Tea with a view: The best hotels in Cape Town for High Tea

By Cathy Magnus,

Cape Town has an endless supply of breathtaking views and what better way to enjoy the scenery than with a pot of tea and some sweet scones. Whether you call it high tea or afternoon tea, enjoy this historical tradition in style.

We’ve rounded up the best hotels in Cape Town offering the ultimate experience in terms of location, view, ambiance, service and food. So if you’re looking for a birthday treat, romantic getaway or just a little indulgence, combine your trip to Cape Town with afternoon tea and enjoy the Mother City’s perfect position between the mountain and sea.

One & Only Cape Town

Head straight to The One and Only at the V&A Waterfront if modern ambiance is your thing. This urban chic resort with its grand décor takes full advantage of the views.


The aptly named Vista Bar and Lounge steals the show with a floor-to-ceiling wall of glass offering an incredible panoramic view of Table Mountain. It’s here you can enjoy a delicious afternoon tea buffet. Sit back, listen to the live music and savour the view.

The One & Only Cape Town maximises its prime location and all rooms have private balconies or terraces looking across the secluded marina. Come dinner time, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Choose from world-class dining at Nobu, the first restaurant in Africa from the Michelin-star chef Nouyuki Matsuhisa, or Rueben’s, from local South African celebrity chef Reuben Riffel.

Essential information for  High Tea:

  • Time: 2.30pm – 5.30pm daily
  • Cost: Weekdays: Afternoon Tea Stand R295 pp / Weekends: Afternoon Tea Buffet R325 pp
  • Speciality: French patisserie, South African Koeksisters
View hotel

The Table Bay Hotel

Offering views of both the Atlantic Ocean and Table Mountain, The Table Bay Hotel is perfectly positioned on the harbour. It is an elegant, classic hotel, conveniently connected to the shopping mall at the V&A Waterfront, so you can shop until it’s time for tea!


Afternoon tea is served in the Lounge, with classic décor and a grand window offering stunning views across the Waterfront and Table Mountain. You can choose to have a three-course high tea service, or simply opt for the sweet buffet, full of decadent cakes and delicious handmade chocolates. Rooms and suites all offer exquisite views too, whichever direction you face.

Essential information for High Tea:

  • Time: Two sittings 2.00pm – 3.30pm / 4.00pm – 5.30pm daily
  • Cost: 3 course High Tea including savoury tea stand and dessert buffet: R320 per person / Sweet buffet only: R200 pp
  • Speciality: South African inspired flavours including rooibos smoked chicken and cape citrus meringue tartlet
View hotel

Twelve Apostles Hotel

The Twelve Apostles Hotel is located just out of the city centre beyond Camps Bay, but it is well worth the journey to get there. Situated on the Atlantic Seaboard, perched between the ocean and the Twelve Apostles, this is where Cape Town really shows off its natural beauty. No matter whether you overlook the mountain or the sea, you are in for a treat.


Rooms in this boutique hotel are light and airy with a contemporary African style. It’s a stunning spot to stay, relax and enjoy “Tea by the Sea”.  As with the rooms, you can choose whether to take your afternoon tea overlooking the ocean or gaze out to the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range and Lion’s Head.

Essential information for High Tea:

  • Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm daily
  • Cost: High Tea Stand: R325 pp
  • Speciality: Scones, macaroons, finger sandwiches
View hotel

Cape Grace

Located on a private quay in the heart of the V&A Waterfront, the Cape Grace Hotel is a slice of luxury beside the marina. With local artwork and antiques, luxe mahogany furniture and rare fabrics, the hotel has been designed around South African and Cape heritage. Every detail has been expertly handcrafted and each of the 120 guestrooms and suites are unique.


Offering a selection of savoury and sweet treats, traditional afternoon tea is served in the Library, where you can sit back and slip into the city’s colonial past. If you haven’t indulged yourself enough, head to the spa for a Kalahari Signature Treatment and be pampered with products containing natural plant oils, red sand, mud and mineral salts from the Kalahari Desert. Divine!

Essential information for High Tea:

  • Time: 12.00pm – 6.00pm daily
  • Cost: Cream Tea (Tea/coffee & scones): R90 pp / Full Afternoon Tea: R210 pp / Champagne Afternoon Tea: R550 pp
  • Speciality: Finger sandwiches, macaroons
View hotel

Belmond Mount Nelson

The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is a true historical classic in the heart of Cape Town. Famed for its links to wartime legends, the hotel maintains its colonial links today and the rooms are all full of charm. Step inside to be transported back the bygone days, but with a restored modern twist.


The high tea buffet is packed with teatime tarts and cakes whilst the Tea Sommerlier selects the best tea. Enjoy it all inside the luxurious lounge, or sit outside on the quiet lawn, beside the pastel pink exterior with Table Mountain behind. It’s an oasis of calm in city.

Essential information for High Tea:

  • Time: Two sittings 1.00pm – 3.00pm / 3.30pm – 5.30pm daily
  • Cost: Savory Stands and Sweet Buffet: R365 pp
  • Speciality: South African Melk Tert and Koeksisters
View hotel

The Vineyard Hotel

On the eastern side of Table Mountain, away from the hustle and bustle of Cape Town, lies The Vineyard Hotel. Originally built as country cottage on a vineyard estate in 1799, this historic property is now a luxurious hotel set in seven acres of gardens on the banks of the Liesbeek River in Newlands.


Afternoon tea can be taken either in the Garden Lounge or out on the patio, with views of the gardens and beautiful mountain. It is a tranquil spot where you can relax and enjoy the natural surroundings away from the city. Head to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, just a few kilometres away, for more of the Cape flora, or if shopping is your thing, Cavendish Square is only a short 5 minute walk from the hotel.

Essential information for High Tea:

  • Time: 3.30pm – 5.30pm daily
  • Cost: Afternoon Tea Stand: R185 pp
  • Speciality: Savoury bites, fruit tartlets
View hotel

The Silo Hotel

If you want views of the ocean, the mountain and the city, The Silo Hotel will not disappoint. Situated above the new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa at the V&A Waterfront, this converted grain silo offers a mix of style and architecture. With geometrical bulging windows to maximise the light and the views, the Silo Hotel is a celebration of art and design from both the inside and outside.


Each room has been individually designed and decorated to make the most of the industrial architecture, and there are a variety of dining options. “Royal Tea” is served on the sixth floor, but don’t miss a visit up to the roof terrace for an incredible 360-degree view of Cape Town that will take your breath away.  Unwind with a glass of champagne or take a dip in the rooftop pool whilst soaking up the stunning views.

Photograph: The Royal Portfolio

Essential information for High Tea:

  • Time: 2.00pm – 4.40pm daily
  • Cost: Royal Tea Stand: R225 pp
  • Speciality: Petit gateaux
View hotel

Prices correct at time of publication. Afternoon Tea may require advance reservation.