Serving some 3000 guests a year, Dr Hanna and husband-Tea Master Dr Howard have designed the

New Melbourne High Tea Etiquette

coxy meet mamor 2 sq 285Famous Australian travel show host discusses all things etiquette with Tea Mistress Dr Hanna

  • Dress to impress. Many ladies dress fashionably. Our only dress code is “Hats are optional”.
  • Themes are good: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Burlesque, Lolita or Mad Hatter.
  • Call ahead if your numbers change. Arrive and leave on time.
  • Switch off your mobile and give your guests the attention they deserve. Taking heaps of photos is OK.
  • Never start before everyone is served (though drinking your served-first bubbly is permitted).
  • Enjoy tea with period settings, an antique tea cup handle facing right and matching saucer and tea plate. The spoon sits at 45 degrees to the cups and the butter knife and serviette are at the side.
  • Tea (coffee is oh so gauche!) is best served in tea pots made out of clear glass sitting on vintage tea candles so that you can see the colour of your tea and control its strength (with more hot water).
  • When taking tea, we don’t put our pinkies in the air; we hold the cup like a lady, with our fore- and middle fingers.
  • When pouring, hold the tea pot’s top on with your other hand.
  • Excellent tea almost never needs milk but some people prefer a half-teaspoon of sugar, especially with the chocolate teas.
  • Transfer sugar with the sugar bowl’s spoon and then use your own spoon, which should never clink on the side of the cup. Then place the spoon on the tea saucer behind the cup.
  • Delectables are served on three-tiered plates or on silver trays. The correct degustation order is savouries first and then sweets, followed by dessert, then chocolates.
  • Scones are best broken apart, not cut. Place the whipped cream and fresh homemade jam on the corner of your plate before spreading on the scone with your knife.
  • Don’t reach across the table, no matter how badly you want more jam and cream! Ask your neighbours to pass it to you.
  • Always offer the last remaining sweet morsels to others.
  • Don’t overdo the “thank you’s” to your servers. Their kind attention is best thanked at the end of service.
  • If you enjoyed your High Tea, be sure to fill out the “Rewards Club” form.
  • Most important rule is truly talk to your friends!
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