Hopetoun Tea Rooms, Melbourne

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Melbourne is infamous for its coffee culture and hipster laneways, where one can spend hours wandering and eating away to their hearts content. It’s no wonder so many Sydneysiders travel over when they’re in need of a short getaway without leaving the comfort of suburbia.

While the debate of whether Sydney or Melbourne has the better coffee remains at large, it may seem as if the traditional cup of tea has lost its humble appeal. That’s most certainly not the case at Hopetoun Tea Rooms.

Situated in the Block Arcade, one of the oldest arcades in Melbourne’s CBD, lines at the popular but small tea house can get lengthy at peak times, especially on weekends. It’s best to book ahead or arrive early to avoid experiencing major food envy while you watch others dig into their cakes and tea from the glass window out the front.

 If you do happen to be stuck in line though, don’t worry; use your time in line to ponder over the magnificent arrangement of cakes lining the majestic front display cabinet. We count over thirty different varieties of sponge, tart, slice and cheesecake, with delectable items such as Raspberry Mousse, Apricot and Pistachio Tart and Chocolate Marzipan. It truly is a sight for all dessert lovers to behold.

The interior of the tea rooms exudes an air of tradition and grandeur, set up by the emerald, baroque-style wallpaper and dark wooden furnishings.

The page-long tea menu lists classics like Darjeeling and English Breakfast, as well as quirky twists such as ‘Buddha’s Finger’ (oolong tea with peach), ‘Fiji’ (green tea with papaya and wild pineapple) and ‘Colonille’ (French vanilla and Vietnamese black tea). If savoury is more your thing, there are some tantalising finger sandwiches, salads and pastries on offer, too.

But, lo and behold, we’re here for the tea and cakes.

English Breakfast Tea 

Scones with Hank’s triple berry jam and double cream ($7)
I can never resist going past scones with jam and cream for afternoon tea. These come with a good amount of berry jam and lashings of thick, glossy double cream. The scones have a slightly dense crumb, fluffy interior and golden crust – piled high with the sweet jam and rich cream each bite is one to savour. Like all good scones, they are a good serving size and are more than enough to leave us satisfied. Perfect washed down with a cup of traditional English Breakfast Tea. 

Lemon Meringue Tart
Just one look at that piling of fluffy meringue, torched to a scalding golden-brown tinge, brings a smile to our faces. The flavour combination in this tart is a winner – the slightly sharp lemon curd filling offset by the soft, light as a feather meringue that just melts in the mouth. 

This Lamington is a testament to the fact that sometimes one can forget just how good the classics are. Filled with a thin layer of jam and a good amount of cream, the cake is moist and flavoursome – perfect for those times when you don’t feel like something overly sweet or rich.

Lime Tart
This lime tart is baked to perfection with a buttery, short pastry base, sweet but tangy lime filling and slightly caramelised top. Is there anything that doesn’t taste better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream?


While one might think that offering thirty plus varieties of dessert may compromise the quality and flavour of each, this is not the case at all at Hopetoun Tea Rooms. Each of the desserts we tasted seemed freshly baked and was spot on in terms of flavour, texture and portion size.  

The lengthy wait during peak times, slightly slow service and cramped dining space may get on the wrong side of some, but if you’re looking for quality English afternoon tea in a traditional setting, then you can’t go past the long-running Hopetoun tea rooms. Even if it is just to get a glimpse of that beautiful cake display.


Hopetoun Tea Rooms Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato  

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