JDG: High Tea is the current ‘it girl’ around town. Why the rise in interest?
MH: I think the beauty of High Tea is that it’s a chance to get out that beautiful dress, gloves and handbag that you bought for a special occasion. It’s a chance to get dressed up and it’s cross generational – what do you do with your mother or grandmother for her birthday or mother’s day? It’s something we all love doing, and it can also be a good, non-alcoholic afternoon out with the girls.
Two years ago it was all about cupcakes, this year it’s all about High Tea.
The trend I’ve seen is that it’s not just hotels offering High Tea. It’s also the quirky, independent venues, the bars and little cafes reinterpreting traditional High Tea, or specialised patisseries doing weekend events. I think that’s really where it’s growing, with the non-hotel venues.
Who’s looking up High Tea?
People usually find me because they have a special event on and they specifically want High Tea. It’s about looking for an experience. It’s about the day, and it’s about the event and I love the fact that women go to a lot of trouble to get dressed up; and it is usually women. It’s women’s business.
What’s your favourite venue?
That’s hard, but I would have to say Parliament House, the Strangers Corridor. In some ways it’s one of the most traditional. You have to book and you are escorted by security through Parliament. Members of the public are only permitted on certain weeks of the year.
What’s your best tip to really enjoy the day?
Do your research. People talk about going to High Tea and there is a lot of comment on Facebook and Twitter. Google where you’re going, just to be certain it’s what you’re after. And make sure you get dressed up and take pictures.
Where to try:
The Hotel Windsor for a classic High Tea
100 Spring Street, Melbourne
The Strangers Corridor, Parliament House opens its doors to the public on days that parliament is not sitting. This venue takes you back in time and is a very traditional experience.
1 Spring Street, Melbourne
Madame Brussels hosts a seasonal garden party on the roof terrace over looking Bourke Street. Ideal for large groups and parties.
59 Bourke Street, Melbourne
For a comprehensive list of places to try around Melbourne, visit High Tea Society www.highteasociety.com.au