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Shifting From Cucumber Sandwiches to Burgers and More: A Guide to Canberra’s New Alternate High Teas

Who said high tea had to consist strictly of cucumber sandwiches and scones with jam and cream?
Well now in the nation’s capital, more and more restaurants are offering their own twist on the traditional offerings of a high tea. Dainty sandwiches are being switched for an array of burgers, sausage rolls, fried chicken and even seafood while the traditional delicate pastries are being adapted to suit a more modern form. Here are some of the most popular alternate high tea’s Canberra has to offer.

Beef and Barley 

Home to the Burger High Tea, Beef and Barley has created a 3 tier feast full of all the pub style crowd favorites. Sandwiches have been swapped for delicious sliders, and are served with a variety of beer battered chips, popcorn chicken, halloumi bites, pickles and more.  Don’t worry, they haven’t forgotten about the desserts either, serving a variety of mini lamingtons, brownies, caramel popcorn as well as macaroons to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

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Book in your Burger High Tea! $40 per person + $20 for bottomless bubbly or draught beer for an hour and a half. Ph.0261993366 📸: @lookingthroughhercloset . // #beefandbarley #canberrabeer #kingstonforeshore #kingston #canberra #canberrafoodies #canberraburgers #canbeer #burgersofcanberra #welovecbr #ilovecanberra #InTheCan #HerCanberra #visitcanberra #outincanberra #eatcanberra #beersofcanberra #burgerporn #burgerhightea #highteacanberra #brodate #canberrabucketlist #thisiscanberra #canberralocal #canberralife

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Included with your meal is a glass of bubbly or draught beer, however, if more than one glass is your style, you can upgrade to bottomless drinks.

The high tea can also be suited to vegetarian, halal and gluten-free diets, so everyone can enjoy what is on offer.

Price: $40 pp /+ $20pp for bottomless bubbly or draught beer
Available: Tuesday – Sunday (Booking Required)
Location: Beef and Barley, Kingston Foreshore

White Rabbit

Standard high tea is a thing of the past at the White Rabbit.
The small cocktail bar located in the heart of Canberra is now offering a Tipsy Tea package. The Alice in Wonderland themed bar is well known for its quirky cocktails and whimsical decor and it is now offering an exquisite high tea that is guaranteed to be more refined and sophisticated than the one the Mad Hatter hosted! When you head down the rabbit hole you will first receive a 3 tier platter full of savory bites including flakey sausage rolls, pinwheels, tarts, and delicious sandwiches. Next, you will receive a generous desserts platter. Beautifully displayed over 3 tiers, the platter is abundant with sugared jam donuts, chocolate cookies, and rich cupcakes. 

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Now this is what I call a tea party feast 🍰🍩 Have you booked for Tipsy Tea this weekend? Limited spots are still available! 📞📞(02) 6257 7779

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Included with your high tea is a choice of themed cocktails such as ‘The Caterpillar’, ‘Wonderland’, or ‘Tweddle Rum’ to enjoy with your decadent treats.

Price: $65 pp
Available: Every Saturday and Sunday 2-5pm
Location: 65 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra 


Breaking away from the preconception that a high tea must only be consumed in the afternoon, Buvette, at Canberra’s Hotel Realm, offers a brunch style high tea menu. Featuring an indulgent feast that is brought out in 3 rounds.
For starters, you are presented with a fresh sourdough baguette with a selection of paté, prosciutto, and cured meats. Next is round two, full of savory delights including wraps, quiche, country-style meat pies, and oysters, it’s a real treat. To top it all off, a delicate platter of desserts is presented, some that almost look too good to eat! From pastries to mousse, macaroons, and brûlée, the desserts platter it a perfect way to end the meal.

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Is it too early to be dreaming about Buvette’s Sunday Brunch?

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Price: $50pp / $55pp with 1 glass of wine / +$20 for bottomless mimosas
Available: Only available on the 1st Sunday of each month
Location: Hotel Realm, National Circuit Barton. 

QT Canberra – The ‘Gents’ High Tea

It may be fair to say that High Tea’s are well regarded as a women’s only affair. From sitting around clean white tables, drinking tea and champagne while nibbling on dainty sandwiches and desserts, it doesn’t really capture the attention of many men. However, the QT Hotel has designed a classy high tea suited to all the lads, creating the first ‘Gent’s High Tea’.  The best part for the Gent’s could be that there is no actual tea included as it has all been swapped out for a selection of beers and whiskeys.

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Sweet dreams are made of this… . #luckysspeakeasy #luckyscanberra #cocktails #atyourservice #wegotyou #canberra

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Similarly, the food menu also reflects a more manly appetite, offering smoked brisket sliders, beef skewers, Moreton Bay Bugs, tacos, loaded bacon fries and more in place of traditional, lighter options like the classic cucumber sandwich. Keeping with the theme, dessert is a chocolate cigar which goes down a treat with an old fashioned cocktail. 

Price: $39 pp / $69pp with 3 hour drinks package
Available: Fridays and Saturdays (Bookings Essential)
Location: Lucky’s Speakeasy, QT Hotel

Hoi Polloi: 

Old Parliament House doesn’t exactly sound like the most exciting location to go to enjoy a relaxing afternoon of eating and drinking, but believe it or not, it is.
Held in the Old Members Bar, the high tea is just as decadent as any other. Taking a more traditional route with its menu, it differs from others because of its dedicated allergy-friendly options. While other traditional high teas are full of gluten, dairy, and meat, Hoi Polloi has its standard menu but they also have a separate gluten free menu, a vegetarian menu and can even cater for a dairy free menu as well. With food allergies and dietary requirements becoming more common than ever, Hoi Polloi definitely is the location best for people with any food intolerances. 

Across all of their high tea menu’s, similar treats are offered. As far as the savory foods go, expect mini sliders, sandwiches, quiches, wraps, sandwiches, and skewers depending on which menu you choose. With the desserts, there is a selection of indulgent rich chocolate mousse, strawberries and cream, scones, tarts, macaroons, tiramisu, lamingtons and more. 

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Have you left your Christmas shopping till the last minute..? Contact us to purchase a high tea voucher today! 02 6261 7210 or

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This high tea is the perfect balance between a traditional and modern menu and caters for all dietary needs. To top it all off enjoy a complimentary glass of sparkling wine while sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the good food. What more could you want from a high tea? 

Price: $49 pp
Available: Saturday and Sunday 11:30 or 1pm
Location: Old Parliament House


So what are you waiting for? Round up a group of friends and unwind this weekend over an indulgent high tea and free-flowing drinks. Which restaurant will you choose?

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