Child-friendly high tea

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I have started a tradition for an annual high tea outing with all the girls in my family (since my sister has two little girls and I have two little girls this makes sense). Once a year my mother takes us all for high tea and we dress up the little ones and spend the afternoon together. (Yes I did take the concept from Carmela and Meadow Soprano for any Soprano fans out there).

This year we decided to go to Vaucluse House Tearooms and it was an amazing experience, one which we will repeat every year. I have been there in the past for baby showers and hen’s parties but never with small children.

High tea with kids can be stressful and we went with four little ones aged fifteen months to six years. The food and service were amazing. They had our table set with paper tableclothes over linen and crayons and pencils for the kids. The highchair was already at the table when we arrived, which is always a nice touch.

The high tea arrived with sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, cakes, pasties and all the usual trimmings on the three-tiered trays. There were also candy snakes and goodies in amongst the trays for the kids,  which were a big hit. We had glasses of champagne while the kids each had a child-sized iced chocolate with cream and ice-cream.

What impressed me was that the staff did not mind that we kept coming and going from the table over the next two hours to play in the garden with the kids. The gardens surrounding the tearooms are a perfect playground for children.
We were not rushed and took our time for the entire afternoon and appreciated how they kept refreshing our glasses whenever we returned to the table. They also offered us various balls to play with and toys for the kids to enjoy in the gardens.

Vaucluse House is in the outer eastern suburbs of Sydney, only 30 minutes from the CBD. The charming 1930s interior has stained glass windows, polished floorboards and Bentwood chairs. A roomy balcony area leads onto a large garden for the kids to run around. Well worth a visit if you are a Sydney local or travelling to Sydney on holidays.

Details: open 10am to 4:30pm Wednesday to Sunday (and open every day  duriing NSW school holidays). Bookings, phone (02) 9388 8188.

Devonshire tea is also offered in the cafe and there is a menu for children’s birthday parties.

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