thecuriouskiwi

High Tea


Along with two Kiwi girls I enjoyed a memorable afternoon tea at The Savoy Hotel in London in the 1990's. The Savoy reopened on 10 October 2010 after a £220,000,000 makeover. Hotels might not be so grand in New Zealand but there are some lovely venues where you can experience the long tradition of high tea. Please note that unless otherwise stated, the price (subject to change) is per person, do book in advance. If you have any comments about high tea options listed, or suggestions of options to add, feel free to contact me or post your comments below. (Updated August 2014)

High Tea
High tea
Low Tea, Prohibition, Auckland

PS. Neither my waist line nor my wallet could handle sampling high tea at all of the venues listed. If there is a photograph of treats, I've dined, if there is a photograph of the venue, I've passed by. I've found a few high tea reviews on Trip Advisor, another review site is Zomato (formerly MenuMania). It was my intention to provide information only, however sometimes I have veered into review territory when I thought an experience warranted it.


What's New? High tea at Zealong Tea Estate; Tasse Cafe in Dunedin; High tea at Trinity Wharf, Tauranga;

North Island


Auckland

Stamford Plaza, 22 - 26 Albert Street, city
High tea is served every day at Stamford Plaza between 11.30am and 4pm, $39pp or $45 with a cocktail.


The Langham Hotel, 83 Symonds Street, city
The Langham Hotel serve Afternoon Tea (from $54) in Palm Court, note that prices increase by $5pp in the weekend. See beautiful photos of Afternoon Tea at The Langham courtesy of High Tea Honeys.


Sky City, corner of Victoria and Federal Streets, city
High tea is served in the revolving restaurant Orbit on Saturday and Sunday, 2.30pm - 4.30pm (car parking and entry to the observation deck of the Sky Tower is included). The view is sure to please.

 
View from Orbit
View to Rangitoto from Orbit

Hotel DeBrett, 2 High Street, city
Weekend high tea is served at Hotel DeBrett every Saturday and Sunday from 3-5pm, $55pp includes a glass of Cloudy Bay Pelorus NV. (Take a look inside a Classic Room at Hotel DeBrett via thecuriouskiwi/blog).


Sofitel Viaduct Harbour, 21 Viaduct Harbour Avenue
www.sofitel-auckland.com
Sofitel describe their afternoon tea as a 'tantalising tour de force'. A Trip Advisor reviewer says '....it was just as good as The Ritz in Paris, infact better!' Afternoon tea is served from 12pm-4pm, bookings are essential and require 24 hours notice, minimum two.


Heritage Auckland, 35 Hobson Street, city
High tea at Heritage Auckland is served every day in Hectors Restaurant between 11.30am and 4.30pm, from $39 (there's also a vegan high tea option from $32). Select your choice of tea from the tea menu that includes unusual flavours like white peach, decaf hot cinnamon and pomegranate oolong. Twenty five food items were presented on a three tier stand, including lamingtons, chocolate coated strawberries and mini chocolate eclairs.

 
Heritage Hotel Restaurant
Heritage High Tea
Heritage High Tea

My pick of the plates was the mini lemon curd and fruit tart. Hectors Restaurant is less formal than I expected, it's relaxed and the atrium setting means its naturally lit and feels warm and spacious. (Photos taken at high tea in September 2012)


Cup & Saucer  All About T, The Vintage Table and Glamour & Grace organise tea parties in your home or venue in Auckland.


Phoenix Tree, 354 Remuera Road, Remuera
www.phoenixtree.co.nz
If you're after something a little different on your high tea menu, Phoenix Tree in Remuera do an Asian High Tea, $56 for two.


The Library Cafe, 55 Princes Street, Onehunga
www.librarycafe.co.nz
The Library Cafe will appeal to book lovers as the building was originally a Carnegie Free Library and it has retained a separate Reading Room with shelves full of books. I revisited the cafe in July 2014 and it's been spruced up and is looking quite grand. It no longer has the very child friendly space it once did but this has made way for more seating beneath the beautifully carved ceilings and chandeliers. High tea is served in the Reading Room, although the website states from $20, it was advertised in the cafe at $29pp when I visited.

