best hotels in Sydney

High Tea, Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, Australia

Google “best high teas in Sydney” and Shangri-La Hotel is bound to come up every time in the top three. Much of this fame can be attributed to the “punk princess of the pastry kitchen,” Chef Anna Polyviou, and her contemporary take on executing all things sweet and petite with meticulous perfection.
We’re here for the Traditional High Tea ($42), which includes tea, coffee or hot chocolate.
The bottom layer begins, as all good high teas should, with fluffy scones more on the moist side than crumbly. Buttermilk and Vanilla, and Buttermilk and Earl Grey Tea Soaked Raisin Scones allow the conservative to remain pleased, but give the adventurous a little intrigue to decipher. House made mixed berry jam and clotted cream make a classic topping.
Scones and Tea
The savoury tier again supplies enough of the old-fashioned for the conformist, alongside some fresh slants to engage the attention of all partakers. Caramelized onion and goats’ cheese tarts are crowned with quartered cherry tomatoes and baby basil salad. Encased in a light thin pastry, they’re dainty bites of yum. Roast pork and Vietnamese salad gives a dash of Asian in a crusty baguette, while white bread finger sandwiches of chicken and celery root us back in custom. Soft rounds of wholemeal bread hold salmon, cucumber and cream cheese and salmon roe. All are fresh. All are delicious.
Savoury Tier
But it’s the top layer that’s worth saving for last. Pretty shot glasses of vanilla panna cotta, capped with raspberry jelly, biscuit crumble, mixed berries and mini yoghurt and strawberry macaroon make up the Berry Me. It’s eaten with teeny spoons just the right size for scooping up elegant toothfuls.
Sweet Layer on the High Tea Set
Berry Me
The Tropic-Anna turns out my most adored dessert on the tray.  A coconut dacquoise supports white chocolate discs, coconut and Malibu crème, tropical fruit compote, popping mango pearls and baby coriander. Even after swallowing, the coconut base leaves delicious bits that are keenly removed from the teeth grooves with the tongue with a lingering desire to continue the experience.
A rhubarb sauce sultrily sits atop and soaks down into the dense ginger cake base in the Rhubarb and Ginger Pudding. An oval of whipped cream balances on top with micro greens delicately laced across the edges, and a wicked vanilla custard in an eye dropper awaits a little interaction with the eater.
Rhubarb and Ginger Pudding
The infamous Carrot Cake, the one of Master Chef stardom, completes the set. A carrot cake support layer holds a rice bubble and hazelnut crunch, apricot and carrot jelly, two stratums of aerated praline cremeux and a final coating of caramel glaze and yellow graffiti. Finished off with orange and milk chocolate discs, it’s a complicated piece, visually, texturally and flavour-wise.
Carrot Cake
Beautiful surrounds, gracious service and one of the most recognized high teas in the city: what’s not to love about a sweet afternoon at the Shangri-La?
Reasons to visit: three tiers of scrumptiousness in the Traditional High Tea
Lobby Lounge
Shangri-La Hotel Sydney
176 Cumberland Street
The Rocks
NSW 2000
+61 (0)2 9250 6000


You may also like:


  1. Sorry Monica
    No "High Tea" stuff with me. Stinks and smacks of snobbery
    of the ruling "Raj and Colonial Office of the White Hall/Westminister"
    elite of QE Victorian days!
    Still If pushed I'd take the High Tea rather than MacDonalds !!!!

    I didn't know that cocktails went with this High Tea business.
    "Goodness Gracious Me" – what would Her Majesty think????
    I think off with the head of this rogue and disrespectful chef at
    the Sydney Shangri-la.

    Colin of Cordobes and of the Sunshine Coast "push"
    PS: Day 6 of August – all going well – cloudless, windless and sunny
    with just unfortunately a tinge of warmth!
    25 days to go and counting!

    • We have a certain fondness for the rogues – more cocktails I say! I am all too easily swooned also with a good scone – I'm little bit of a scone fuss – so if they're done right, I'm smitten.
      Mmm… now you have me thinking of the Sunshine Coast… will investigate for the next return home.
      Hazy day over here. Please blow some of those blue skies our way.

    • Oh you are naughty – ha ha.
      Cocktails with scones, cream and cherry jam – must try it one day.
      Very fattening I think. Will definitely need that Andalusian steed
      for galloping off exercises – bad back will have to take second place!!!!
      Surely not haze from that Bali volcano????
      It certainly is disrupting the tourist trade for the island with all
      these cancels flights. Terrible situation for the Balinese.
      Colin of Cordobes.
      Now where did I put my scones etc. I have my beer.
      I suppose beer will be OK????

  2. Ooooooo….scones! I love em' English cream teas! Pile on the clotted cream and fruit jam!

  3. You are speaking my language!!! I love tea, and high tea, especially, and all the goodies that go with it! I absolutely love this post! (but, then again, I love all your posts). 🙂

    • You are a sweetheart (and sweet tooth I see too) Linda. I especially like the variety – a little sweet, a little savoury and a good scone.

  4. Berry Me looks amazing…

  5. Love the savoury items in a good high tea as well!

  6. that's a very dramatic and striking first photo, with the high tea set juxtaposed against that amazing view! 🙂

  7. Pingback: Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney, Australia | The Yum List

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.