasion or maybe a worthwhile fundraiser, heading out to one of Perth’s ultimate destinations for high tea is becoming very popular. I just love getting a few good friends together to relax and forget the day to day stresses, treating ourselves to an afternoon with no boys allowed. Enjoying our friendships with all the ooh’s and ah’s associated with beautiful décor, elegant three tier serving plates of decadent sweet and savoury treats, sometimes, for no reason at all. It’s great to gather the besties and head to a venue where we can share a few laughs, enjoy a few bubbles, some girlie chat and of course, tea and scones. I think ‘just because’ is the best reason of all to enjoy High Tea.
History of High Tea
The earliest records of taking tea was credited to Queen Victoria’s Lady in Waiting, the 7th Duchess of Bedford. In 1865 men’s’ political lunches resulted in long breaks between meals for women waiting for their men to return home for the evening meal. The Duchess at about four o’clock got that sinking feeling and had her servants sneak her a pot of tea and something light to eat. Adopting the European tea service format, the Duchess invited her friends to join her in the rooms of Belvoir Castle and the taking of tea became fashionable. So now the Ladies met and discussed tea business whilst their up and coming young men strived to impress the business sector discussing politics. Tea was seen as a symbol of a right of passage and became both expected and correct behaviour. The menu centred around small cakes, bread and butter sandwiches, assorted sweets and tea.
Eating when hungry is a relief, but eating with others is fun.
Now we know the reasons behind High Tea and that I have taken a few High teas around Perth, so don your finest afternoon dress and come along with me as I revisit a few of my favourites with you.
I came here with a group of ladies to celebrate a mutual friends’ 50th birthday. This is truly a rare find, a real gem of a place tucked in unpretentious surroundings. When you enter you step into a quaint, shabby chic themed, cottage feel with soft colours, florals and goodies galore.
The tables are set with crisp white table clothes, cloth napkins with bling napkin rings, beautiful china teacups and ivory handled cutlery reminiscent of times past. There are little chairs holding our name tags and each of us has a teapot shaped cookie. After we are greeted and seated by our hostess Sue, our orders are taken for tea. They have a huge range of teas and two pots are included so you are encouraged to try different teas and they offer plunger coffee for non tea drinkers like myself.
Unlike other high teas the courses are served one after another and not all in one hit. And it is the best visually spectacular food. The menu consisted of club sandwiches – Smoked Salmon with Caper Aioli / Creamy Egg & Dill. Chicken, pear & walnut / Spinach & herb butter. Mini savouries – Mini Cornish pasty with spicy tomato chutney, Red pepper, cashew, basil, artichoke ragout tart, Blue cheese, pear & walnut filo. Scones – Strawberry scone with rose petal butter, cranberry cointreau conserve, Orange & walnut scone with orange blossom butter, apricot & macadamia conserve and Chantilly cream. The final serving is the sweet course. Mini lemon meringue pies, chocolate tulip cups filled with apricot cheesecake, macarons, chai infused truffle and berry gelo shottie. All this and free flowing BYO bubbles with no corkage fee. This was the perfect venue to celebrate a special occassion, adorable, great attention to detail, impeccable presentation and fabulous food.
Li’l Nich’s Cafe at Nicholson’s Bar & Grill
I purchased tickets to a privately organised fund raiser event here for Ovarian Cancer. We had an abundance of good quality sweet and savoury treats, but unfortunately no coffee. That was not a problem as they included a glass of pink or white bubbly. There was an abundance of food, a great selection of teas and it was really good value for money. We were served assorted savouries, quiches, sandwiches and gourmet tarts. Assorted sweets, delicate mini cakes and slices, freshly bakes scones with jam and Chantilly cream, along with a selection of choice teas and a glass of sparkling pink or white wine. It was a real pleasure attend, where all women attending were requested to wear white in support of Ovarian Cancer.
A few friend’s purchased a Scoopon deal to indulge in high tea at this classy hotel in the city. We were treated to a glass of bubbles and served some lovely, elegant delicacies in traditional high tea style. The top tier contained two scones, each halved and topped with strawberry jam, half a fresh strawberry and whipped cream. Even though I am not a fan of strawberries I thought they were a nice touch. The second tier contained a combination of sweet treats including macarons, and a variety of petite fours including lemon meringue tarts. The savoury treats on the lower tier included very fresh petite sandwiches with crusted removed of cucumber and chicken and smoked salmon & cream cheese. We were also served cheese & tomato quiches. The service was very polished and professional and we were served choice of potted tea or coffee. The Melbourne Hotel is elegant, peaceful and perfect for afternoon tea. I have been here with the girls and also a second visit with my best friend, my husband.