Library Cafe
Library Cafe
Library Cafe

Alberton, 100 Mount Albert Road, Mount Albert
www.historicplaces.org.nz
Alberton is a historic mansion dating back to 1863. Regular high tea isn't offered but tea parties are returning in February and March 2015. I visited Alberton during the Auckland Heritage Festival and was lucky enough to enjoy a Devonshire tea. Alberton is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10.30am - 4.30pm, it can be booked for weddings and special occasions.

Alberton
Heritage Festival Devonshire Tea
Alberton

Cup & Saucer  Bluebells Cakery can cater for your next tea party.

Peace and Plenty Inn

Peace and Plenty Inn, 6 Flagstaff Terrace, Devonport
www.peaceandplenty.co.nz
Peace and Plenty Inn hosts Victorian High Tea, $45 adults, children under 10 $20. Fine china, vintage tablecloths and elegant silverware complement the 1880 heritage Victorian villa. Victorian dress is optional, hats welcome or you may like to choose one from Peace & Plenty's collection. Children's Victorian High Tea Parties are also offered, from $30 including photograph.


The Brigham Cafe, corner Brighams Creek & Sinton Road, Whenuapai
Quiche, savouries and bite size sweet treats are on the high tea menu, from $25.


Cup & Saucer   High tea and Devonshire tea are often offered as part of the Auckland Heritage Festival that takes place every year during September/October.


Auckland's Waitakere Estate, 573 Scenic Drive, Waiatarua
www.waitakereestate.co.nz
Auckland's Waitakere Estate serves high tea on Saturday and Sunday, midday to 4pm. There is also a high tea package that includes high tea, a three course dinner and accommodation.

Fisher House

Fisher House, 117 Kerwyn Avenue, Highbrook
www.fisherhouse.co.nz
High Tea, Royal Tea and Majestic Tea are your choices at Fisher House (minimum two required for High and Royal Tea, minimum four required for Majestic Tea), from $29.


Hamilton

The Olde Creamery, 317 Kaipaki Road, Ohaupo (12 minutes from Hamilton)
The Olde Creamery is in a rural setting and hosts high tea from $30pp. Bookings for high tea parties for little ladies most welcome, $15 for children under 10. I visited The Olde Creamery for a potted scone with jam and cream, and a pot of tea, I recommend it, particularly on a sunny day when you can sit in the garden. Open 7 days from 10am - 4pm (closed public holidays). (You can stay onsite at Rose Cottage B&B).

The Olde Creamery - potted scone
The Old Creamery - high tea setting

Zealong Tea Estate, 495 Gordonton Road (formerly listed as Camellia Tea House)
www.zealong.com
There are two types of high tea at Zealong Tea Estate - Signature High Tea and Classic High Tea, both $42. Each high tea includes your choice of one of five Zealong teas grown onsite at New Zealand's only tea planation. It's a high tea experience we recommend - High Tea at Zealong Tea Estate via thecuriouskiwi/blog. Zealong Tea Estate is open Tuesday - Sunday, 10am - 5pm. Closed public holidays.

Signature High Tea at Zealong Tea Estate
Zealong Tea Estate
Tea at Zealong Tea Estate

Trinity Wharf High Tea

Tauranga
Trinity Wharf, 51 Dive Crescent
www.trinitywharf.co.nz
Halo Restaurant at Trinity Wharf sits over the sea, so if weather permits it's lovely to dine outside. It was windy during our high tea visit so we sat inside with our three tier tray of treats. The macarons were especially good and we thought at $20pp including hot drinks the high tea was value for money. The restaurant was busy with birthday parties so the staff could have been forgiven for neglecting our table of two, but they returned to top up hot water and were cheerful despite the crowds. High tea is served from 2pm - 5pm, bookings essential.


Rotorua

Distinction Rotorua, 390 Fenton Street
www.distinctionrotorua.co.nz
High tea for two at Distinction Rotorua includes four club sandwiches, two sweet treats, two scones with jam and cream, and two hot drinks, at $12.50pp it's very good value. Sparkling high tea is also an option, $18.50pp. You've got a few choices in terms of seating - inside The Pavilion Restaurant, outside near the swimming pool or fernery. High tea is served daily 10am-4pm.

Pavilion Restaurant
High Tea Treats
Distinction Rotorua

The Princes Gate Hotel, 1057 Arawa Street
www.princesgate.co.nz
The Distinction Hotel chain took over The Princes Gate Hotel on 1 October 2013. High tea is served in Memories Restaurant from $28pp. Check out reviews for the restaurant if you're so inclined, generally high tea has not rated well in the past.

