Melbourne’s Tea Rooms 1892 — The Hopetoun.

Melbourne's iconic Hopetoun Tea Rooms aka Tea Rooms 1892

Step back in time with this iconic Melbourne Tea Room.

One of my favorite places to visit when�spending a day in the city�is the historic tea rooms in the�Block Arcade, Melbourne. I like to start my day there because it’s the quietest time for the 130-year-old venue. You’ll often find a queue waiting for a seat if you arrive after 11 am � especially later in the week and on weekends. Mondays and Tuesdays between 9 am � 10 am is a great time if you’re not fond of crowded cafes and waiting around like me!

The decor here is unusual, wallpaper filled with large green leaves roaming the walls, and an ornate mirror fills an entire section. This mirror was not originally a feature of the cafe. Once upon a time, it was part of the arcade itself and made its way into the tearooms at some point. You’ll also be fascinated by the cake display window. It’s a mouth-watering selection presented in a way that makes you think of another era, of a time filled with high tea and women in corsets and bustles. And speaking of high tea, it’s something that the�Tea Rooms 1892 offers. You can book it via their website, but they offer a lot more than just that.

Hopetoun Tea Rooms at the Block Arcade

What’s in a name?

That brings me to another point � why is it called The Tea Rooms 1892 when there are references to the Hopetoun Tea Rooms, and it’s clearly written in gold lettering below the cake display on the shop frontage? This causes a lot of confusion amongst visitors, and the cause for the mix-up is a legal dispute that occurred a few years back when the previous owners � who took over the Hopetoun in 2010 � sold the business in 2020 after going into “voluntary administration.” A very bitter period ensued when the ex-owners attempted to take the business’s name away and continued to slander the shop with bad�Google reviews�on the tea rooms page.�

The name has been part of the tea rooms’ history since it was so-called after its benefactor Lady Hopetoun in the late 19th century. The original purpose of the cafe was to provide refreshments for the Lady’s Work Association � it was somewhere women working in the city could come to take a break in their day. Today, it’s an iconic part of�Melbourne’s history and is on the Victorian Heritage Register. I’m always fond of places that make me feel like I’ve traveled back in time, and it definitely does that. It’s also worth a visit for its coffee, cakes, and scones. Chefs in the basement kitchen also prepare great breakfast and lunch selections. If you’re on a budget, even coming to drool over the cake display and take a few photos is a must.�

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