282 Collins Street
Melbourne Vic 3001
Food is such an integral part of the culture in Melbourne and as such there are some foodie experiences that are engrained in our cultural identity. High tea at the iconic Hopetoun Tea Rooms is very much one of these experiences. Located within the historic Block Arcade, Hopetoun have been serving up great quality food in this traditional setting for over 124 years and it’s still as popular now as it was way back when it first opened.
Visit on any day of the week and you’ll be greeted by a queue of people lined up outside the little shop waiting for a table. Bookings can only be made for high tea, however it is so popular that spots book out up to six months in advance (I just checked their calendar and the next available weekend booking is February 2016!). Bookings are not accepted for general dining, so if you’re just after a cake and coffee, the only option is to join the queue out the front of the shop and just hope it moves quickly. The shop window is filled with heaps of amazing cakes, willing diners to endure the long queue time, just to taste some of their sugary goodness.
We were lucky enough to enjoy high tea here for the first time in September (having booked in April!) and it absolutely lived up to all of our expectations. The tea rooms themselves are quite intimate and decorated with this lavish green wallpaper, gold fittings and a huge ornate mirror which create the perfect setting for a traditional English high tea. High tea is served on a traditional three tiered stand and accompanied with your tea selection from their extensive list.
As is tradition, we enjoyed the bottom tier first which was filled with a variety of classic finger sandwiches like salmon and cream cheese, roast beef and mustard, and egg and mayonaise, plus a classic bacon quiche. Although each sandwich was simple and classic, they were all incredibly delicious and clearly filled with quality ingredients. There wasn’t one that I didn’t like, but if I had to pick one I’d have to say my favourite was the roast beef and mustard.
Next up was the middle tier which was filled with a variety of little sweets, including a rich chocolate cheesecake, a raspberry and pistachio cake, macarons, and a passionfruit tar. They were all very rich with intense flavours meaning we were incredibly satisfied by small portions.
The top tier was a mix of seasonal fruit, however as enticing as it looked, we were so full from the bottom two tiers we struggled to get through it.
After a short breather and a second round of tea, scones with cream and jam were delivered to our table. The scones were divine! Although dense, they were still moist and easy to eat, so despite how full we were, the scones didn’t go to waste.
I truely enjoyed our high tea at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms and definitely rate it as one of the best in town. So if you’re turned off by the long wait time, let me assure you, it’s well worth it.