Memories Restaurant
Princes Gate Lounge

Cup & Saucer   The Blue Baths in Rotorua often host afternoon tea on Mothers Day.


Whakapapa Village
Chateau Tongariro Hotel, State Highway 48, Whakapapa Village
www.chateau.co.nz
High tea at the grand old Chateau Tongariro is worth the detour if you're travelling through the central North Island. See High Tea at Chateau Tongariro via thecuriouskiwi/blog.

Chateau Tongariro High Tea
Chateau Tongariro

New Plymouth

Tupare

Tupare, 487 Mangorei Road
www.trc.govt.nz
Tupare is a restored home with a large landscaped garden. High tea is offered as a special event - visit the "Events" section on the website. The garden is open to the public daily from 9am - 5pm (8pm during day light saving), entry is free.

Oruawharo Homestead

Hawkes Bay

Oruawharo Homestead, 379 Oruawharo Road, Takapau
You can take tea at Oruawharo Homestead just like its former owners Sydney and Sophia Johnston would have done in the late 1800's. Take a seat on the verandah, in the garden, the wood panelled dining room or elegant drawing room, there's some good recent reviews for high tea on Trip Advisor. (Oruawharo belongs to the Willing Workers on Organic Farms Association, work involves ongoing restoration of the homestead and grounds).



Cup & Saucer   High Tea at the Victorian Room by Jill Jones-Evans and Joe Gambacorta explains the traditions behind high tea and includes over 100 recipes.


Port'O'Call, 9 Nelson Quay, Ahuriri, Napier
www.portocall.co.nz
Port'O'Call is half design store, half cafe. I had a Devonshire cream tea ($9.90), but high tea and lunch are also on the menu. You can select your own china cup and saucer; and nice napkins, flowers and cute tea cosies make this a port'o'call for those who like something pretty with their tea. Open 7 days.

Port'O'Call
Port'O'Call Devonshire Tea
Port'O'Call

Wairarapa

Grandma's Kitchen


Grandma's Kitchen, 8 Kitchener Street, Martinborough

High tea is served in the tea room at In.gre'di.ent cafe, deli and wine bar on weekends and public holidays only, group bookings at other times by arrangement.


Catherine's Kitchen, 92 Main Street, Greytown
Catherine's Kitchen updates their Facebook page regularly and you can see photos of high tea and other goodies from the kitchen. They offer some good specials too. Open Wednesday - Friday, 10am - 4pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am - 4pm.


Copthorne Hotel and Resort Solway Park, High Street, Masterton
www.millenniumhotels.co.nz
High tea is served in The Grill, choose a traditional, bubbly or a chocoholic high tea, served daily from 2pm - 5pm, from $16.50. High tea for children is also available, from $9.50 (3-10 years), minimum two. Bookings essential.


Paraparaumu Beach
Over the Teacups, 44 Seaview Road
www.mardeen.myob.net
I had to settle for looking through the window of the vintage themed tea and coffee house in Paraparaumu Beach as we were in town out of hours. You can book for high tea ($25pp) or visit anytime for Devonshire tea. High tea includes old fashioned treats like butterfly cakes, pikelets, mini lamingtons and savoury pinwheels. Open Tuesday - Saturday, 9.30am - 3.30pm. (The photo on the left is the cafe interior, adult high tea is on the right in the second photo, and little ladies high tea ($15) is on the left).

Interior of Over the Teacups
Kids high tea on the left, Adults high tea on the right

Wellington

Martha's Pantry, 276 Cuba Street
www.marthaspantry.co.nz
I'm a fan of pretty in pink Martha's Pantry, I've been to Martha's for morning tea a few times and enjoyed tea in a china cup with scones, jam and cream. High tea for adults is served from $30 and children's high tea from $20. Special dietary requirements like gluten free and vegan are catered for at an extra $5pp.

Martha's Pantry
Martha's Pantry
Martha's Pantry

Cup & Saucer   If you live in Wellington and you're keen on high tea check out High Tea Honeys, they have a meet up group and organise ladylike events.

Logan Brown

Logan Brown, 192 Cuba Street
www.loganbrown.co.nz
High tea is served on Friday and Saturday from 1.30pm. Classic High Tea ($35), Deluxe High Tea ($45), and Premium High Tea ($55) are your options.


