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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Puffing Billy High Tea - Cream Tea
The whistle sounds as your cue to return to the carriage. The tables have been reset in preparation for scones. They 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.
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.
The Puffing Billy High Tea Express runs on the following dates. All trains depart at 12:30 midday:
- Sunday 11 August 2019
- Sunday 15 September 2019
- Sunday 20 October 2019
- Sunday 17 November 2019
- Sunday 15 December 2019
We were guests of Puffing Billy Railway, however all opinions are our own. We were not paid to write this post.