Sweeten your visit to the Valley

The Hunter is famous for its excellent wines. But elegant and charming high tea experiences are also on offer.

What better setting to gather your friends together and relax with a pot of freshly brewed tea and some mouth-watering delicacies. Tempt your tastebuds with dainty sandwiches, decadent treats and fluffy scones piled high with cream and jam.

Or if you’re a cheese-lover, opt for a high cheese experience. Join us as we explore some of the most elegant high teas around the Hunter.

Hunter Belle Cheese
If you adore cheese, this is the high tea you have been waiting for. The creamy and bold artisan cheeses at Hunter Belle are all made using freshly collected milk from local Brown Swiss Cows.
Hunter Belle’s high cheese experience includes a selection of one soft cheese, one cheddar and one hard cheese. Will it be the creamy brie or camembert, a flavoursome feta or a crumbly cheddar?
The local cheeses are paired with crackers, fruit paste and warm cheese and chive scones served with Hunter Belle’s own butter. Top things off with mini cheese tarts, seasonal fruits, smoked salmon baguette, a brownie, mini sweet tarts and Hunter Belle Cheese’s own fudge.
High Cheese can be enjoyed at Hunter Belle’s Cheese Room in Pokolbin and at their Cheese Café in Muswellbrook.
Hunter Belle Cheese Room, 1616 Broke Road, Pokolbin and
Hunter Belle Cheese Café, 75 Aberdeen Street, Muswellbrook

High Tea on the Hunter
Step inside this vintage inspired haven on Morpeth’s High Street and admire the eclectic collection of antique china on charmingly laid tables with embroidered table cloths and fresh roses in crystal vases.
Kerryl (Kez) Hiscox’s signature offering is a Traditional High Tea experience with sweet and savoury bites with chocolate and pistachio eclairs, lemon meringues, gourmet sausage rolls or roast tomato flatbread, followed by beautifully hand-crafted petit fours and a fruity mango sorbet served in vintage crystal.
Make sure to try her fine selection of teas ranging from traditional English Breakfast and Earl Grey to a complex and spicy Chai. A Devonshire Tea with scones, sandwiches and your choice of tea or coffee is also available.
Kez loves to mix things up, so watch out for specials like her monthly High Tea and Candle Experience or a Parisian inspired high tea.
High Tea on the Hunter, 119 Swan Street, Morpeth

Voco Kirkton Park
The tables are beautifully set with crisp white linen tablecloths and fresh flowers from the surrounding gardens. High tea guests are served five different types of petite cakes, house-baked scones with lashings of thick cream and seasonal jam, finger sandwiches made from regional ingredients and hot options like chicken empanadas and vegetable falafels. Savour the delicious offerings with your choice of Dilmah teas, Vittoria coffee or a glass of Peterson House Sparkling.
Voco Kirkton Park Hunter Valley, 336 Oakey Creek Road, Pokolbin

Ducks in the Field
Just a short drive from the historic town of Morpeth in Duckenfield you’ll find the ever-so-quaint Ducks in the Field. High tea is served in a farmhouse overlooking the beautifully maintained gardens. Inside you’ll uncover a charming assortment of mismatched furniture, crocheted table cloths and colourful polka dot tea cups and saucers.
To begin, guests are treated to a glass of house-made punch and a starter such as a warming Thai pumpkin soup before settling in for a set high tea menu that changes with the seasons. Savoury pieces can include spinach and fetta gozleme, an itty bitty chicken schnitty with coriander mayo and a savoury fried scone with homegrown, homemade chilli choko relish.
Your palate will be cleansed with sorbet and a panna cotta before tea and coffee are served with sweets such as caramel marshmallow slice or pavlova with Turkish delight, pistachios and rose petals.Ducks in the Field, 550 Duckenfield Road, Duckenfield, NSW

The Convent Hunter Valley
For an afternoon of indulgence head to one of the prettiest settings in wine country, The Convent Hunter Valley. The Convent’s Restaurant Eighty Eight hosts afternoon high teas overlooking The Convent’s wisteria-filled courtyard.
You’ll be served up a mix of delicious sweet and savoury finger foods, and a variety of teas. Think fluffy scones with homemade jam and decedent chantilly cream, petit pastries and a selection of gourmet finger sandwiches. Add some bubbles to the experience if you like with a flute of Australian sparkling wine or French Champagne.
The Convent Hunter Valley, 88 Halls Road, Pokolbin

Gigi & Chix Bonbon
For a luxury high tea experience with a French twist head to Pokolbin’s own Parisian Patisserie Gigi & Chix Bonbon. Gigi & Chix Bonbon only opened late in 2020 but the buttery croissants made fresh each morning have earned themselves a following for being among the best in the Hunter.
A high tea here is an opportunity to taste a selection of irresistible French desserts and pastries along with your choice of French tea, The Grounds of Alexandria coffee, local Hunter Valley bubbles or wine.
Savoury delicacies served up include ham and cheese croissants and quiche while sweet offerings include French pastries and desserts. Think freshly baked croissants, little choux pastry puffs known as chouqeutte, sorbet, mini tarts, little shell shaped madeleines, macaroons and petit gateaux.
Gigi & Chix Bonbon, Shop 3, Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village, Pokolbin

Hertage Garden
Enjoy a traditional three-tier high tea surrounded by thriving trees, plants, and wisteria vines in the heart of The Heritage Gardens Nursery near Maitland.
The elegant high tea can be taken in the nursery’s private, rustic dining space known as The Teahouse, and in Heritage Garden’s main cafe. Guests are welcomed with a sparkling fruit spritz or a glass of bubbly before indulging in the main event. On the bottom tier, you’ll find a tasty assortment of hot and cold savouries such as pumpkin arancini balls, zucchini slices, and lamb and currant sausage rolls. On the second tier are finger sandwiches and mini scones with vanilla cream and homemade jam and on the top tier there is a delicate selection of petits fours. sweets. The high tea can be paired with either Darks coffee or a warming pot of T2 Tea.
Heritage Gardens needs at least 48 hours’ notice for high teas as everything is made fresh for the booking. They cater for groups ranging from two people up to 40 people. Don’t forget to browse the incredible nursery and homewares shop afterwards.
Heritage Gardens Nursery, New England Hwy, corner of Four Mile Creek Road, Ashtonfield

Elay High Tea
For a traditional full high tea that even the Duchess of Bedford herself would approve of, look no further than Elay High Tea in Branxton. The lavish tea room will make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time as you look around at the unique antiques and artwork. No detail is spared with the exquisite, seasonal high tea served on fine bone china and gold-tiered stands.
Begin with an Austrian potato soup served with freshly baked farmhouse bread before tucking into flavourful savouries like the pumpkin and leek tart and mushroom arancini balls. Sweets may include Elay’s crowd-pleasing date scones with caramel butter and cream, apple custard tea cake or a zesty carrot ginger slice. Enjoy the experience paired with an expertly brewed pot of organic tea or a coffee. Be sure to book ahead whether its for a small group of two or a large group of up to 20.
Elay High Tea, 102C McMullins Road, Branxton

Read more about the Hunter High Tea in our Spring Edtion of Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle Magazine or subscribe here.

Story by Nathalie Craig, photography courtesy of hospitality venues.