Searching for a quality cup of tea in the Harbour City? We’ve got you covered. From authentic Oriental tea ceremonies, to modern blends in trendy suburbs, grab your favourite knitted tea cosy and head to one of these eight great tea rooms around Sydney.
The domed, Romanesque, 1890s masterpiece that is the Queen Victoria Building provides a suitably elegant setting for high tea — and that’s exactly what you can look forward to at the QVB Tea Room. The ornate venue offers a sophisticated selection of teas and herbal infusions served with a gourmet food menu that matches the crystal chandeliers and decorative ceilings.
Sydney’s tea lovers were abuzz when the Harbour City’s first organic tea bar opened its doors in October 2015, and the excitement grew the following year when the Rabbit Hole opened a second location in Barangaroo. The Redfern original serves more than 20 original tea blends — including some crazy combinations like pineapple and peppermint — alongside a delectable sweet and savoury food menu.
The Tea Cosy promises tea and scones like nana used to make, right down to the hand-made tea cosies that adorn every loose-leaf pot, the delicate old cups and saucers and the family recipe used for the homemade scones. This vintage tea is served in a vintage venue — a 180-year-old heritage-listed building in the historic Rocks district, one of the first places in Australia to be settled by Europeans in the late 18th century.
A traditional Oriental tea experience is what Zenhouse strives to deliver, providing a tranquil sanctuary in the heart of bustling Surry Hills. This place takes its Chinese tea seriously, matching a quality selection of authentic teas to the different courses of your yum cha, served with warm hospitality in intimate surroundings.
Husband and wife team Amber and Paul Sutherland started T Totaler in 2012, travelling to more than 30 countries in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea. The couple now have two locations — one on King St in Newtown, the other in The Galeries shopping centre in the city centre — that offer immaculately packaged loose-leaf teas as well as interactive workshops for those who want to learn a little more about the trade.
Come for the contemporary Chinese art, stay for the fine selection of Chinese and Taiwanese teas. The White Rabbit gallery — a quirky venue in trendy Chippendale — is home to an equally stylish teahouse that brews a huge range, from authentic oolongs and white teas, to fragrant flower teas and cooling iced tea during summer. The teahouse is open every day the gallery is (Wednesday to Sunday).
Surrounded by the leafy Parramatta Park in Sydney’s golden west, the Gatehouse Tea Rooms are one of the oldest high tea venues anywhere in Australia — the building was constructed in 1887 and was granted a UNESCO World Heritage listing in 2007. It’s a genteel setting to dive into the wide array of teas on offer, as well as the indulgent food menu made up of irresistible scones, pastries, finger sandwiches and baked goods.
This place deserves a mention on this list purely for the beauty of its surrounds, nestled in the serene Chinese Garden of Friendship at Darling Harbour in the city centre. Overlooking winding pathways, exotic plants and tranquil lakes, this teahouse serves authentic Chinese tea and dim sum with breathtaking scenery to match.