The tea room has been operating in some form or another for over a century - it first opened in 1891 (for you overseas readers, in Australia this counts as positively ancient). As a result of it's long history, the Hopetoun Tea Rooms are steeped in tradition, charm and decadence.
This is the sight that you feast your eyes upon as you approach the tea rooms. The window is so extravagant that you have to jostle for a space amongst the ever present crowd of people gazing in awe at all of the mountains of sweets.
This is as close to Marie Antoinette style sweet feasting as you will ever get...
After what can sometimes be a little bit of a wait, you get seated inside the quaint little dining room. It feels opulent to dine in, with its rich emerald walls, grand mirrors and chandeliers.
I've been lucky enough to dine here twice. The first time I ordered a strawberry milkshake and some scones. The scones were delicious, light and fluffy. Although they were served with this weird Rosewater Quince which was oddly chunky. I'd have preferred simple raspberry or strawberry jam thanks! The milkshake was lovely, but just tasted as normal milkshakes do.
The second time I went I had salmon and cucumber petite sandwiches which were amazing and so delicate. Quite a small serve though. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo sorry!
I then followed this up with a slice of the most incredible lemon meringue I have ever tasted...
Words cannot describe how amazing this lemon meringue was. It has to be tried to be believed.
Some other notable items on my list of must go back and try are the following...
Red Velvet Swiss Roll:
Strawberry Sponge Cake:
Spiced Strawberry Sponge:
All in all a meal here is a must do if you live in or ever visit Melbourne. My only complaints were that you can often get some quite rude and unhelpful staff, but this is probably just due to the fact they are run off their feet. Still no excuse in a place like this. Also it is fairly expensive. Everything I ate and mentioned above was priced between $8 - $15 per item. They don't take bookings which is annoying, and often you can be waiting a little while to get a table. Try to avoid the peak lunch rush if you can.
If you want to read more check out the pretty antiquated looking website (fitting I suppose) for the Hopetoun Tea Rooms here.
Have any of you ever been here? What is your favourite place to go for high tea and sweet type feasting? Any places you fellow Melbournites can recommend that I must check out?