The credit of inventing High Tea is given to Anna Maria Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who started the tradition around 1840.
In those days, it was customary in royal households to serve lunch at noon while dinner was not served until 8 o’clock. The Duchess however – who had quite an appetite – would order a tray of tea, sandwiches and cake to her room around 4 o’clock.
This habit soon turned into a social gathering as she started inviting her friends to join her for High Tea. By the 1880s, High Tea had become an essential fashion statement for upper-class ladies, who would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for the get-together – usually hosted in elegant tea rooms.
The British took the tradition of High Tea with them to the colonies. Lady Hopetoun, the wife of the first Governor of Victoria, is credited with opening Australia’s first tea rooms in 1892 – in the premises of the Young Working Ladies Club in Melbourne’s Block Arcade. Appropriately named Hopetoun Tea Rooms, they continued to operate uninterrupted even during two World Wars. Today Hopetoun Tea Rooms is synonymous with the best High Tea in the country.
At Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, we too take pride in the quality of our High Tea in No35 Restaurant. Served on a traditional three-tiered stand, our sumptuous High Tea features delicate finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and a selection of homemade desserts. High Tea is accompanied by a glass of sparkling wine and your choice of unlimited tea from our extensive selection, or espresso coffee.
Not only do we pride ourselves on serving one the finest High Teas in Melbourne, we also lay claim to the city’s Highest High Tea. Be impressed by sweeping views across the city and Port Phillip Bay as you treat yourself to our unforgettable delights. Délicieux!
Join us for High Tea at No35
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