Afternoon Tea at the Strangers Corridor Melbourne

Photographer: Michelle Milton
Afternoon Tea in the Strangers Corridor, Parliament of Victoria.
Afternoon Tea in the Strangers Corridor, Parliament of Victoria.

Enjoy the unique experience of traditional afternoon tea in the Strangers Corridor, Parliament of Victoria.

Strangers Corridor, in the Parliament of Victoria, has been serving traditional afternoon tea since 1924. One of the first High Tea Society reviews, over 7 years ago, and part of the inspiration to the development of The High Tea Society, we decided to visit this sophisticated, elegant and historic venue again to see how the High Tea compared to the new players in the market. We have to say, we were pleased to see the offering had evolved and were very surprised this gem was not the afternoon hotspot for High Tea lovers.

To start the experience, guests can take a guided tour of the Parliament. Once completed, on level 1 you are led through the entrance a ‘Members Only’ dark timbered frame with stain glass sliding doors into the Strangers Corridor room, where you are taken back to old world parliamentary formality.

As the light shines through the stain glass windows onto the white linen, traditional leather booths, red velvet chairs and scattered elements of gold embellishments, you then see glimpses of contemporary touches with Robert Gordon tea ware, glassware and T2 tea.

When seated you are offered a glass of Parliament of Victoria’s own Blanc De Blanc, Yarra Valley sparkling wine. You quickly learn that all the food and beverages are sourced from locally grown and produced Victorian foods, each with their very own wonderful story to uncover.

For example, the Parliament of Victorian creates its own sparkling, red and white wine from the Yarra Valley, eloquently named Queen’s Hall, Council and Assembly. The honey for instance is sourced from Melbourne City, Rooftop Honey, bringing you the unique flavours of Melbourne’s postcodes and helps you build your immunity to local allergies. You must ask the welcoming staff, as they are more than happy to share the stories of where they source their local produce all adding to the experience.

As Sylwia guided us through the two-tiered stand, we were advised to start with the warn cauliflower and washed rind cheese tarts. These tasty bites of homemade pastry and caramelized cheese melted in your mouth and were a great way to start the culinary journey. Next the sandwiches including cucumber, crème fraiche and dill, smoked salmon and cream cheese and Dandenong pastrami, horseradish mayo, all of which were fresh, simple yet flavoursome, finger sandwiches.

Next for lovers of the traditional afternoon tea experience, warm, freshly baked mini scones with generous portions of parliament seeded strawberry jam, cream and lemon curd. Perfectly bite sized and with your choice of traditional or sultana scones, glazed on the top, it should please all.

The selection of four seasonal delights definitely hit the brief for people with a sweet tooth. We started with the Whitlands blueberry panna cotta in the self-branded Parliament of Victoria short glasses, topped with a crumbling meringue. The layered strawberry, vanilla slice and pastry tower was absolutely divine and was a nice compliment to the rich espresso flavoured mouse filled chocolate coffee cups with chocolate beans on the top. We ended on the strawberry macaron, which was our least favourite as it was not as fresh and surprising as the rest.

This delicious Afternoon Tea is served Monday to Friday on non-Parliamentary sitting days between 2:30pm and 4:00pm and is wonderful value for $47. Vegetarian and gluten-free options can be fully catered to for at no additional cost when advised at booking. Purchase a gift-voucher for a memorable experience for two or an intimate booth four. Also a great idea for groups of 10 to 20 people as you can practically take over the exclusive Strangers Corridor space.

We highly encourage people to enjoy this delicious modern interpretation of a traditional afternoon tea, as it is one unique and classy experience to tick off the bucket list.

Strangers Corridor Melbourne is featured in our Best High Tea in Melbourne list.

Strangers Corridor at Parliament of Victoria:

Parliament of Victoria, Spring Street, Melbourne


Monday to Friday 2.30 - 4.30pm on non-Parliament sitting days.



Prices are correct at the time of publishing, but subject to change. Please contact the venue for further details.

Aisha Hillary-Morgan

Born in Australia and raised by Dutch parents who ran an international publishing business, experiencing the world, its different cultures and documenting it along the way, was in Aisha’s blood. After 15 years of travelling as a communications professional in retail, media, food, film, entertainment and tech, living in both the UK and Australia, it was time to create Hills & West. In 2015 Aisha left her corporate career and travelled to 50 destinations in 105 days carting a self designed backpack prototype. The Morgan Collection was born and now she collaborates with local artisans, designing bags and sharing the stories of the people and places that inspire her. From the beginning the Hills & West mission has been simple - do what we love, create exceptional pieces, share stories and make people happy along the way.

Articles by Aisha