Cup & Saucer   Two Wellington recommendations from a site visitor - Louis Sergeant at 146 Featherston Street, and Stonestead Devonshire Tea House, 3 Plateau Road, Upper Hutt. (Thanks Samantha)


Museum Art Hotel, 90 Cable Street
www.museumhotel.co.nz
There are a few high tea choices at Museum Art Hotel including Hip High Tea (includes a cocktail), and Elegant High Tea (includes a glass of bubbly). High tea is served Wednesday - Sunday from 2pm - 4.30pm. (Museum Art Hotel won the NZ section of the Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge 2013 and were Global Champions in 2015).

Hippopotamus Bar
Hippopotamus
Hippopotamus Bar

Cup & Saucer   Ladies, A Plate - Traditional home baking by Alexa Johnston has recipes for popular afternoon tea treats like lamingtons, scones and butterfly cakes.


James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, 147 The Terrace
www.grandchancellorhotels.com
Tempura prawn tails, vegetarian rice paper rolls, and chocolate dipped strawberries are on the high tea menu at James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor. High tea from $26pp.



Sweet Pea High Tea



Sweet Pea, 259 Jackson Street, Petone
Facebook
Sweet Pea serve high tea from Wednesday to Sunday from 10.30am - 3.30pm, priced from $29 for Posh to $49 for Poshest. High tea for children aged 5-12 years is also on the menu ($22), and birthday parties may be catered for by arrangement. Visit Facebook for more information.


South Island

Nelson

Melrose House, 26 Brougham Street
www.melrosecafe.co.nz
Melrose House was built around 1879, in the mid 1940's it was used as a rest home for rural women, a place where they could rest away from the demands of country life. In 1973 the rest home was closed due to high maintenance costs. Thanks to the Melrose Society the interior of the house has been refurbished and maintained, Nelson City Council looks after the exterior of the property and gardens.

Melrose House Devonshire tea
Melrose House
Melrose House

Melrose House operates as a cafe and high tea can be accompanied by French Champagne. Sunday is a special day as antique tea sets decorate the tables. Melrose House is a grand old lady, take tea either inside, on the verandah or on the lawn.


Warwick House, 64 Brougham Street
www.warwickhouse.co.nz
Warwick House is a B&B that also offers high tea for groups of 10 or more, usually a classic pianist can be arranged to play. We stayed at the B&B in November 2011, high tea is served in the ball room (photos below).

Warwick House
Warwick House ball room
Warwick House ball room

Cup & Saucer   Lynley Kayes is a Vintage Hire business in Nelson and it has the accessories you need to make your table beautiful.



Kumara

Theatre Royal Hotel, 81 Seddon Street
www.theatreroyalhotel.co.nz
Theatre Royal Hotel re-opened on 24 November 2012, the 136 year old building was scheduled for demolition a few years ago but a quality and thoughtful refurbishment has returned it to the Victorian era. The hotel has a cafe, bar and accommodation. Check the Events page or see Facebook to see if high tea is on the menu.

Guest dining room - Theatre Royal Hotel
Theatre Royal Hotel
Guest dining room - Theatre Royal Hotel

Christchurch

High tea in Christchurch - Terra Viva in Burnside, Christchurch Casino on Victoria Street in the city, Stellar in Riccarton and She Universe in Governors Bay. Outside the city - Pink Sugar in Oxford and Kaituna Homestead (minimum numbers apply).


Cup & Saucer   At Chillingworth Road Cook School you are shown how to make macarons and pastry cream in a High Tea class, $80pp.


The Tea House, 6 Robert Street, Lincoln
www.theteahouse.co.nz
Fine china and silver tea pots are out every day at The Tea House where you can have Royal High Tea for $27.50pp or Devonshire Tea for $14pp.


Cup & Saucer   Want to host your own tea party? The China Cabinet in Christchurch can supply you with the pretty things you need, and Vintage Tea Party can take care of the catering and provide the china and cutlery.


Ranfurly area

Clachanburn Garden, Patearoa, RD 4, Ranfurly
www.clachanburn.co.nz
Clachanburn garden is endorsed as a Garden of National Significance, the garden can be visited by appointment. Bookings can be made for Devonshire tea, high tea and lunch. (Accommodation is available at Clachanburn Garden Cottage).


