The 10 Best High Teas in Cape Town + The Winelands

Best High Teas Lead

A sumptuous and special time-honoured ritual.

For food that looks too beautiful to eat, and service that makes you feel like a VIP, high tea is a gently thrilling and joyful experience, akin to being spoiled on your birthday. The pâtissier’s art and chef’s culinary skill, combined with a connoisseur’s menu of top-quality teas, create a sense of occasion that appeals to all the senses.

Known as afternoon tea in old-school tradition, and made popular by Anna, Duchess of Bedford in the Victorian era, this lavish ritual is largely the preserve of luxury hotels (with a few equally beautiful exceptions), offering visitors a leisurely and sophisticated way to while away the hours between lunch and dinner.

Being a culinary hotspot, Cape Town is spilling over with permutations of this delightful tradition.
Naturally, we selected our favourites, each of which stood out for their uniqueness: in terms of setting, ambience, service and the spread itself.

Find a high tea in these areas
Cape Town
The Winelands

Mount Nelson

High Tea Mount Nelson

A timeless, elegant hotel well-suited to the ethos of an indulgent affair, afternoon tea at this “grande dame” is a Cape Town institution. It is taken in the Lounge, a warm space with Aubusson rugs and subtle rose-hued upholstery, that leads out onto a magnificent garden-facing verandah. Under the guidance of tea sommelier, Craig Cupido, choose between more than 40 of the finest leaf teas and infusions – try the Mount Nelson blend with pink rose petals, or the intriguingly named Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls. Pastry chef Vicky Gurovich whips up masterpieces of sweet delight: the silver tiered cake-stands display a sumptuous array of exquisite mouthfuls, from chocolate and salted caramel roulade to lime and strawberry cheesecake. This follows delicate finger sandwiches and savoury bites from chef George Jardine, plus a basket of warm scones with fresh cream, jam and cheese. And there’s a separate cake table to choose from by the slice. All this, while a pianist plays classics on a baby grand. Come hungry!
Good to know Vegan and gluten-free menus are available with advance notice. Bubbly can also be ordered to make your afternoon soirée that much more sparkling.
Cost R550 per person (includes a welcome glass of iced tea or L’Ormarins Cap Classique)
R350 (children 4 – 11 years)
Times Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm + 3pm
Contact 021 483 1000, restaurantreservations.mnh@belmond.com
Where to find it 76 Orange Street, Gardens
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Coco Safar V&A Waterfront

High Tea Coco Safar

The new Coco Safar at the V&A Waterfront is the go-to spot for world-class pâtisserie and viennoiserie served in sleek and stylish interiors, plus gorgeous views over the harbour to Table Mountain. In addition to speciality coffees and food, it offers the Mother City’s most unique high tea – described as a culinary couture voyage of global proportions. An extraordinary 16-course journey, this season’s tastebud itinerary whisks you to Mexico, Lima in Peru, Beirut, HoChi Minh City, Aix en Provence and Marrakesh, delivering surprise after surprise in various shapes and forms. Tastes range from lamb and adobe, to mango and lime, chocolate and black sesame, until at  journey’s end in Cape Town, fynbos botanicals, classic scones and couture petits fours come together on a tiered stand for the perfect denouement. Your choice of two nonalcoholic beverages accompanies the feast.
Good to know Booking 48 hours in advance is essential.
Cost R1 295 per person
Times Tuesday – Friday, 2.30pm – 6pm (last seating 3.30pm)
Contact 021 433 1336
Where to find it Alfred Mall, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Book Through DinePlan

