Movie & High Tea at Cinema Nova Melbourne

Movie & High Tea at Cinema Nova

Cinema Nova, a long-time favourite of Melbournian film-buffs, is also a destination for high tea aficionados (who knew?). For those who like something a little quirky and fun with their high tea, Cinema Nova offers high tea during select film screenings on weekend afternoons.

When High Tea Society visited, we saw Murder On The Orient Express. The lavish new production was made all the more enjoyable by having a pot of tea and some pretty sweets and savouries served to us at our cinema seat.

We arrived about fifteen minutes before the film was due to start and were ushered to our seats in one of the Nova’s cinemas, which had large comfortable chairs and a small tray-table over the armrest of each seat. Our waiter took our drinks order and then returned about five minutes later, during the previews, with our drinks and high tea.

Movie & High Tea at Cinema Nova
Movie & High Tea at Cinema Nova

The high tea sweets and savouries were served on an individual cardboard tray in two rows. Each item was about two-bite size and tasty, though the open sandwiches proved a little tricky to eat in the dark. The zucchini frittata was moist and well seasoned. The tiramisu, served in a jar with a teaspoon, was a nice nod to the Nova’s location on Lygon street, Melbourne’s Italian precinct. The macaron had a light texture, but didn’t really have any flavour at all. I guessed it might have been blueberry, but that was more from the colour of it than anything else. My favourite item was by far the chocolate cookie, which was thick, chewy and very chocolately. To be honest, I would have been very happy with a pot of tea and five or six of those cookies! The tea was served in individual teapots and cold drinks were served in proper glassware, which does add a luxurious element to the cinema experience.

Some aspects of the high tea feel a bit basic, like the laminated menus and food being served in a cardboard tray, but the quality of the food and drinks is high, the service is lovely and friendly and the novelty factor makes high tea at Cinema Nova a very worthwhile experience.

Cinema Nova’s Weekend High Tea Menu


  • Open brioche sandwich with salmon, avocado mousse and watercress
  • Open sandwich with jamon and grana padano on pan de ajo
  • Zucchini frittata with spiced yoghurt

A variety of house made sweets, for example:

  • Miniature double chocolate cookie
  • Blueberry macaron
  • Classic tiramisu
  • Iced almond tea cake

A choice of drinks:

  • Pimms Cup cocktail
  • Sparkling wine
  • Iced tea
  • Tea – English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Green, Peppermint, Chamomile or Lemongrass and Ginger


Group bookings for high tea are possible, but this is also the kind of high tea you could easily attend on your own, since you spend the majority of the time watching a film. With notice, a vegetarian high tea can be provided, but a gluten-free high tea is not currently available. High tea at Cinema Nova, while in some ways limited by the format, is nevertheless a decadent and fun way to spend the afternoon, and a decided step up from the usual popcorn and choc top!

Cinema Nova

Location: 380 Lygon Street, Carlton, Victoria, 3053
When: Specific screenings with high tea are held on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, check the Cinema Nova Website for times.
Cost: $45 including film admission
Bookings: Online, via the Cinema Nova website.

Hannah Foster

Hannah is a committed Melbournian, dessert hunter and freelance writer. She has written travel and lifestyle pieces for a number of international and Australian publications, and is currently working on her first novel for young adults. As well as writing, she’s worked at a number of charities in Australia and the UK and now consults on philanthropy. Hannah loves baking, reading novels, travel, fine dining, cats, chocolate, dancing and high tea (of course) and she hates scary movies, crusts on sandwiches, rollercoasters and cold weather. The scone is definitely the most important element of a high tea for Hannah, but service and atmosphere also rate highly.

Articles by Hannah