The Hotel Windsor in Melbourne has been serving traditional afternoon tea since 1883.
Our luxury hotel in Melbourne serves its renowned afternoon tea of freshly baked scones with jam and cream, exquisite pastries and finger sandwiches on tiered silver stands daily.
Upon arrival at The Hotel Windsor Melbourne, enjoy a glass of sparkling wine, whilst afternoon delicacies and unlimited freshly brewed tea and coffee is brought to your table.
Vegetarian and gluten free options can be catered for at no extra cost, please advise any dietary requirements at the time of booking.
Our Luxury Melbourne hotel Afternoon Tea is served in our signature Melbourne hotel restaurant, 111 Spring Street every day of the week.
Please refer to the history below to understand the differences between High Tea in Melbourne and traditional afternoon tea.
Afternoon Tea Sitting Times & Prices
Monday-Friday: various sitting times | $59 per person
Saturday-Sunday: various sitting times | $79 per person (includes an indulgent dessert buffet)
Please contact reservations for more details regarding session times.
Reservations are essential. We recommend at least three to four weeks advance notice for weekend bookings.
To make a reservation, please telephone (+61 3) 9633 6004 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, to make an instant booking online click on the "make a booking" tab.
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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.