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The best Mother’s Day High Tea experiences

High Tea Experiences fit for the Queen in your life – Mum

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, the mum figures in your life, 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 11-12 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

Mother’s Day High Tea Buffet at The Shangri-La (image courtesy of the Shangri-La Sydney)

🍰 Best buffet experience

Mother’s Day Buffet High Tea at the Shangri-La

Fancy a lemon meringue tart oozing with yuzu citrus flavours? A mixed berry gateau on a cotton sponge base? A Wagyu-pastrami sandwich with spiced mango aioli? Or a delicious serve of warm Aussie lamb pie? At the Shangri-La’s Mother’s Day buffet you can savour it all – and as many times as you want!

For mums who can’t decide on their finger sandwich selection, or who like to graze on titbits over multiple pots of tea, this elegant buffet experience – hosted in the Shangri-La’s chic Grand Ballroom – is just what Mother’s Day calls for. There’s also free-flowing tea, coffee, hot chocolate and juices – or add in a cheeky glass of champers.

The Shangri-La Sydney | 176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, Sydney 2000 | (02) 9250 6000

High Tea with a view at Gunner’s Barrack (image courtesy of Gunner’s Barracks)

🍰 Best for amazing views

Mother’s Day High Tea, Gunners Barracks

Want a high tea with a view you can savour along with 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 you’ll 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!

Mother’s Day high tea sitting are available from 8am – perfect for those early risers – on 11 and 12 May.

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 2088 | (02) 8962 5900


Anna Polyviou High Tea on The Jackson (image courtesy of The Jackson)

🍰 Best high tea on the high sea 

Mother’s Day High Tea Party with Anna Polyviou on The Jackson

Pink pastry powerhouse Anna Polyviou is throwing a Mother’s Day high tea like no other aboard luxury super yacht The Jackson. Picture this: you and your mum, living it up Kardashian style, swanning around The Jackson’s three luxurious levels as you float around Sydney Harbour quaffing champers, grazing on decadent French cheese and munching on Anna’s lovingly prepared high tea selection.

Amongst the sweet treats mum can indulge in are the Berried Hearts – a coconut dacquoise and almond crunch with raspberry compote and vanilla bavarois – and the Choc Fudge Brownie with caramelised hazelnut and choc glaze, to name a few. The savouries don’t disappoint either. From finger sandwiches to golden arancini, a gourmet beef pie and prawn tacos. Not to mention the million-dollar views of the harbour to go with this luxe experience.

Mother’s Day High Tea with Anna Polyviou on The Jackson | Departs from three wharf locations on Sydney Harbour. More info here.


 (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 mimosa on arrival, a gift for mum 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 Japanese Miso Chicken Rolls, 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 free flowing Perrier-Jouët champers option (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


Gin High Teat at The Hyatt Regency (image courtesy of the Hyatt Regency)

🍰 Best gin high tea

Mother’s Day Gin High Tea at The Hyatt Regency

Mum prefer her high tea with a G&T instead of an English Breakfast? At this botanical-inspired high tea experience, mum can have both with a selection of Rabbit Hole teas to choose from, as well as a refreshing gin and tonic. There’s four flavours to select from – our picks are the Sunrise G&T made with Poor Tom’s Piña Colada Gin topped with coconut jelly and Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic. Or for something different try the Spiced G&T – made with Opihr Spiced Gin, cardamom, cloves, pink peppercorn and fresh orange topped with Fever-Tree Orange Clementine Tonic, it’s the Chai-like cocktail made for crisp Autumn days.

And mum certainly won’t go hungry either.  There are hot and cold canapes to graze on – think smoked duck with orange glaze brioche, tempura prawn rolls, and sticky pork belly bao – alongside decadent treats like the bergamot and white chocolate brulée, and a ginger and apricot mascarpone slice. With so much to choose from, the hardest part will be fitting in another buttermilk scone?

The Hyatt Regency | 161 Sussex St, Sydney 2000 | (02) 8099 1234


Got a high tea experience that you love? 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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