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Small girl taking food from high tea buffet

I must say I’m a little partial to the notion of High Teas – all those little bites of gorgeous things to nibble on, dainty cups, stacked cake racks, clotted cream and cucumber sandwiches, and lavish relaxation.

Usually it’s an adults only affair, but not anymore, at least in Canberra. That’s because First Edition Bar and Restaurant have teamed up with Molly Coddle Parties to put on a regular High Tea affair for the little ones in your life, to set them on an early path to fine living, and to give you a bit of break.

To be clear, it’s not quite as relaxing as sitting around at Raffles in Singapore sipping from fine bone china with colonial timber fans strumming gently above while waiters swish around smoothly bringing you endless cups of English Breakfast tea, or quite as luxurious as the Ritz in London. Mainly that’s because this one involves lots of little people, and everyone knows that negates a lot of otherwise relaxing and peaceful situations. Because kids.

But this high tea is curated especially for the littlies, which means it’s dedicated to making sure they have a good time and are kept amused and well-fed, and that means you get to have a sit down and relax, and eat, and everyone is happy. Especially when you’re offered a glass of bubbles on arrival.

It starts with the food, a child-level buffet of goodies for them—little toastie fingers, fruit, mini pies and quiches, a cascade of cupcakes, and little tubs of ice cream on ice. I was very tempted to just stick to those alone all day and relive my own childhood, scooping ice cream out of buckets with small wooden paddles. Adults are catered for as well , with scones and brownies, spinach triangles, and of course an assortment of sandwiches because it wouldn’t be high tea otherwise, would it? There’s a cheese platter too, while you’re welcome to help yourself to tea and coffee as you please. And don’t forget those little ice cream buckets!

After everyone’s eaten their fill, it’s time to head to the face painting table where the talented girls from Molly Coddle, a local kids entertainment business, transform little faces into butterflies, and flowers, or perhaps tigers.

Each month has a theme and this one was a spring affair so the craft table, attended by a oversized fairy in pink, featured the creation of paper flowers in little pots that went home with their creators. So easy and effective for little fingers to scrunch up paper into lovely little flowers.


And then there were games – with coloured balls and waving fabric and a rather freeform game of ‘duck duck goose’ with a bit of spin on the original rules. Who cares? They had fun. The even-smaller kids had coloured mats and balls to keep them amused in a quieter way.

It happens once a month from 11am to 1pm and is aimed at preschoolers, so is held during the school day when the big kids are away. It’s a great chance for mums to have a relaxed catch up and chat while the kids are fed and entertained at the same time. Of course, Dads and grandmas are frequent visitors as well and there’s a few groups making it a regular gathering.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $35 for kids two to five years, and free for 0-1 year olds, and parking is available at the hotel. More information is at https://www.firsteditioncanberra.com.au/whats-on/

The munchkins we took gave it a resounding thumbs up, and provided lots of smiles for evidence. One little boy might have roared for the rest of the day. And we might have swiped some of the balloons as we were leaving.

Have you ever taken your little ones to a High Tea party?

Two little girls with faces painted