Afternoon Tea In Melbourne
Afternoon tea at The Hotel Windsor is a quintessential Melbourne experience, steeped in tradition. Our hotel has proudly served over two million guests since 1883.
Indulge in the best selection of finger sandwiches, savoury canapés, exquisite French pastries, and freshly baked scones, served on an elegant three-tiered stand at the hotel’s One Eleven Spring St restaurant. Complement your food with a glass of French sparkling wine served on arrival, and choose from a wide range of freshly brewed specialty teas throughout the session.
On weekends, an indulgent dessert buffet is laid out as well, including an irresistible chocolate fountain. Afternoon tea at Australia’s Hotel Windsor is a uniquely grand occasion.
For two weeks this February, our iconic afternoon tea will celebrate Chinese New Year by incorporating classic Asian ingredients, with pastries featuring kumquat, lychee and peach and dim sum inspired savouries, set to create a delicious spread.
The hotel has been serving its lauded afternoon teas since 1883, traditionally serving up favourites such as French pastries, finger sandwiches and freshly baked scones, and this is the first time executive chef Joel Anderson will be creating an Asian interpretation of the classic offering.
The Chinese New Year inspired afternoon tea will be available from the 8th to 22nd February. Please click here to view the menu.
HISTORY OF AFTERNOON TEA
The origins of Afternoon Tea, as we know it today, reveal a fascinating mixture of historical and cultural influences. The practice of having afternoon tea is now far more diverse and prevalent than in the past, when it was reserved purely for royalty and the aristocracy. Afternoon Tea is now enjoyed everyday around the world by millions, yet a setting as appropriate as Melbourne’s famous Hotel Windsor would be hard to find.
The simple ‘cuppa’ has a far-from-simple history. Tea gained popularity with nobility in Britain after the tea trade took off in the 1670s with the advent of the British East India Company. A century later tea arrived in Australia with the First Fleet in 1788, and having ‘Tea’ in the new colony represented a time for social interaction and friendship rather than the more class-focussed rituals of the UK.
Afternoon Tea itself came about around the time that gas lighting was introduced in the 1800s in Britain. This meant people were able to stay up later into the night, and therefore sought to eat their evening meal later too. This shift left a large, foodless gap in the day.
Legend has it that in 1840 Anna, the Seventh Duchess of Bedford (one of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting), began to request tea and a small meal of bread and butter, cakes and biscuits in the afternoon to tide her over until dinner. Her innovative (and somewhat indulgent) habit became a highly social occasion, with friends coming to share the hot beverages, delicate snacks and convivial conversation. By 1880, the trend took off and afternoon tea spread to the homes of the upper classes with teashops later springing up across the country.
The name ‘High Tea’ actually refers to a similar practice adopted by the working classes midway through the Industrial Revolution. It involved a heavier meal served with tea at 5.00 pm, upon returning home from work. As it was served at high tables it became known as “high tea”, whereas the more sophisticated afternoon tea was technically named ‘low tea’ in reference to the low drawing room tables that the upper classes would sit around to carry out the ritual.
Afternoon Tea Etiquette
CELEBRATING 130 YEARS & BEYOND OF AFTERNOON TEA
Please click here to view The Hotel Windsor's guide to etiquette and history of Afternoon Tea. Includes tips on “tier panic”, how to hold a tea cup and where to place a napkin on the table.
Windsor Tea For Home
The Hotel Windsor offers and exclusive range of tea blends, perfect for a gift or to enjoy at home.
MORNING TEA BLEND:
Packed exclusively for the Hotel Windsor and regarded as the “Burgundy of Tea”, this robust and smooth bodies black tea is characterised by a pronounced rich and malty aroma and earthy sweetness. Ideally suited to mornings.
AFTERNOON TEA BLEND:
Packed exclusively for the Hotel Windsor, this full bodies black tea is characterised by a hint of floral sweetness & a smooth finish. This tea helped make the Hotel Windsor the most famous and awarded Afternoon Tea venue in Australia. Ideally suited for the afternoon.
PURE PEPPERMINT TEA:
Packed exclusively for the Hotel Windsor, this delightfully refreshing tea captures the taste and aroma of pure peppermint due to its medicinal properties. It is often used as a digestive aid and is excellent for relieving fatigue.
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Monday-Tuesday: 12 noon
Wednesday-Friday: 12 noon & 2:30pm
$69 per adult, children aged 3-6 years $25, aged 7-12 years $40
Saturday-Sunday: 12 noon & 3:00pm
(includes an indulgent dessert buffet)
$89 per adult, children aged 3-6 years $30, aged 7-12 years $50