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The best Mother’s Day High Tea experiences

What do Mother’s Day and High Tea have in common? One is fit for a queen – history tells us the Duchess of Bedford, who’s credited with inventing the spread of sandwiches and sweet treats known as ‘afternoon tea’, was a long-time friend of Queen Victoria. And one celebrates all queens – including you! Not to mention that we all love a cuppa and some freshly baked scones. In the spirit of Mother’s Day, IWMs have pulled together a list of high tea venues hosting Mothers’ Day events. Go on – book an experience for your mum (or yourself!)

(Image courtesy of the Team Room, QVB)

Best heritage setting

Mother’s Day High Tea, QVB Tea Room

Speaking of Queen Victoria, it’s absolutely fitting that we start our list of Mother’s Day High Teas with the Tea Room at the Queen Victoria Building (QVB). In this gorgeous, high-ceilinged Downton Abbey-esque room, tiered platters of Royal Albert fine china depart the kitchen in such quick-fire succession you know those scones have to be freshly baked.

For mums, it’s a weekend of celebration with the Mother’s Day High Tea offered from 13-14 May. For early risers, and let’s be honest which new mums aren’t, there’s an 8am traditional high tea sitting so you can get in early and enjoy the city as it wakes up. Kids are catered for too with child friendly sandwiches, sweets, savouries and hot choc, juice or soft drinks for little ones who aren’t into their tea.

The QVB Tea Room caters for dietary requirements including GF, vegan, vegetarian and nut-free – just mention it when you book.

QVB Tea Room | Level 3, Market Street End, Queen Victoria Building 455 George St Sydney 2000 | (02) 9283 7279

(Image courtesy of The Langham Sydney)

Best luxe experience

Mother’s Day High Tea by Anna Polyviou, The Langham Sydney

Once the domain of the British aristocracy, the Langham London is known for making this delightful ritual of tea and featherlight scones available to all of society since 1865. Today, powerhouse pastry-chef Anna Polyviou –  a lady who knows how to rock a killer pink mohawk – is putting a spin on old classics at the Langham Sydney’s Mother’s Day High Tea, and with a healthy serve of luxe on the side.

On Wedgwood tea-ware you’ll be served Lemon Meringue Macarons, Strawberry Tarts topped with crème brûlée mousse, and flaky vol-au-vents filled with creamy mushroom. If that doesn’t have you salivating into your linen napkin there’s also Smoked Salmon Blinis and milk buns generously filled with tender poached prawn and Bloody Mary sauce. Mums can enjoy this in the Langham Hotel’s Kitchens on Kent where an interior of turquoise teal accents on a palette of soothing stone neutrals and brushed gold create an atmosphere of restrained luxe, making it the perfect escape from the worries of the world – for an hour or two at least. Looking to extend the experience? Make mum’s day with a luxe staycation at the Langham.

The Langham Sydney | 89-113 Kent St, Millers Point NSW 2000 | (02) 9256 2222

(Image courtesy of Gunners Barracks)

Best for amazing views

Mother’s Day High Tea, Gunners Barracks

Want a high tea with a view you can savour along your freshly baked scones? Gunners Barracks, nestled in leafy George’s Heights on a headland so spectacular that many have said ‘I do’ at this location, is the place for mums who like their high tea with a side of Sydney Harbour to gape at. That’s Camp Cove and Watson’s Bay that can see – if you’re lucky enough to snag a seat on the balcony. But rest assured, even from inside, there’s plenty to keep mums happy – starting with tiers of fine bone china resplendent with perfectly cut-finger sandwiches (crustless too!), tea served in mirror-like silver pots, and best of all – swathes of lush, green lawn where little ones can burn off all that sugar!

Want to make a day of it? Go on a self-guided Talking Object Tour of George’s Heights where QR codes posted on objects scattered throughout the headland bring history to life on your phone.