The Cellars-Hohenort

Cellars Hohenort High Tea

This gracious and historic country hotel in the Constantia Valley is arguably one of the loveliest spots to enjoy high tea at any time of the year, thanks to its award-winning gardens, which really are rather extraordinary. The Classic High Tea served in the light and airy Greenhouse kicks off with a welcome glass of bubbly, then proceeds over four courses: from smoked salmon and avocado roulade, Outeniqua springbok biltong lamington, and Cape Malay beluga curry and roti cornet on the savoury side, to an array of sweet delights: dark chocolate and caramel mille feuille, lemon and lavender gateau, and honeycomb and white chocolate macarons – not forgetting traditional finger sandwiches, and blueberry scones with pear curd and chantilly cream. To drink, there’s a fine selection of 11 loose-leaf Nigiro teas, rooibos and herbal infusions – the exclusive hotel blend of green rooibos with various fruits, flowers, herbs and Liz McGrath rose petals truly conjures a sense of place.
Good to know Book 24 hours in advance.
Cost R435 per person
R215 (children 4 – 11 years)
Times Saturday + Sunday, 11am – 4pm (last seating 2pm)
Contact 021 794 2137, functions@cellars-hohenort.co.za
Where to find it 93 Brommersvlei Road, Constantia
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One&Only Cape Town

High Tea One And Only

Lofty proportions, grand decor and a magnificent view of Table Mountain through floor-to-ceiling windows greet you as you enter the Vista Bar & Lounge at this elegant resort at the V&A Waterfront. Served on characterful O&O stands, the glamorous afternoon tea features cucumber sandwiches, salmon bouchées, chicken tartlets, rare roast beef on toasted brioche, salted caramel baked cheesecake, red berry flower macaron, chocolate and orange entremet and many more delights. And, of course, a free-flowing selection of loose-leaf luxury teas and coffee, or a 375ml bottle of Moët & Chandon with the elite Champagne High Tea.
Good to know A vegetarian menu is also available. Children under 10 can order from the standard Vista Lounge à la carte menu, which includes scones, cakes, pastries, muffins and cookies.
Cost R495 (standard High Tea)
R2 500 (Champagne High Tea)
Times Monday – Sunday, 2pm – 5pm
Contact 021 431 5888, guestexperience@oneandonlycapetown.com
Where to find it One&Only Cape Town, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
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Casa Labia

High Tea Casa Labia

There’s something decidedly civilised about tea by the sea, surrounded by Venetian-style interiors (muralled ceilings, vintage furniture and chandeliers). Casa Labia was once a count and countess’s grand home, and a visit for tea, especially seated in a bay window of the Drawing Room looking out at sea views, does feel decidedly Downton Abbey-ish. On the sweet tiers of the silver stand are familiar favourites given a fresh twist: éclairs topped with raspberry dust; lemon poppy and elderflower lamingtons; cheesecake with peanut butter fudge crumble; choc brownies with toasted marshmallow fluff. Savouries include salmon and cucumber roulade, white truffle arancini and meaty mozzarella bites with tomato jam. The scones are almost shortbread-sweet and moreish. Fun too is the ceremony of choosing a tea from the trolley of Enmasse blends. We went for a divine Pinotage Rooibos (you could see the shrivelled grapes in among tea leaves), then Sticky Naartjie (delicate and citrusy), and finished with a standout pot of Chocolate Chai (full of chai spices and with a smooth, chocolate mouthfeel).
Good to know Booking for high tea, which is made to order, must be made by 10am the day before your visit.
Cost R395 per person (includes bottomless tea)
Times Monday – Sunday, 11am – 1pm + 3pm – 5pm
Contact 021 180 3119, casalabia@ideascartel.com
Where to find it Casa Labia, 192 Main Road, Muizenberg
Book Through DinePlan

Orangerie at Le Lude

High Tea Orangerie Le Lude

Where better to go for a sparkling high tea than an estate that focuses solely on producing award-winning cap classique? The restaurant’s interior hints at a greenhouse of yore, with cane chairs, ceiling fans and leafy palms and ferns. Double-volume arched windows all around put the marvellous view centre stage. Tea begins with a glass of Le Lude MCC, then a selection of nine TWG teas is served in the most beautiful tea service, while the eats arrive on a silver-tiered platter. The delightful spread includes finger sandwiches, scones, and decadent sweet treats.
Good to know Book 24 hours in advance.
Cost R425 per person (minimum two, maximum eight guests)
Times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 3pm (last seating)
Contact 021 876 2961, restaurant@lelude.co.za
Where to find it Bowling Green Avenue, off Lambrechts Road, Franschhoek
Book through DinePlan

