Buvette Masthead

Parliament House shows off its sweet side

Laura Peppas

It may be best known for bickering politicians, but this Spring, Parliament House is showing off a sweeter side.

In October, the venue will run two Spring teas to celebrate Floriade, allowing guests to enjoy delicacies and a glass of sparkling in one of the beautiful hidden courtyards.

Sous Chef Charles Graham says the events offer an opportunity for people to see “another side” of Parliament House.

“The only outlet usually open to the public at Parliament House is the Terrace Cafe, so when events like this come around, it’s a privilege for people to come and see the private areas they may not usually have access to,” he says.

“It’s a great venue for a Spring tea, and what you see is not always what you get.”

This writer was lucky enough to taste test the spring-themed high tea, and can confirm it certainly satisfied the sweet tooth; with offerings including smoked salmon sliders, salted caramel meringue kisses, chocolate mushroom umbrella fruit tart and strawberry and raspberry creme brûlée. Pleasingly, there were also plenty of gluten free options.

Spring tea2

A sample of some of the sweet treats on offer. Image David Foote-AUSPIC/DPS

The venue says changes were made to cater for people with dietary requirements.

“We’re trying to cater for a broader range of guests without having to bring out a special plate for people with dietary requirements, so they don’t feel alienated,” says Charles.

“We wanted to incorporate Spring in the flavours, so it’s very classic with a modern twist.”

Charles says the popularity of high tea has soared over the last few years in Canberra.

Salmon sliders. cot ball and chocolate fudge cake. Image David Foote-AUSPIC/DPS

Smoked salmon sliders. Image David Foote-AUSPIC/DPS

“I think the popularity of high teas has certainly grown because it’s something everyone can enjoy, and with Floriade it’s a great combination,” he says.

“The food itself is a reflection of what we do here, combined with the freshness and the visual appeal of the products.”

To celebrate spring, Parliament House is offering a special program of events which include courtyard and garden tours and an exhibition. More information is available here.


Want to win a double pass to the Parliament House spring tea on Saturday, 3 October? Simply send an email to [email protected] and tell us what your favourite sweet indulgence is and why in 50 words or less. Competition closes by 5pm on 30 September.

the essentials
What: Spring Tea at Parliament House
When: Saturday 3 October and Saturday 10 October*, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
How much: $55
Web: canberraticketing.com.au or ph 6275 2700. A fee of $3.30 applies to each transaction.

*Please note the 10 October event is now sold out as of 25 September, but you can still get tickets for the 3 October event. 

Feature image: David Foote-AUSPIC/DPS


Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra's senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra's wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she's not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea. More about the Author