Melbourne Australia – High Tea at the Windsor and high up at the Eureka Tower
One of my Mothers’ day presents this year was High Tea at Melbourne’s awesomely historic Windsor Hotel. Since 1883, the Windsor has served over two million afternoon teas. The hotel is located in Spring Street, across the road from Victoria’s Parliament House and the Old Treasury Building.
(Side note: if you ever get the opportunity, pop in to the Old Treasury Building. The displays tell the story about Melbourne’s journey from the first white settlement, in 1836 through Victoria’s gold rush of the 1850s and on to becoming reportedly the richest city in the world in the late 1800s. They best things about the Old Treasury Building? Firstly, it is totally free to visit, and secondly, being able to walk on floor made up of gold ingots (under perspex) with a ticker tape style display announcing it’s worth at today’s gold prices).
Anyway, back to the beautiful Windsor Hotel. It had always been on my wish list to discover what was hiding behind that beautiful facade. I always loved seeing the ever present doorman and how it just seemed a magical place from a different era. A couple of years ago, my daughter and I were lucky enough to stay at the Windsor the night we saw Hugh Jackman’s show at the nearby Rod Laver Arena. That night also co-ordinated with Melbourne’s Noodle Night Market. Overall a really good night.
Today’s High Tea started at noon. Now don’t let the name ‘high tea’ fool you into thinking that this is anything other that a really big feed. We were shown to our table for two which was by the window looking towards Parliament House. Our waiter, Eddie poured us champagne and lemonade before bring our three plate tower of scones, pastries and delicate sandwiches. The cream, lemon curd and delicious jam was already on the table. Tea and hot chocolate was served before we visited the extensive dessert buffet. Apart from a lavish selection of cakes, cheese cakes, etc there was fruit salad, crepes, sticky date pudding, a chocolate fountain (with plenty of goodies like fruit, marshmallows to dip), there was a seemingly endless supply of sweet goodies …
After we finished high tea and feeling like a nap would be the ideal way to complete the afternoon, we got a tram from Spring Street, down to the Town Hall in Swanston Street. Don’t forget trams within the CBD are free! We walked across the Princes Bridge to Southbank and onto the Eureka Tower., Melbourne’s tallest building.
Up on the 88th floor (297 metres high) of The Eureka Tower is home to the Skydeck observation area offering 360 degree views and The Edge. The Edge is a glass cube that actually travels outward of outside of the tower. Initially, the glass is frosted, so you sense that you are moving out away from the building, but then, all of a sudden, all the frosting of the glass turns clear, including the floor. Fortunately, they have really good hand rails. The observation deck and edge are open from 10am until 10pm so you can see the many faces of Melbourne.
After a great day, it was back to Fed Square, for the car, but still managed a quick trip into the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), which is always very entertaining, even if you only go into the free areas.