Gunners Barracks | End of Suakin Drive, Georges Heights, Mosman NSW 2088 | (02) 8962 5900

 (Image courtesy of Novotel Sydney Darling Square)

Best for celebrating with little ones

Mother’s Day High Tea at Novotel Sydney Darling Square

Live music, a complimentary cookbook and kids under 5 eat free? Count me in. The Novotel Sydney Darling Square’s Mother’s Day High Tea Event is perfect for larger families looking for a Mother’s Day experience with the fun and activities of Darling Harbour a stone’s throw away.

Step inside the light-filled Pier St. Grill dining room and mums are treated to a glass of sparkling Veuve Ambal on arrival. There’ll be a musician playing acoustic and mums can go in the draw to win an overnight staycation at the hotel – bliss. Once high tea is done and dusted – and with faves like buttermilk fried chicken sliders and orange and poppyseed cake on the menu it won’t take long – kids can hit the Chinese Gardens or Darling Harbour playgrounds. Keen to try a staycation at the Novotel Sydney Darling Square? Read our review here.

Novotel Sydney Darling Square | 17 Little Pier St Sydney 2000 | (02) 8217 4000

(Image courtesy of QT Sydney)

Best for foodie mums (or Zumbo devotees)

QTea Mother’s Day High Tea, QT Sydney

That’s Zumbo, as in Adriano Zumbo, King of the Macaron. Not Zumba – the dance exercise class that had most of us in a spin (literally) pre-Covid. Whilst you may not be whittling your waist at QTea Mother’s Day High Tea, thanks to a menu that includes Strawberry and Lychee Cake, Apple and Rose Tarte Tatin, not to mention a handful of ‘Zumbarons’ – you’ll certainly be indulging your senses.

This moody hotel of dark-hues and opulent jewel-tones screams playful glamour. It’s a grown-up experience with a DJ in the corner spinning sexy beats and a Champagne trolley (get out of here) to make you or your mum’s Great Gatsby dreams come true. Got a fur-baby too? This is one of the few pet-friendly hotels in the CBD so bring Bowser along for the ride.

QT Sydney | 49 Market St, Sydney 2000 | (02) 8962 5900


(Image courtesy of The Grounds of Alexandria)

Best for hip mums

Mother’s Day Brunch at the Potting Shed, The Grounds of Alexandria

Too hip for high tea? Hip(ster) mums, mums whose coffee orders require a degree in barista to decode, and mums who love cocktails served in brightly coloured ceramic parrots garnished with frangipanis (yes this is a thing) need look no further than The Grounds of Alexandria’s Mother’s Day Brunch at the Potting Shed.

Alongside The Grounds Cafe, The Potting Shed – an urban garden-of-Babylon type venue – is a stalwart amongst the IWMS community many of whom fell in love with Kevin Bacon (the now retired porcine mascot, not the actor) and various pop-up installations in the Grounds’ laneways (check out Disney at the Grounds). And for Mother’s Day they’ll be serving a set brunch menu including crumpets with hot smoked salmon and crème fraîche, truffled Autumn mushrooms with halloumi, or a spicy tomato and eggplant braise alongside crispy bacon, eggs and labneh. With shared entrees including yoghurt pots with granola and apple, blackberry and pear compote, a selection of The Grounds’ famous baked pastries and toasted banana bread served with mascarpone, this is definitely a winner for mums who prefer to celebrate over brunch.  Oh and the coffee’s included too! 😉

Little ones keen to join in? There’s a set menu with options including buttermilk pancakes and a ham and cheese toastie to the keep wee ones happy.

The Potting Shed at The Grounds of Alexandria | 7a/2 Huntley St, Alexandria 2015 | (02) 9695 2225


Got a high tea experience that you loved? Let us know – leave a comment below or email us at so we can add it to our list.

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  • doreenmillena
    22/04/2023 at 8:23 am

    Yum , we are going to the Langham for our class mother’s day outing

    • Francesca Millena
      22/04/2023 at 3:09 pm

      Wow sounds like fun – why don’t you share some pics on our Facebook group so other members can hear about your experience

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