I recently wrote an article on where to go for High Tea with Children in Sydney. We haven't really taken the boys out for high tea, simply because they just don't do posh very well. They also cannot sit still for much longer than 20 minutes. As I thought it was important for the article that I had actually been with my kids for a high tea I decided that it was probably sensible to sample one that didn't cost much, in case we had to make a quick evacuation because they had knocked their tea stand over or spilt their pink lemonade over some very expensive carpet.
That is why I chose The House Eatery by George. The kids afternoon tea only costs $7, and it also owned by the former rugby star George Gregan. As the three males in my life are all a bit rugby mad this made it the perfect choice. However the boys were a tad disappointed when they realised that George himself wouldn't be serving us that day. Just like they were disappointed the time we ate at Jamie's Italian last year, and Jamie Oliver didn't cook their dinner! Ah the glorious naivety of children.
The House Eatery occupies a picture perfect location right under the Opera House. Apparently it is only a "pop up" restaurant, however it has been popped up for quite a while now. It is located on the western boardwalk of the Opera House, just outside the Drama Theatre. So it is the ideal spot to visit before or after you take the kidlets to see the Baby Proms or any of the other productions offered by Kids at the House. We visited on a Sunday and made the most of the cheap transport deal with Family Funday Sunday. However if you're not keen on navigating Sydney's transport system with all of your brood, you can also park at the Opera House. Parking here can be quite expensive, however sometimes they have special deals - click here for more information.
Whilst there aren't any activities to occupy kidlets at The House Eatery, there is plenty of space for them to roam around and you can always give them a little task of counting how many ferries zoom by - otherwise BYO colouring in. Because of all the space, it is also easy to park your pram right next to your table or you can just pop your little one in one of the high chairs available. The toilet facilities are just inside near the Drama Theatre and there is a baby change table in the handicapped toilet.
Now you don't have to worry about your children knocking over their dainty high tea stand at The House Eatery, as the kids afternoon tea is served on a very sensible and very unbreakable wooden board. The $7 cost includes 2 ribbon sandwiches, strawberries, a mini biscuit (a baby melting moment on the day we dined), a sultana scone and a pot of jam and cream. Also included in the price is a babycino. The babycino was more like a mini hot chocolate and it came in a small glass and was topped with grated milk chocolate. I personally think this is brilliant value especially considering the location.
This meal filled the boy's bellies perfectly. They devoured everything except the scone (it perhaps needed nuking in the microwave to freshen it up a bit). If you dine at lunch time, you can also order this afternoon tea board or there is a dedicated kids menu for $15.00 a meal. The tasty meals include a soft drink/apple juice as well as a scoop of ice cream. The choices are Lamb Pappardelle; Crumbed Chicken Strips with mashed potato, peas & gravy; Roast Butternut Ravioli; and Assorted Finger Sandwiches. At dinner the menu is a little bit different and the choices are Lamb Pappardelle; Sausages & Mash; Spaghettini with cherry tomato sauce; or Assorted Finger Sandwiches. Once again they cost $15 and include a drink and scoop of ice cream.
With the boys happily occupied eating their afternoon tea and counting ferries, Mr Munch and I settled in for an afternoon of people watching over a bottle of wine. As we weren't really in the mood for high tea we decided on sharing a George Board - sliced prosciutto, triple cream brie, watercress, fennel & radish salad, pickles & fresh baguette ($24). If you would like to take tea, the high tea stand is $33 per person and it is for a minimum of 2 people. You receive a 3 tier stand with ribbon sandwiches, a selection of sweets and home made scones, served with a GG Espresso coffee or T2 tea. If you like bubbles with your high tea add an extra $9 for Chandon or $15 for Moet.
Our afternoon at The House Eatery by George was an ideal way for us to initiate the boys into their first proper afternoon tea experience. I thoroughly recommend that if you love to do high tea but have children that don't do posh, then you should book yourself and your brood in for the experience at The House Eatery.
So tell me Little Munchers - do you take your kidlets out for High Tea, or are they like my boys and not do posh very well?
Western Broadwalk, outside the Drama Theatre
Sydney Opera House
Sydney, NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9250 7432
Open 7 days 11am - late