Anthonij Rupert Estate

High Tea Anthonij Rupert Estate

Driving up the tree-lined avenue as you enter this wine estate, you’re transported to a majestic manor house surrounded by perfectly manicured lawns, with awe-inspiring mountain views completing the picture. The high tea menu is a continuously evolving, seasonal affair; the lavish tiered stand filled with inventive, palate-enticing creations. The changing array of savoury treats may include beetroot and goat’s cheese madeleines; cremzola, apple jam and candied walnut finger sandwiches; and wild forest mushroom and roast chicken pithiviers. Sweet sensations also vary, but think star anise, berry and Valrhona Ariaga chocolate bar; glazed strawberry mousse cake and semolina citrus cake. Each high tea includes your choice of drink: Premier Cru tea, artisanal coffee or a glass of L’Ormarins bubbly.
Good to know Book 48 hours in advance
Cost R295 per person (minimum four, maximum 10 guests)
Times Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 3.30pm
Contact 021 874 9074
Where to find it R45, Franschhoek
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La Residence

High Tea La Residence

“Versailles in Franschhoek”, La Residence is an elegant hideaway dramatically staged among sweeping vineyards, orchards and olive groves on a secluded 12-hectare estate. Afternoon Tea is served in the loggia (Italian-style patio) overlooking a tranquil pond and mountain views, or fireside in The Great Hall on cooler days​. A variety of savouries, such as mini wild mushroom quiches and bunny chow sliders, is complemented by sweet delights ranging from Amarula and peach scones with clotted cream, to milk tart macarons and peppermint crisp trifle, and served with Nigiro loose-leaf tea or expertly roasted artisan coffee.
Good to know La Residence is closed for repairs to the road after the Franschhoek floods.  Re-opens 1 December 2023 for residents, and 15 January 2024 for non-resident guests. Afternoon Tea is for a minimum of two guests.
Cost R495 per person
Times Monday – Sunday, 11am + 3pm
Contact 021 876 4100, info@laresidence.co.za
Where to find it Elandskloof Road, off Dirkie Uys Street, Franschhoek
Book Through DinePlan

Manor Kitchen at Lanzerac

High Tea Lanzerac

Adorned with a dazzling chandelier and large skylights, Lanzerac’s elegant Manor Kitchen restaurant is the splendid setting for the Timeless Afternoon Tea. It’s a decidedly decadent and sophisticated affair, running from canapés to hot bites to sweet treats and a macaron to finish. After being welcomed with a glass of cap classique, choose from a selection of loose leaf TWG teas: one tea to pair with your savoury, and a second with the sweet courses. Think reimagined bites prepared with the finest seasonal ingredients, tasty croquettes, a selection of finger sandwiches, as well as Lanzerac’s famous scones served with clotted cream, strawberry jam, lavender cream, cheddar and rich butter. Did we mention the sweets? Cupcakes, petit fours, tartlets, éclairs… You’ll want for nothing except perhaps a loose-fitting frock!
Cost R320 per person; R420 per person with unlimited cap classique
Times Saturday, 2pm – 5pm
Contact 021 887 1132, restaurants@lanzerac.co.za
Where to find it Lanzerac, Lanzerac Road, Stellenbosch
Book Through DinePlan

Grande Roche

High Tea Grande Roche

The beautiful thatched Cape Dutch manor at Grande Roche, with its wide veranda giving views over the Paarl mountains, or its log fires burning in the voorkamer in winter, is the perfect setting for an old-world morning or afternoon tea. Arrive to a sparkling glass of cap classique, then settle in to an abundant feast of savouries (from charcuterie bruschetta to pork potstickers), scones and dainty sweet treats (think lemon meringue, chocolate cake and macarons) accompanied by an enticing menu of whole-leaf and single-estate teas (or coffee if that’s your preferred cuppa).
Good to know Book 48 hours in advance.
Cost R445 per person
R345 (under 12s)
Times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Contact 021 863 5100, restaurant@granderoche.co.za
Where 1 Plantasie Street, Paarl
Enquire Now

Which are your favourites? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 13 November 2023

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One Response to “The 10 Best High Teas in Cape Town + The Winelands”

  1. Neels

    Dear team. You missed the High Tea served at The Silo.

    Excellent views and even better service experienced there.

    Reply