COMO The Treasury Spring Hills High Tea

Perth’ Summer Guide to the Best High Tea

High tea is a popular culinary tradition that’s enjoyed all over the world. While the concept of a high tea originated in England, the influence of different global traditions has resulted in heated debates over what really constitutes a proper high tea in Australia. We’ve put together the ultimate guide to understanding what high tea actually is and where to experience the tradition in Perth.

Funnily enough, what we describe as high tea in Australia is actually a traditional British afternoon tea. In England, a high tea refers to an early evening meal of egg, fish, meats, bread and desserts that was enjoyed by workers in the industrial revolution. This meal was referred to as high tea due to the high back chairs that the workers sat on to eat their meal.

Afternoon tea on the other hand is a mid-afternoon spread of finger sandwiches, scones and cakes that was traditionally enjoyed by upper-class ladies. The afternoon tea arrived in Australia with the colonial settlers in the late 19th century and was enjoyed in tea rooms around the country. Somewhere along the way, Australians began to refer to the afternoon tea as high tea if it was served on a tiered cake stand.

If you attend a high tea today, you can expect to enjoy a selection of finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and other small sweet treats served on a tiered cake stand with pots of tea and usually, some sparkling wine.

What is the dress code for high tea?

While these days, high tea doesn’t have a strict dress code, many people use the occasion as an opportunity to get a little dressed up. Women usually choose to wear a dress or skirt and top combination in colourful or floral patterns, while men will usually wear a dress shirt and pants. However, unless your high tea venue has a strict dress code, you’re free to wear what you feel most comfortable in.

COMO The Treasury

Already synonymous with luxury, it’s no surprise that COMO The Treasury is home to one of the most decadent high teas in Perth. Served in the heritage-steeped Cape Arid Rooms, the high tea takes inspiration from Perth Hill’s regions and the spring blossoms that erupt at this time of year. Aptly named the Hill Springs Afternoon Tea, the high tea is only the first of 12 other high tea editions that will be revealed over a three year period. Each taking inspiration from a different region and season in Western Australia, the high tea is made with delicious locally sourced gourmet ingredients that are served alongside champagne, wine, tea or coffee.

COMO The Treasury High Tea

Chapels on Whatley

Taking inspiration from the British colonial era in Asia, Chapels on Whatley’s high tea experience explores the traditional British high tea within the Asian landscape. Think the French quarter of Shanghai in the 1930s and the decadent afternoon teas at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. All served on fine bone china, the high tea begins with a glass of champagne before moving to a selection of teas, sandwiches, mini quiches, cakes, meringues, eclairs and macarons. Make sure that you book seating between 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays to enjoy the gorgeous sounds of the cafe’s resident violinist duo.

Chapels on Whatley High Tea

Bistro Guillaume

If you’re feeling more French than British then Crown’s Bistro Guillaume is the high tea venue for you. Every Saturday afternoon, the restaurant puts on a spectacular spread of sweet and savoury treats, fine tea and Moët & Chandon Imperial Champagne. Set amongst French provincial decor, you will enjoy French-inspired canapes, including chicken Waldorf champagne baguette, smoked salmon tartlet, decadent macarons and chocolate eclairs.

High tea at Bistro Guillaume

The Bar Uma

Located within the Pan Pacific Hotel, Bar Uma serves an indulgent free-flowing high tea every weekend. Along with a delicious selection of sweet and savoury treats, you can choose to drink everything from a traditional Dilmah tea and freshly percolated coffee to Champagne Taittinger and a Bar Uma house cocktail. While the free-flowing drinks are worth every cent, the gourmet canapés are something special. From wild forest mushroom veloute to buttermilk date scones, this is one high tea not to miss.

High tea at Bar Uma

C Restaurant

If you’re looking for somewhere a little more luxe then C Restaurant is the ultimate choice. With a revolving view of Perth city, you will enjoy a traditional selection of finger sandwiches, petit fours and freshly baked scones with percolated coffee, a choice of nine exquisite tea blends and glasses of sparkling wine. While many venues only serve high tea on the weekends, C Restaurant is conveniently serving seven days a week.

High tea at C Restaurant

Hearth

Served in the Ritz Carlton’s fabulous Hearth restaurant, you can enjoy a delicious high tea with sweeping views of Elizabeth Quay. With two courses of gourmet savoury canapes consisting of decadent blue swimmer crab rolls and Cambray farmhouse cheddar tarts, before enjoying a course of exquisite sweet treats. From passionfruit madeleines to salted caramel and sandalwood nut choux, you will leave feeling utterly sated. For drinks, you have the choice of Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage champagne, Howard Park Petit Jeté sparkling wine, Seven Sea tea and Offshoot coffee.

Image: High tea at Hearth

Westin

The Westin’s Signature High Tea is served every weekend in the hotel’s sophisticated Haven Lounge. You can choose to drink everything from traditional teas and freshly brewed coffee to glasses of Chandon NV Brut and Moët and Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne. The food menu features a selection of delicious sweet and savoury treats, including dainty sandwiches, fluffy scones and chef-baked mini cakes. If you’re looking for something a little different then you can also choose to try the new Chocolate High Tea.

Chocolate High Tea at The Westin

Fleur

Set within The Royal Hotel’s Fleur restaurant, this high tea is a completely indulgent experience. The restaurant’s modern gastronomic take on the tradition is guaranteed to delight. Start with a glass of prosecco on arrival before enjoying the multiple courses of sweet and savoury treats accompanied by your choice of bubbles or a special handcrafted cocktail.

Image: High tea at Fleur

High tea, not your style? Check out the best bottomless brunches and degustations in Perth.

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