Cardrona (Devonshire Tea)

Cardrona Hotel, Crown Range Road, RD 1, Wanaka
www.cardronahotel.co.nz
Cardrona Hotel is one of New Zealand's oldest hotels and it's located 20 minutes from Wanaka, and close to five major ski areas. There is a full menu including substantial scones that come as part of Devonshire tea. Dine in the attractive garden area or by one of the open fires. B&B accommodation is available.

Cardrona Hotel
Cardrona Hotel Devonshire Tea
Cardrona Hotel


Cup & Saucer   There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady


Dunedin

Larnach Castle, 145 Camp Road, Otago Peninsula
www.larnachcastle.co.nz
High tea is served in the Larnach Castle Ballroom Cafe every day, or there's Devonshire tea if you prefer. Note that you are also required to pay either castle and garden entry ($28) or garden only entry ($12.50).

Larnach Castle Ballroom
Larnach Castle Devonshire Tea

Larnach Castle


Cup & Saucer   A website visitor recommends Tasse Cafe in Dunedin for high tea.


Comments to date: 17. Page 1 of 1.

Rachael

Thanks Kelda, they've got an informative and attractive website too, I've added a link in the Dunedin section.

Kelda

Great list! Just missing Tasse Cafe in Dunedin. Best high tea I've experienced (except for Savoy) in London!)

Julia Scanlon

Hi, sorry for not getting back quickly- High tea is actually served early evening- its the evening meal usually for the working class and would comprise either a hot meal followed by cakes, bread and jam, or cold cuts of meat.

Rachael

Hi Julia
I take your point, Sofitel and Camellia Tea House refer to afternoon tea and tiffin respectively, possibly acknowledging the difference. Although it seems high tea and afternoon tea are often used interchangeably, especially outside England.

julia Scanlon

Its afternoon tea, not high tea- high tea is a very different thing. It would be great if these places actually looked into the history behind what they are advertising

Rachael

Hi Wendy
Thanks, I think the inability to post urls is to help stop spam, but urls can be added manually - http://louissergeant.co.nz/

Wendy

Love your site but can't post urls here, check out Louis Sergeant on Featherston Sy Wellington for French high teas

Rachael

Hi Samantha,
You're welcome, it looks like you have lots of fun. Thanks for the recommendations, I had a look at the Louis Sergeant Sweet Couture Facebook page - wow and yum.

Samantha Bovey

Hi Rachael,
Thank you for including the High Tea Honeys here.
A couple of other Wellington places to visit would be Louis Sergeant Sweet Couture, Wellington and Stonestead Devonshire Tea, Upper Hutt. Both magical in their own unique way.

Tonya

Thank you for including All About T :)

Admin:  You're welcome.

Jennifer Sloots

Hi Rachael... You must have been at Tophouse in the last few months, as I only took over the business in october 2012. I recognise the plate and silver holder! Hope ypu enjoyed your experience there.

Admin:  Hi Jennifer, Yes, we visited late November. We really enjoyed ourselves - it was like stepping back in time. I wish I'd written down the name of your staff member, she was so hospitable and made the experience even better. We'll be back one day to have a drink in your little bar. Best wishes for your new venture - TopHouse is a gem. Rachael

Rachael

You're welcome Christina, I have sent you an email.

Christina Windram

Thank you for including Stafford Villa, I found your web site by accident and was very impressed with the selction of high Teas in New Zealand.Please when you are in Auckland come along to a Stafford Villa High Tea we would love to have you.

Rachael

Hi Catherine
Apologies for the delay in responding, thanks for your comments. I sent you an email but it was returned, if you stop by again, feel free to email me so I can re-send the email. Rachael@thecuriouskiwi

Catherine

Hi Im the reviewer you mentioned in your review of Rotorua's Princes Gate, the price came from a public holiday surcharge and I should have said two stands of food, but by the looks of it you had a better day than we did, as we certainly did not get 14 treats and grapes. I also took my husband and son, not a good idea. My objection was that the picture used in their web site was nothing like what was served, to their credit they have since changed this and now an actual picture of their tea app... read more »

Rachael

Thanks Gloria, I've really enjoyed putting the information together and experiencing the different venues and types of high tea offered. Enjoy the tasting trail, a good high tea is a real treat. If you'd like to, feel free to come back and comment on your experiences. Rachael @thecuriouskiwi

Gloria Poupard-Walbridge

What a wonderful selection of places to go - In Auckland alone a great choice! Passionate about high teas, will go on the "Tasting" trail and recommend the experience to everybody.

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