Go Have High Tea At The Victoria Falls Hotel

You must have heard about the Afternoon or Stanley Terrace High Tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel? If you were thinking of going and wondering what to expect this review from Cake at Vic Falls will help. There is also a suggested alternative if things don’t go to plan. Learn what the high tea dress code is, the price of the tea, whether you have to book ahead or not and more.

Stanley Terrace High Tea - at Victoria Falls Hotel

The Tea Is Served On The Stanley Terrace

It’s truly picture-perfect, you couldn’t ask for a better view while sipping your tea and buttering up your scones!   One reviewer called it a “million-dollar view” and I totally concur.  It certainly feels like you have taken a step back in time and are sampling a moment of history.

Victoria Falls Hotel Stanley Terrace

Place:  Victoria Falls Hotel on the Stanley Terrace

High Tea is Served: Every-day from 3 – 6 pm.

Booking: Not required – just walk in

Cost: US$30 serves 2-3

Dress code: None

Victoria Falls Hotel Stanley Terrace
Lush green trees and lawn – Victoria Falls Hotel

The Stanley Terrace, with large columns, potted petunia or geranium flowers and a clean colour code of white and maroon, make for a delightful setting for refreshments! Wicker chairs and tables under shaded cream umbrellas are set out with heavy silverware and placemats (drawn by local artist Larry Norton).

Zimbabwe Victoria Falls Hotel High tea afternoon tea
View from the Stanley Terrace – placemats drawn by Larry Norton

Lush green lawn and huge trees, keep the air cool and fresh. Warthogs and a mongoose family show up sometimes to entertain and delight all Stanley Terrace visitors.  🙂

From the terrace, you can see the Victoria Falls Bridge, any trains passing on it and the spray from the Victoria Falls which billows into the sky.  It is particularly pretty at sunset, where it mixes with the golden light.

After ordering the famous high tea, a three-tier server stand loaded with delicious goodies to tuck into arrives – tea sandwiches with a variety of fillings, scones (with the butter, jam and cream – my favourite!!!) and an assortment of yummy tea cakes.

Next, silver pots of tea and all you need to get started arrives.  The waiters give an excellent service and they pour out your first cup of tea.

On a budget? The High Tea could be share among 4 people with extra drinks and an extra plate of scones.

Cake at Vic Falls

Tea is served with the High Tea traditionally, so if you wanted coffee make it nice and clear. FYI their coffee is amazing. Don’t forget they also have a wide selection of other flavoured teas for you to try. Be sure to ask about these – at least to have a look-see, it’s quite impressive!  I am very fond of Earl Grey.

Tip – What To Do If You Miss The Times For High Tea at Victoria Falls Hotel…

Stanley Terrace High Tea at Victoria Falls Hotel
Stanley Terrace High Tea at Victoria Falls Hotel

Perhaps you have already earmarked this as something not to be missed! With all the activities you have lined up though, scheduling it in might be getting tricky…

An alternative to high tea, is to have tea with scones and cream in the morning!  Budget friendly…

Cake at Vic Falls

We treat ourselves to this, it’s affordable – (and when we have visitors it’s like the default activity). Tea and scones at 10 a.m. Obviously not High Tea, but a lovely experience non-the less, the view stays the same. 😉

The scones are fresh, made that day and are light and delicious. Served with whipped cream (not clotted cream) and strawberry jam. It is very reasonably priced and you get to experience the whole atmosphere and soak in the epic view. Get there between 10 and 11 am, any later? No scones for you!  🙁 The All Day Menu starts at 11 am and you guessed it… no scones and tea are on this menu! (Well, tea is…)  So you would have missed out!  Unless you come back at 3 p.m for the Real-Deal Stanley Terrace High Tea.

Tip – Flying into Victoria Falls Airport is practical, the check out queues are something else…  So prepare your minds – know it’s going to take a while… and have High Tea as your first port of call in Victoria Falls.  You are going to need refreshments anyway, and it would be a delightful start to your holiday!  From there, you can go and check into your accommodation, relaxed and refreshed. Or better yet, stay at the Victoria Falls Hotel!

