The Hotel Windsor - Afternoon Tea Melbourne

Afternoon Tea

The Hotel Windsor in Melbourne has been serving traditional afternoon tea since 1883.

Our 5 star hotel in Melbourne serves its famous afternoon tea to your table on a three-tiered silver stand and consists of exquisite French pastries and finger sandwiches. Freshly baked scones are served warm to you during Afternoon Tea with jam, lemon curd and  double cream.

Upon arrival at The Hotel Windsor in Melbourne, you will receive a glass of French sparkling wine, whilst freshly brewed speciality teas and coffee are brought to your table throughout the afternoon.

On weekends, guests enjoy an indulgent dessert buffet and chocolate fountain.

Vegetarian and gluten free options can be catered for at no extra cost, please advise any dietary requirements at the time of booking.

Tea Sittings:

Monday-Tuesday: 12 noon | $69 per person, children aged 3-6 years $25, aged 7-12 years $40

Wednesday-Friday: 12 noon & 2:30pm | $69 per person, children aged 3-6 years $25, aged 7-12 years $40

Saturday-Sunday: 12 noon & 2:30pm | $89 per person (includes an indulgent dessert buffet) children aged 3-6 years $30, aged 7-12 years $50

Reservations are essential.

To make a reservation, please telephone (+61 3)  9633 6004 or email reservations@thw.com.au

Alternatively, to make an instant booking online click on the "make a booking" tab.

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.

Please visit our online gift shop

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.

The Hotel Windsor Melbourne history

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.


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