Alice in Wonderland has captured the imagination of generations of children and adults, and since Tim Burton’s remake in 2010, just about every high tea establishment has had a Mad Hatter’s theme at one point or another.

But some are better than others, and when it’s part of Good Food Month, I’m willing to bet that the Ultimate High Tea at The Waiting Room is going to be something special.

Before we talk about the food, can I just compliment the service? I brought my 4 year old nephew with me for a bit of bonding time, and everyone was just so accommodating and friendly, and really went the extra mile to try and uphold the illusion theme.

We were first served our choice of drinks – I opted for English Breakfast, and my nephew had a cup of orange/pineapple/grapefruit punch that was poured out of a teapot into his waiting teacup!

Then came the tower of deliciousness!

savouryClockwise from top left: Zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta, Vol au Vents, Cucumber sandwiches on tomato scented bread, Egg salad sandwiches on spinach bread, Smoked salmon and cream cheese roulade, Tuna on rye

It was suggested that we start with the hot savoury items and work our way through – stuffed Zucchini flowers and buttery vol au vents with a creamy leek filling. And of course, cold sandwiches, but instead of white bread, The Waiting Room has used a variety of flavoured breads, like rye, tomato, and spinach. The Egg Salad sandwich was curiously addictive for me, and for my nephew? The Smoked salmon and cream cheese roulade of course.

That boy’s got good taste.

sweetsClockwise from top left: Blueberry mousse top hat, Cassia and violet technicolour eclair, Time piece chocolate macaron, Fruit tart finished with bourbon vanilla cream

And we can’t forget the sweets! Beautiful, colourful little pastries were placed around the bottommost tier, and the creative presentation of the Blueberry Mousse Top Hat and Stopwatch Chocolate Macaron made my nephew and me giggle. My favourite was the eclair – a mixture of blackcurrant and violet flavours brought back memories of my childhood, like a very classy Ribena pastry!


Just when you thought you can’t eat another bite, out comes hot scones from the oven. Like literally. Your order gets put in, and it takes 15 minutes because they bake them to order. Fragrant and piping hot, these crispy-on-the-outside-crumbly-on-the-inside scones were served with sweet sweet jam and a quenelle of cream.

Not to forget the Raspberry Sorbet to finish. Tart raspberries to cleanse your palate are churned into a smooth sorbet, and topped with nuts for texture.


And just to add to the magic, they even had Alice and her friends come out to have tea with us! I thought it was very impressive that they never broke character at all – I had the Red Queen declare that she doesn’t know what a selfie is (haha!), and the Mad Hatter who cracked so-lame-it’s-funny jokes (his favourite kind of tea is emp-tea! Geddit?) – with the Mad Hatter being played by an actual waiter from The Waiting Room.

Who knew that the actor/waiter stereotype was real?

But really. Besides quality food, The Waiting Room really went the extra mile to make sure that we were transported to another world, and created a magical wonderland experience. It was a great afternoon of giggles and cakes, and if you think that high tea is not a full meal (I know I did), just know that we walked away with two takeaway containers full of food and were absolutely stuffed. Like food coma stuffed.

Service, Food, and Experience? Hats off to The Waiting Room for a fantastic high tea service!

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at The Waiting Room was created to celebrate The Age’s Good Food Month. For more information on their usual high tea service, please visit their website (listed below).

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of The Age Good Food Month and The Waiting Room.

The Waiting Room
Ground Fl, Crown Towers Lobby
Crown Casino, 8 Whiteman St
Melbourne, VIC 3006
Phone: 03 8679 1800
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 6am-12mn, Sat-Sun, 10:30am-12mn

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