Doggedly Serving Our Community, Now We Introduce Vintage High Tea
Venturing towards a vintage high tea to stir things up? Make our place your café for high tea; even the mad hatter would be envious. Pop in for a cuppa and a chat, and your dogs are welcome. Learn how our restaurant can organise your vintage high tea party, in the traditional use of the term, as you require according to our menu choices.
A History of High Tea
Did you know “afternoon tea” differs from “high tea”? Sip on how both traditions brewed.
- British tradition: Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, started high tea in the 19th century to ease her hunger between lunch and dinner. They served afternoon tea around 4 pm, and dinner considered late, at 8 pm. This custom is still upheld today by the British and some of its ex-colonies.
- Afternoon tea: Lady Bedford’s hunger resulted from having only two meals, a midmorning breakfast and dinner. She initiated tea with assorted snacks and invited friends. The invention of the kerosene lamp in the mid-1800s meant the elite could afford afternoon tea and later dinners.
- High tea: The actual history of high tea, ironically, is not of high society but workers who spent afternoons working while the elite snacked before another supper. Workers’ high tea was a proper hot, sustaining meal after work, usually served after 5 pm with tea or ale. Our café is appropriately, a restored workers cottage.
Tips for Planning Your Vintage High Tea
Our hospitable staff or Chris, the owner himself, will make your high tea the talk of Paddington. Australians use tea and dinner interchangeably, so if you invite someone to high tea, prepare them to arrive at dinner, expecting a hearty meal with tea or drinks, not afternoon tea with scones.
- Chef’s Table: Suited for intimate afternoon teas, this menu accommodates six to ten people. Since the Victorian ladies made it a fashion, afternoon tea with the sisters is trendy today. Be sure your order includes lighter snacks such as cakes and cheeses and book the afternoon slot.
- Buffet dinner: Planning a proper high tea? In keeping with proletarian tradition, our buffet after 5 pm caters for larger groups, thirty minimum. You can even blend cultures, turning our Friday Spanish Street Kitchen into a high tea cafe, happy hour from 4 to 6 pm, and have a low and a high tea combined!
- Functions: Our private garden has seen many celebrations and can accommodate eighty guests comfortably for a cocktail-style function.
About Sassafras of Paddington
You can find our restaurant with a shaded garden in the quaint, little leafy suburb of Paddington, Brisbane, characterised by historic buildings but hints of modernism. Brisbane Suburb Reviews (2021) rated Paddington 8/10 for things to do and see and dog-friendliness.
Chris, our owner with a farming background, established our local, organic dog-friendly cafe opposite Paddington Central shopping centre in 1997, with a special dog menu.
Open seven days a week; you can walk in anytime for breakfast, lunch, brunch to discuss events – call or book online.