Jenny Valentish recommends the heaving silver scone stand at Melbourne’s Langham

When seeking out afternoon tea in a city, it’s always promising to find it in a hotel bestowed with bellhops and uniformed doormen — particularly if it’s still affordable. The five-star Langham Hotel is in a plum spot on the CBD’s Southbank Avenue, and is a favourite with the well-heeled and well-known.  Upon entering, the breath is rudely taken from your lungs by a streaming waterfall cascading down towards the doors and bookended by escalators. Up two levels is the understatedly chic Aria lounge bar. Afternoon tea here isn’t so much a quaint grandma experience as a cocooning experience from the bustle of the city — and the bar’s not at all bad for cocktails, I may as well add. $35 per person will bring you each your own three-tiered silver stand, loaded with delicate sandwiches with their crusts cut off (they’ll be happy to rustle up a vegetarian option), two scones with individual pots of chantilly cream and jam, and an array of petit fours. This is the Langham Tiffin tea; alternatively you can plump for the $39 chocolate indulgence — and both come with coffee, hot chocolate or leaf tea in silver teapots, naturally. It’s a fantastic way to while away a few hours with your favourite ladies — or even make a business meeting a whole lot more palatable. The hotel itself recommends ‘a quiet tête à tête’.

1 Southgate Avenue, Southbank, Melbourne, Victoria 3006, Australia T (61) (3) 8696 8888 CC

Jenny Valentish

About Jenny Valentish

Jenny Valentish is a regular contributor to the Sydney Morning Herald and the Saturday Paper, and former editor of Time Out Melbourne and Triple J's Jmag.