The Hotel Windsor in Melbourne boasts a long history of afternoon tea. Starting from 1883, it has been serving tea on 3-tiered stands ever since (and they take it very seriously). I would definitely put The Windsor as the most traditional afternoon tea I experienced in Melbourne.
As you can see from the outside, The Windsor has an imposing facade. Located across the street from the Parliament and the old Treasury buildings, The Windsor is surrounded by Melbourne’s history. Also being close to the Parliament means that it is often subject to demonstrations and rallies at its doorstep, which could be disturbing to your relaxing afternoon tea.
They also always have nice fresh flower arrangements in their lobby.
As with a lot of places in Australia, they only seated people exactly at the reservation time, not a minute before.
Their weekday and weekend afternoon teas both include a glass of sparkling, a good variety of tea, as well as the standard 3 tiered stand.
*Make sure to be careful when pouring tea from their metal teapots! They can be super hot!
The sandwiches were plentiful, the savories tasty, and the scones were served with real clotted cream (a rarity in Australia for some reason).
I happened to go on a weekend which includes their dessert buffet (the price also reflects this addition).
There were so many choices…
But you have to make decisions!
The variety of desserts was really nice. Some had a delicate flavor, while others were much more rich. As you may have noticed, they offered some distinctly Australian sweets like Tim Tam and Cherry Ripe flavored desserts.
Overall The Windsor was satisfying but pricy ($89/per person). The atmosphere did leave a bit to be desired. While being in a traditional setting, the room was FILLED with people and therefore noisy. That being said, the service was pretty good considering the number of tables.
Tea 4/5, unlimited, good variety
Hotel Windsor Melbourne
2:30 Wednesday – Friday
3:00 Saturday – Sunday