The iconic Melbourne Zoo is one of Victoria’s best and most popular tourist attractions. This may come as a surprise to some, but the zoo is not just home to our fur and feather friends. I didn’t know this until recently but the Melbourne zoo’s Rainforest Room plays host to a fantastic high tea session once a month.
Opened by the Queen in March 1977, the backdrop of the Rainforest Room looks straight into a Tamarin monkey enclosure. My plus one and I got to enjoy our very own private monkey exhibit whilst indulging in gourmet bites. Yes, the room is grand and yes, the service is impeccable but this high tea is very much a family friendly affair.
The delicious food is served up buffet-style, which gives patrons complete choice over what and how much of something they want to eat. We were so spoiled for choice. For savoury lovers there were a range of delicious sandwiches, pies, and rolls, just to name a few. Sweetaholics will also have their cravings well and truly covered. There were mini waffles, macaroons, chocolate ganache shots, and, of course, scones with jam and cream. Adding in the glass of sparkling wine and a coffee, this really is a divine Sunday.
There is no other venue that can bring you a fancy high tea experience complete with cheeky little dining companions. A ticket to tea also gives you access to the zoo from 1 to 5pm. This means that I got the chance to say hello to some of my other animal friends and walk off some of the sugary goodness from tea.
On my way out, I took a stroll through the award-winning 25-year old Japanese garden and lake, located just outside the Rainforest Room. Designed by renowned Japanese landscape designer, Shiro Nakane, every little detail of this garden has meaning and it’s well worth a visit. The tranquillity of the garden is definitely the cream on the scone and finishes off this experience perfectly.
I loved the casual, buffet-style approach to the high tea experience and these sessions are very popular. Booking in advance is a must and I highly recommend that you give this experience a go.
Ashanie Perera is a foodaholic and avid eater. When she’s not dreaming about her next meal, she can be found running around the block to continue fitting into her current clothes. @thepursuitofchubbyness