Next one, Le Papillon is certainly one to rave about. Greeted by friendly staff and seated a lovely set table we were made to feel very welcome. Our tea and coffee orders came quite quickly along with our platters of beautifully presented treats. They included freshly bakes scones with jam and clotted cream, assorted gourmet sandwiches and delicious sweet treats, macarons, almond croissants and petite fours which are all baked onsite. A quiet location near Hyde Park, which is lucky, so we could walk off all the food. I came back again to celebrate a friends’ birthday and was presented an equally good selection of treats.
Parmelia Hilton – High Tea Party
This was a decadent high tea sitting in the exquisite Grand Ballroom of the Parmelia Hilton supporting the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The ticket which was purchased as an early bird special many months prior, included an all day event of a set time high tea sitting, complimentary pamper stations, tastings, workshops, parades and boutique market stalls and a gorgeous gift bag for each of us. We were very happy to browse the rooms, sample some of the tastings and shop at the boutique stalls before our High tea sitting. The high tea allowed us to indulge in delicious sandwiches, savoury quiches, divine cakes, scones with jam and cream plus unlimited tea or coffee and a glass of sparkling wine. The service was impeccable and we were treated to a fashion parade of lovely fashions all worn by women who have been touched by breast cancer. We ended the afternoon with a complimentary makeover session, another glass of bubbles, followed by a fun photo memory from the photo booth. Overall we thought it was a great day for a worthy cause and lots of fun was had. We have again purchased early bird discounted tickets to attend The High Tea Party again next year.
Straits Café, Scarborough
Another coupon deal, we headed to the coast to the Rendezvous Hotel in Scarborough overlooking the soft white sand and the sparkling blue waters of the Indian Ocean. The voucher promised a great choice of delicacies. Unfortunately since going, having read a few reviews, we were not the only ones disappointed with our choice. When we arrived they seemed to have problem finding our reservation under the name it was booked. We were then seated at a table by the large window in full sun which saw not only us, but our food sitting with only a sheet of glass between us and the direct sun. It was quite warm and not a pleasant experience sitting there and not ideal for the cream, champagne and sandwiches which were already quite dry and beginning to curl when they were served. We were extremley disappointed that the food advertised was not presented to us. Sadly we had no pumpkin scones, no ginger butter, no assorted sweet pastries, no petite sweet muffins, no milk chocolate dipped biscotti and no chocolate dipped strawberry skewers that was advertised in detail on the deal. We were also not offered any explanation or apology for not being presented the food as advertised other than it was a new chef and he was trying something new.
We have had several high teas and were really looking forward to having a different high tea to what is offered by other establishments but unfortunately, overall this was not what was advertised and although the food served was mostly enjoyable, it was not an enjoyable experience. I would have been totally disappointed if we had paid full price, especially considering the distance travelled to get to this venue, as we really only booked this because of the variety of food offered in the advertisement.
Maranatha Coffee Lounge, Canning Vale
A local cafe/religious bookshop shop within our local shopping centre, walking distance from home, offers a high tea for a modest price. At $19 per person, I think this is the best value for money high tea I have been to and I have enjoyed a few high teas and lunches here with friends and my Husband. Greeted by the owner, Jayne or one of the other staff, tea or coffee orders are quickly taken and bought to the table. I have to say the coffee is good. The two tiered platter is bought out with a selection of four tasty, sandwiches, fresh cakes and muffins and of course, you guessed it, warm scones, jam and lashing of cream. Everything is freshly made and really delicious. Whilst it probably can’t compare to the high end city venues where I’ve experienced a few high teas, I can say this makes a lovely change. For those who drive here, it is easy to park here and very relaxing and has room for prams, etc in the coffee lounge. So maybe there’s an opportunity to drop the hubby and kids off at Bunnings, opposite and steal some quality time with your bestie at Maranatha. UPDATE: Since writing this, sadly Maranatha Coffee Lounge has closed.
In our fast paced lives it is great to enjoy some time out and experience personal attention to detail. High Tea brings together a trio of good food, good tea (or coffee) and good friendship. This time old classic experience is increasing in popularity for unforgettable experiences such as special birthday celebrations, baby showers, bridal showers or Mother’s Day.
My friends and I have an agenda to continue to make our way around Perth’s high tea offerings. Perth definitely has some outstanding high teas! So why not make a booking, get together with your bestie for a tête-à-tête and indulge in an afternoon of distinction and class, tantalizing food and fun. I might see you there for High tea in and around Perth! Oh and as you can see below, High Tea is not only something enjoyed by women!
Have you tried any of these venues? Which ones did you enjoy or where would you like to try?
*All opinions are our own and we were not financially compensated for this post.