There’s a (not entirely unfair) association between high tea and snobbery. It doesn’t help that you “take” high tea rather than “have” it. Or that most high tea imagery evokes a kind of pinkie-finger-out ladies-who-lunch set that’s largely irrelevant in contemporary Australia.

But look past that and the fun’s undeniable. High tea is a great excuse to dress up, and it’s a socially acceptable way of eating a meal that is basically cake after cake – with a few savoury interludes.

These venues have the best high tea in Melbourne. Many of them cleverly deconstruct high tea and put their own creative spin on it. But the ones who stay classic do so well, and very extravagantly.

The Conservatory

This opulent tearoom is the perfect setting for an afternoon high tea of scones, finger sandwiches and cakes. It also offers expansive buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Level 1 Crown Towers 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank

The Hotel Windsor

In one of Melbourne's most luxurious settings for high tea, the menu changes seasonally.

111 Spring Street, Melbourne

Hopetoun Tea Rooms

After an expansion in 2015, this 100-plus-year-old tea room now serves over 400 people a day.

Shop 1 & 2 282 Collins Street, Melbourne

Old Man Drew

Take high tea at Miss Violet's tea rooms on Saturdays and Sundays.

359-361 Mount Alexander Road, Ascot Vale

The Tea Room NGV

A classic high tea in the NGV. There's a family-friendly "kids high tea" that will keep everyone happy.

Level 1, National Gallery of Victoria 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Madame Brussels

This "garden party" takes place on a scenic rooftop and comes with a jug of punch if you're after something stronger than tea.

Level 3 59-63 Bourke St, Melbourne

Jardin Tan

This casual Vietnamese eatery in the Botanic Gardens is a great setting for an afternoon tea, at $45 per head (or $44 with a glass of Cuvée sparkling).

Royal Botanic Gardens Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra
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