A great high tea is a Melbourne institution. The tower of finger sandwiches, artful cakes and hot savouries is one of the best ways to enjoy an afternoon.
Whilst we are familiar with the traditional concept of high tea, the Puffing Billy High Tea Express has added a unique twist to this institution. It most certainly is a unique Melbourne high tea experience.
The Puffing Billy High tea mixes a traditional high tea with a steam journey through Melbourne’s Dandenong ranges. Consequently the old world styling, steam train charm and beautiful views make it one of the most unique Melbourne high teas.
HOP ABOARD A UNIQUE MELBOURNE HIGH TEA EXPERIENCE
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HOW DO I GET TO THE PUFFING BILLY HIGH TEA EXPRESS?
The Puffing Billy High tea experience begins at Belgrave station. The Puffing Billy station is located directly opposite the Belgrave Metro station, which is around an hour from Melbourne.
BOARD THE MOST UNIQUE MELBOURNE HIGH TEA TRAIN
A red carpet lines the path to your carriage. The first class carriages are impeccable. They ooze old world charm and are comfortably heated.
Tables are arranged booth style, with options for guests to dine in groups of 2 or 4. You are free to move around the cabin and exit on to the rear balcony of the carriage to get a better view.
WHAT IS THE FOOD LIKE ON THE PUFFING BILLY HIGH TEA EXPRESS?
PUFFING BILLY HIGH TEA -SWEET TREATS
A traditional cake tier and champagne glasses adorn the tables. Additionally adult fares include a complimentary glass of bubbly and children’s fares include a glass of soft drink or juice. You will be sipping on champagne as the train pulls out of Belgrave station to begin its scenic journey to Lakeside station, Emerald.
The famed cafe Mary Eats Cake cater the Puffing Billy High Tea. The selection includes favourites such as cucumber finger sandwiches and macarons. With at least 72 hours notice, vegetarian, vegan and gluten free diets can be catered for.
The first leg of the journey takes one hour. Subsequently there is plenty of time to enjoy the sweet treats, chat and enjoy the views. Each carriage has a dedicated member of staff so the service level is high. You can purchase additional drinks if desired. Water is available freely. The attention to detail and service makes it one of the best high teas in Melbourne.
PUFFING BILLY HIGH TEA – CREAM TEA
Scones are served warm with home made raspberry jam and individual pots of cream.
Tea and coffee is available and will be refilled on request. There is a more relaxed and jovial vibe on the journey back to Belgrave. The first class carriages are closest to the locomotive on the return journey, so take the opportunity to go outside onto the balcony.
A key point is around 5 minutes before reaching Belgrave station when you cross over the historic Monbulk Creek trestle bridge.
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MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR STOP AT LAKESIDE
At the one hour mark Puffing Billy pulls into Lakeside station in Emerald. You will have an hour of free time to walk around the lake, hire a paddle boat or take some photos with the train. The drivers are obliging and you can take some great shots on the locomotive. Something you certainly can’t do on any other Dandenongs high tea!
Tea and coffee is available and will be refilled on request. There is a more relaxed and jovial vibe on the journey back to Belgrave. The first class carriages are closest to the locomotive on the return journey, so take the opportunity to go outside onto the balcony. A key point is around 5 minutes before reaching Belgrave station when you cross over the historic Monbulk Creek trestle bridge.
Whilst you’re in the area
Christmas in London is especially magical. There is nothing quite like it. London is one of the most festive cities in the world and each year they put a monumental effort into their lights and decorations. Even the red double decker buses ooze Christmas charm as they amble their way through tree lined streets. It certainly isn’t Christmas without seeing the London Christmas lights.
Christmas lights tour in London is essential for those who love this magical season. You could join a group for your London Christmas lights tour however we’re going to guide you so you can take it in at your own pace and enjoy the best pockets in the city.
READ | Our guide on finding the best cherry blossoms in Melbourne
READ | Our guide on wine tasting in the nearby Yarra Valley
A UNIQUE MELBOURNE HIGH TEA
There is no Yarra Valley high tea or in fact Melbourne high tea that combines the high tea ritual with a rail journey. The gentle click clack of the rails and historic nature of steam rail make for a truly immersive experience.
TCheck the Puffing Billy website for future dates.
READ | Our guide on taking the regular Puffing Billy train service
We were guests of Puffing Billy Railway, however all opinions are our own. We were not paid to write this post.