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. There are more than 40 high tea options listed around New Zealand, please note that unless otherwise stated, the price (subject to change) is per person, do book in advance. If you have any comments or suggestions of venues to add, feel free to contact me or post your comments below.
It's 2020 and it's been a while between high teas but this guide is still very popular so an update was in order. Trip Advisor and Zomato may be able to help if you're looking for high tea reviews. (Updated March 2020)
What's New? Regent of Rotorua, Rotorua CBD; Penny Black Victorian Tearooms, Christchuch, and new Auckland options.
Hotel DeBrett, 2 High Street, city
Roaring 20's High Tea is on the menu at Hotel DeBrett every Saturday and Sunday from 1-4pm, $55pp includes an 'Easy Street' cocktail on arrival.
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour, 21 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, city
Sofitel Auckland offer high tea every day from 12pm-3pm, choose a traditional afternoon tea from $45pp, or the Champagne option from $59pp.
Heritage Auckland, 35 Hobson Street, city
High tea at Heritage Auckland is served every day in Hectors Restaurant between 12 noon and 4pm, from $45 (there's also a vegan high tea option from $45). Select your choice of tea from the tea menu that includes unusual flavours like white peach, decaf hot cinnamon and pomegranate oolong.
Wintergarden Cafe, Kiosk Road, Auckland Domain
Have High Tea at The Pavilion on the first and third weekends of the month between 10.30am and 3pm, $39pp or $48 with a glass of bubbles. Bookings are required with a minimum of two days notice and a deposit is payable.
Eden Garden, 24 Omana Avenue, Epsom
Three days advance notice is required for high tea at Eden Garden. High tea is served every day from 10.30am - 2.30pm, $45 including garden entry. The gluten free or vegetarian option is $50 including garden entry.
Cornwall Park Bistro, Michael Horton Drive, Cornwall Park, Epsom
High tea at Cornwall Park Bistro is offered 7 days a week and costs either $49 or $59 including a flute of NV Cloudy Bay Pelorus. A deposit of $20pp is required to secure a reservation.
Alberton, 100 Mount Albert Road, Mount Albert
Alberton is a historic mansion dating back to 1863. Regular high tea isn't offered but tea parties may be held as part of the annual Auckland Heritage Festival. Alberton is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10.30am - 4.30pm, it can be booked for weddings and special occasions.
Peace and Plenty Inn, 6 Flagstaff Terrace, Devonport
Peace and Plenty Inn hosts Victorian High Tea on Saturday and Sunday between 12 noon - 4pm, $45 including a glass of bubbles. 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.
High Tea at the Victorian Room by Jill Jones-Evans and Joe Gambacorta explains the traditions behind high tea and includes over 100 recipes.
Fisher House, 117 Kerwyn Avenue, Highbrook
High Tea, Royal High Tea and Majestic High Tea are your choices at Fisher House, from $29. Kids High Tea is also offered from $14.50.
Zealong Tea Estate, 495 Gordonton Road
Signature High Tea and Sparkling High Tea are options at Zealong Tea Estate, from $49. High tea includes your choice of one of five Zealong teas grown onsite at New Zealand's only tea plantation. It's a high tea experience we recommend - High Tea at Zealong Tea Estate via thecuriouskiwi/blog.
High Tea in Tauranga
Trinity Wharf, 51 Dive Crescent
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 (now $30pp) 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.
High tea in Taupo - Enjoy a Timeless High Tea, Bubbly High Tea or Mar-tea-ni High Tea at Bistro Lago at The Hilton, from $39.
High Tea in Whakapapa Village
Chateau Tongariro Hotel, State Highway 48, Whakapapa Village
Have high tea with a view at the grand old Chateau Tongariro Hotel. We think it's worth the detour for high tea if you're travelling through the central North Island, see High Tea at Chateau Tongariro via thecuriouskiwi/blog.
The County Hotel in Napier hosts special event Premier High Tea.
Port'O'Call, 9 Nelson Quay, Ahuriri, Napier
Port'O'Call is half design store, half cafe. Devonshire cream tea ($9.90) is on the menu and 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.
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Solway Park, High Street, Masterton
High tea is served in The Grill, choose Traditional High Tea or Bubbly High Tea, available daily from 2pm - 5pm, from $21.50. High tea for children is also available, from $11 (3-10 years), children must be accompanied by an adult (minimum two adults and two children).
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
Visit the website to check for special high tea events like Mad Hatters High Tea.
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
Warwick House is a B&B that also offers high tea for groups of 15 or more, high tea is served in the ball room (photos below).
High Tea for two at the Crowne Plaza, 764 Colombo Street is $64, add a glass of bubbly for $10pp.
Want to host your own tea party? The China Cabinet in Christchurch can supply you with the pretty things you need.
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
High Tea in Dunedin
Larnach Castle, 145 Camp Road, Otago Peninsula
The Ballroom Cafe is the venue for high tea at Larnach Castle. Note that you need to pay an entry fee for either the Castle, Gardens & Grounds and high tea ($64), or Gardens and Grounds only with high tea ($47).
Comments to date: 19. Page 1 of 1.
The best high tea i’ve Found in Christchurch is The Store -Tai Tapu absolutely amazing food great setting and service and the gluten free one was excellent too.
I just wanted to say thank you so much for putting this together!! It saves me a great deal of time on research for putting on my tea party. Blessings!
Thanks Kelda, they've got an informative and attractive website too, I've added a link in the Dunedin section.
Great list! Just missing Tasse Cafe in Dunedin. Best high tea I've experienced (except for Savoy) in London!)
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.
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
Love your site but can't post urls here, check out Louis Sergeant on Featherston Sy Wellington for French high teas
Thank you for including All About T :)
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.
You're welcome Christina, I have sent you an email.
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.
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 »
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
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.