With their drawing rooms and sculleries ringing with history, there’s more to Sydney’s historic houses than just pretty decor.

Taking us inside part of our city’s colonial past, Sydney Living Museums is launching the Colonial High Tea series, set in three historic locations; Elizabeth Bay House, Vaucluse House and The Governor’s Table at The Museum of Sydney. It’s a chance to enjoy tea and cakes in locations that were made for just such pastimes. The Colonial High Tea service runs on weekends from September 6 to October 5, featuring a menu inspired by the collections and stories of the heritage sites. The menu has been crafted by Sydney Living Museums' colonial gastronomer, Jacqui Newling, in conjunction with Marco Adler (executive chef at Fresh Catering), and includes dishes designed to create an authentic taste of the era.

“It’s always exciting to collaborate with Jacqui, whose expertise and deep knowledge of colonial gastronomy adds a great level of authenticity to the dining experience we are creating for our guests,” says Adler. It’s also an extension of the previous high tea presented in 2013 on the verandah and in the Little Drawing Room at Vaucluse House.

“This year, we have taken the concept to a new level, adding Elizabeth Bay House and The Governors Table at the Museum of Sydney, so more Sydneysiders and tourists can enjoy an indulgent high tea and a real taste of the decadent offerings of the era,” says Adler.

The high-tea menu will include dishes such as cauliflower and truffle tart with samphire and parmesan crisp, brioche doughnuts with lemon and lavender sugar and traditional scones with rhubarb jam and vanilla clotted cream. There’s also a glass of Australian sparkling to set the mood and the mandatory tea and coffee. Perhaps it’s time to break out the hatpins and lace gloves.

Colonial High Tea Locations:

Elizabeth Bay house
7 Onslow Avenue
Elizabeth Bay

The Governors Table
Corner Phillip and Bridge Streets

Colonial High Tea every weekend September 6– October 5 sittings 1pm and 3.30pm
Bookings recommended

Vaucluse House
Wentworth Road

Colonial High Tea Every Sunday September 6–October 5 sittings 1pm and 3.30pm
Bookings recommended

$49 per person including tea, coffee, glass of sparkling wine and high tea selection

Bookings: (02) 8399 3055