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Canberra’s Best High Teas

Belladonna Took

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” Henry James, Portrait of a Lady

High tea is certainly one of the more agreeable and elegant pleasures of life. I can’t think of anything more elegant or agreeable than sitting on a sumptuous lounge with one’s friends, sipping tea in porcelain cups, and feasting on dainty pastries and cakes, petit fours, and tiny sandwiches arranged ever so delicately on three-tiered stands.

Fortunately here in ACT, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to high tea destinations. Here’s my round up of the best high tea spots in and around Canberra.

High Tea on the Burbury Roof Top Terrace

Perched on the rooftop of the award winning Burbury Hotel, this terrace overlooking the city, lake and leafy Barton boasts one of Canberra’s most exclusive high teas. Enjoy a selection of finely made French cakes and tarts, delicate savouries and traditional scones, accompanied with TWG fine teas and freshly brewed coffee.


Read the full review here.

Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House (MoADOPH)

Old Parliament House has now become the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoADOPH) and you can enjoy a truly elegant high tea in this precious, heritage-listed place of our nation’s political history.

High tea at MoADOPH is a very welcome addition to the high tea scene in Canberra. Upon visiting, my friends and I were treated to tea, coffee, warm and friendly table service, and a delightful three-tiered platter filled with freshly baked scones, a gorgeously scrumptious selection of sweets including lemon raspberry tartlets, marshmallows, and macaroons, and a delicious selection of finger sandwiches.

Celebrate Mother’s Day in style with a traditional high tea at the iconic Old Parliament House. Surprise mum with this one a year treat, including the spectacularly themed Members Dining Room and live jazz band.

$49 per person, weekends only. To make a booking phone 1300 870 433 or email MoADOPH.

OPH High Tea

High Tea at Old Parliament House is always a classy affair.

An Adore High Tea

Adore Tea is a true destination for tea lovers, and a high tea here is an absolutely delightful ‘tea-gustation’! With its superb teas, scrumptious treats, fine crockery, and personal table service, an Adore Tea high tea is a very worthwhile indulgence. Adore Tea offers a rotating high tea menu, each comprised of four ‘services’ (traditional, savoury, sweet, and final), and accompanied by a matching tea.

High tea costs $48 per person and sittings at both 11.30am and 2pm on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 May. Guests with special dietary requirements can be catered for, however please let staff know in advance and upon booking. To make a booking phone (02) 6230 9962.

You can find Adore Tea located in the Gold Creek Village at Shop 6, Federation Square One, 18 O’Hanlon Place, Nicholls.

An Adore High Tea, Gold Creek

An Adore High Tea, Gold Creek

A very sweet High Tea affair at Cafe Societea, Griffith

Café Societea is a small, quaint, family-run café tucked in the Griffith shops. High tea here is a treat—each guest receives their very own three tiered stand! The food is fresh and homemade (with gluten-free options available), and beautifully presented, with rose petals adding an elegant touch.

Food is served on gorgeous Shelley and Royal Doulton fine bone china, and the table service is outstanding.  The cafe owners themselves, will welcome you warmly and ensure that you’re comfortable and well fed. Available this Saturday 9 May, high tea at this little treasure has become quite popular so make sure to book well in advance.

High tea costs $45 per person and includes unlimited tea and coffee. Cafe Societea is located at the Griffith Shops, 12 Barker Street, Griffith. To make a booking phone 0413 015 639 or 0413 761 758.

A very sweet Cafe Societea

A very sweet affair…at Cafe Societea

High Tea at Ricardo’s Cafe, Jamison Plaza

Ricardo’s is an award-winning cafe in Macquarie, famous for its scrumptiously gorgeous patisserie.  A high tea here is a very sweet and decadent affair. The luscious, mouth-watering mousses, slices, macaroons and cheesecakes are all handmade on the premises by Ricardo’s trained team of pastry chefs.

High tea at Ricardo’s starts at $35 per person and includes tea or coffee and personal table service. Those with special dietary requirements (gluten-free, vegetarian) can also be catered for. High tea is available Saturday 9 May. Bookings are essential and can be made online or phone (02) 6251 2666. Ricardo’s is located at Jamison Plaza, Bowman Street, Macquarie.

High Tea at the Hyatt


Afternoon tea at the Hyatt is something of a Canberra tradition. High tea is served in the Tea Lounge with its sumptuous 1920s art deco furniture and plush sofas. You receive a glass of sparkling, and tea and coffee on arrival. And then when you’re ready, you head off to the buffet with its delicious array of sweets and savouries. For those with special dietary requirements, gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan alternatives are available.

Personally I’m not a huge fan of the expensive, all you can eat buffet style of high tea that seems to be a common feature in many hotels. But this is the Hyatt, and it’s Canberra’s only heritage-listed five star hotel. And it’s a Canberra tradition, after all, so it’s fun to frock up and indulge in an afternoon tea here with the girls.

Afternoon tea is available at 2.30pm on Fridays, and at 11.30am and 2.30pm on Saturday and Sunday. Cost is $55 per person. The Hyatt is located at 120 Commonwealth Avenue, Canberra. Ph:  6269 8815.

Belladonna Took

Belladonna Took is a former Sydney girl, community development worker and primary school teacher who arrived in Canberra in 2010 to begin her newly married life and her dream job: writing. When she’s suffering writers’ block, she has plenty of things to keep her busy such as books, high teas, Downton Abbey, friends, family, the husband, fur babies, and coffee. Belladonna loves Canberra and has even begun to identify herself as a Canberran! More about the Author