High Tea Melbourne - How To Make the Most of the Experience

How to Get the Most Out Of Your High Tea Experience in Melbourne


High Tea has become a favoured institution in Melbourne, capturing the essence of refined elegance and offering a delightful way to celebrate special occasions or indulge in quality time with loved ones. With its origins in the English ‘afternoon tea’ tradition, high tea has evolved into a sophisticated affair, and Melbourne has embraced it wholeheartedly. 

So, what is a high tea? Aside from being a deliciously pampering experience for all ages, high tea is a renowned culinary experience. A tiered stand filled with delectable mini sweets and savouries will be dished up alongside an extensive tea menu, and each flavour is designed to complement the others with artful perfection.

At InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, we take pride in offering a truly decadent High Tea and High Coffee experience. Immerse yourself in the elegant ambience of our 1890s heritage hotel as you indulge in a delightful selection of sweet and savoury bites. High Tea is served beneath the sparkling glass ceiling of our Atrium, adding an extra layer of indulgence to this much-loved Melbourne experience.

For coffee enthusiasts, our High Coffee highlights Melbourne’s renowned coffee culture, with an espresso martini to kickstart your journey. 

To help you make the most of your visit, we’ve compiled some top tips on elevating your experience of the best high tea in Melbourne.

1. What to wear to high tea

High tea provides a wonderful opportunity to enjoy tea and delectable treats in the company of friends. While there isn’t a strict dress code, it’s best to dress respectfully and in line with the event’s refined atmosphere. 

Women may opt for a pretty sundress or a stylish skirt and blouse ensemble, while men can choose slacks and a button-down shirt. Embrace the occasion by selecting attire that exudes elegance and sophistication, avoiding anything too casual or sloppy. 

Showcasing your best manners and immersing yourself in the finer things in life is the essence of high tea. So, slip into your chicest cocktail dress or don a well-tailored dinner jacket to set the mood of luxury and sophistication.

Immerse Yourself in Tradition

During the Victorian era, which spanned from the mid-19th to the early 20th century, strict social codes and etiquette governed high tea gatherings. These events were considered formal affairs, requiring guests to adhere to specific rules of behavior and dress. Manners and decorum played a significant role in these gatherings, as individuals sought to showcase their refinement and social standing.

When it comes to historic clothing for high tea, the Victorian era saw women donning elegant afternoon dresses or gowns, often accompanied by gloves, hats, and dainty accessories. The attire was expected to be modest and appropriate for the occasion, reflecting the sophisticated and refined atmosphere of high tea. Men typically wore formal suits or jackets paired with ties or cravats, adding a touch of elegance to the affair.

As high tea in Melbourne has become a popular social activity, there is an appreciation for both traditional and contemporary approaches to manners and clothing.

Today, dress codes are not strictly enforced (depending on your high tea venue), but dressing to the nines is all part of the enticing fun of the quintessential high tea Melbourne experience. The key is to strike a balance between comfort and elegance, and above all, to focus on enjoying the experience and embracing the conviviality of the gathering.

Guests perusing the High Tea Melbourne menu

2. Arrive Hungry

Everything tastes better when you’re hungry, and that’s all the more reason to leave plenty of room for our exquisite high tea in Melbourne. Prepare your taste buds for a delectable culinary journey featuring homemade scones, mini beef wellingtons, and a chocolate fountain that will tempt your senses. 

It’s advisable to avoid eating a heavy lunch before your high tea experience, as hunger enhances the flavours and heightens the enjoyment. Remember, it’s the anticipation of these tantalising delicacies that adds an extra dash of delight to your experience. So, arrive with a healthy appetite, ready to savour every delectable bite.

3. Give Yourself Time

High Tea or High Coffee is an experience to be savoured, not rushed. Allow yourself ample time to fully immerse in the atmosphere, relish the delectable treats, and engage in delightful conversations with your companions.

Avoid the rush and enjoy the luxury of time, ensuring that your afternoon is a leisurely affair filled with culinary delights, soothing teas, and the warmth of cherished company.

Getting Here

If you’re staying with us at InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, simply wander down to the Atrium for your High Tea reservation. Our staff will be ready and waiting to assist you.

Arriving from elsewhere in the city or beyond? Getting to our luxury hotel is easy. Located on prestigious Collins Street, our heritage building is easily accessed by car or by the extensive tram network throughout Melbourne. Other public transport options include trains or buses.

If you have any queries about getting to us, or how long you should allow for transport, simply contact our friendly concierge team on 03 8627 1400 for assistance.

4. Snap Happy

We love seeing the beautiful moments captured during our High Tea and High Coffee experiences. Feel free to take photos and share them on social media, tagging us @intercontinental_melbourne on Instagram and InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto on Facebook

We may even repost some of our favourites to spread the joy of high tea with a wider audience. So bring along your phone or camera and get snap happy during the best high tea Melbourne has to offer.

High Coffee at InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto

Savour the Flavours of High Tea in Melbourne

The High Tea menu at Alluvial Restaurant is complemented by an extensive selection of exquisite teas, allowing you to explore a world of flavours and aromas. From fragrant herbal blends to classic black teas and unique specialty infusions, each sip will transport you to a realm of pure bliss.

For those who appreciate Melbourne’s coffee culture, the High Coffee experience offers the perfect blend of coffee indulgence, with an espresso martini greeting you upon arrival, followed by an array of coffee-infused delights.

To ensure a truly immersive experience, our attentive and knowledgeable staff are on hand to guide you through the menu, assisting in selecting the perfect tea or coffee pairing for your palate. Their passion for hospitality and dedication to providing exceptional service will elevate your high tea experience to new heights of luxury.

The Best Luxurious High Tea in Melbourne

For the ultimate high tea experience, Alluvial Restaurant beckons. Nestled beneath the stunning light-filled glass atrium of our hotel, Alluvial is the epitome of luxury and relaxation. Offering both High Tea and High Coffee experiences every weekend at 2.30pm, it serves as the perfect haven to gather with friends, creating lasting memories over delectable treats and exquisite beverages.

As you relax and indulge in the elegant surroundings of Alluvial, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of refined tastes and textures, surrounded by the laughter and joy of fellow guests. The ambience, the delectable treats, and the impeccable service all combine to create an unforgettable high tea experience that will leave you with cherished memories.

To embark on this luxurious high tea journey, we invite you to book your experience at Alluvial Restaurant. Discover the best high tea in Melbourne, where every detail is thoughtfully curated to ensure a refined and elegant experience that surpasses all expectations.

Indulge in the sophistication and opulence of Melbourne’s high tea scene. Immerse yourself in the tradition, flavours, and charm of this beloved pastime, and create memories that will linger long after the last sip of tea is savoured. 

We look forward to welcoming you to the world of high tea at InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, where luxury and refinement are elevated to an art form.


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