Have you ever been invited to a High Tea event but were unsure what to wear or even what happens at one?
High Tea is a light meal typically eaten between 3pm and 5pm, served with desserts, cakes and tea sandwiches. Also called afternoon tea, its origin is attributed to Anna Maria, 7th Duchess of Bedford, when she requested tea and light sandwiches lates in the afternoon to help tide over her hunger until dinner time.
She also invited her high society friends to join her and the concept became popular among the elite who loved entertaining guests in their drawing rooms. Eventually, the practice caught on among the working class as a post-lunch energy boost to keep them full until the end of the work day while supper was being prepared.
Today, High Tea is a highly-favoured theme for birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, christenings and much more – dining at this hour allows you to take things at a leisurely pace, maximising the joys of socialising over the pleasure of food.
All around Australia, every weekend you can discover a High Tea event to salivate over, here are four of our faves:
Relax at the tropical oasis pool at JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort and Spa
on Ferny Avenue in Surfers Paradise and indulge in an exquisite high tea, inspired by JW Garden and curated by Executive Chef Paul Smart.
Enjoy a culinary journey of sweet and savoury delicacies along with Dilmah tea and espresso coffee with the option to add a glass of Laurent Breban Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine or add a glass of Laurent Perrier Champagne.
Direct from the London flagship hotel The Langham, head to Kitchens on Kent
in the heart of Sydney for a traditional afternoon tea with signature warm scones, delicate finger sandwiches and a selection of British-inspired sweet and savoury delights.
You can even bring your beloved pooch for a slice of luxury with the limited-time Doggy Afternoon Tea, available until October 30 and served in the hotel lobby lounge as paw-rents chill out with their paw-some pooch.
Majestic vistas of Megalong Valley draw diners to The Wintergarden
restaurant on Great Western Highway at Medlow Bath. Located inside the historic Hydro Majestic Hotel, this light-filled restaurant is an ideal spot to enjoy the grand old tradition of high tea, or a gourmet dinner with a special someone.
Soak up the refined luxury of an ornate fireplace, grandiose furnishings and décor while delving into petite sandwiches, housemade pastries, scones with jam and cream, tea and coffee with the option of adding a flute of French Champagne.
Indulge all the senses at Avonleigh Farm Fine Food
on Thorsons Road in Tarwin Lower and relax in an old-world ambience of fine china, crystal and softly playing music. Nestling in the rolling hills of South Gippsland, Avonleigh owner and Chef Jayne Scott takes pride in attention to detail to deliver a memorable experience for her guests, from high tea delights to private dinners.
Expect candles, classic antiques, bone china plates and curios as you delve into food baked with passion, such as profiteroles filled with delicious crème patisserie and covered in warm chocolate sauce, or delicate sandwiches, savouries and triple chocolate biscuits.