A little History of the English High Tea…

As the British built this Hotel and got the whole tradition started, let’s have a quick look into this delightful custom.

While there is some variance as to the exact origins of the Traditional English High Tea, and who started what – it does seem that over the years it has turned into something quite distinctive.

History tells that two meals were commonly served daily in England – late breakfast and late supper (dinner). To bridge the gap, an afternoon tea was introduced, that included, a few snacks that resemble what we commonly know now as a ploughman’s meal and this was complemented with lots of tea.

A ‘high tea’ and a ‘low tea’ were names given to reference how the tea was taken. For workmen, they were dirty and just wanted a bite to eat and then get back to work – they usually stood at a counter or bar of sorts (high tea). Whereas, those at home had the luxury of making something of the occasion and had it seated with the tea tray placed at a lower level for convenience (low tea).

‘High Tea’ was adopted by the upper class circles as it sounded eloquent.

Cake at Vic Falls

Over time, more thought was given to the tea time spread.  Folk got creative and sandwiches were invented and these began to be served with other savoury treats along with the sweet.  Scones have been there from the beginning and were served with butter, jam and clotted cream – and of course, how could we not mention cake!!!

Okay, so the whole ‘High Tea” concept may not be “exactly” what is done in England – back then or nowadays.  Every place has their own take on what it should include, with culinary chiefs today making all sorts of the new and the wow additions to the fare … but it has become a desirable special treat, sort after by many!

High Tea is a fun-filled experience where you get to feel quite posh and proper for a bit.

Cake at Vic Falls

I am so happy the Victoria Falls Hotel has kept this traditional afternoon tea available for their visitors!

If you know of anyone else travelling to Victoria Falls – be sure to give them these tips!

How Do You Like To Prep Your Scones?

Do you eat scones?  Have you got into a debate about what goes on first – the cream or the jam… If you aren’t sure, try it both ways when you have the Stanley Terrace High Tea, to find out and let us know in the comments below. Personally, I am a jam then cream gal, and require lots of both!  Lol! 🙂

8 thoughts on “Go Have High Tea At The Victoria Falls Hotel”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing a wonderful article about Stanley terrace high tea at Victoria falls,
    I’m a tea lover and love to read about tea, your article took me there, it’s great to know about other great places on Earth that invite me to dream and why not to add it to my wish list!
    Quite interesting why it’s call high tea and lower tea, I didn’t know about it.
    I love to make homemade scones and I will say I go first with the cream and then jam.

    • Hi Alejandra,

      So glad you stopped by and left me a comment.  I am a fellow tea drinker!  Add scones to the fare and my day is complete 🙂

      It is lovely to learn about other places and dreaming is totally allowed.  Who knows, you may get to visit the Victoria Falls Hotel one day and experience High Tea for yourself!

      Thanks for sharing how you like preparing your scones!

      Have a great day.


  2. This is such a great post, very interesting and informative. Omg, those scones..looking so yummm
    The place looks amazing and your post definitely helps promote the tourism there 🙂
    Thanks for a very helpful post. I never knew there is such a good deal there. I will definitely add it to my bucket list and will also let my friends know about it!!

    • Hey Sarah,

      Yes, don’t the scones look awesome!!! So glad you are going to spread the word about the afternoon tea – the Victoria Falls Hotel is a beautiful place and the tea a unique experience. Wishing you all the best.

  3. Very interesting! This place looks amazing! I love the information you gave about the history of high tea and low tea. I never knew that! Will have to keep this place in mind when traveling that way. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Nicole,
      Yes, do! Maybe pin this for later. High tea is such a fun experience at the Grand Vic Falls Hotel. A bit of history always makes something worth doing hey? Well, we hope you visit us soon! If you have any questions be sure to return and ask them. 🙂 Thanks for commenting. And have a great day!

  4. ooooh yum this made my mouth water! Do you have to pay per person, or is it $30 for the table? also, do you have to stay at the Victoria Falls Hotel to be able to go to high tea, or can you stay at a less expensive hotel? I’m from America, so I’m not sure how gratuity works there, do you tip them directly, or on the bill, or not at all? It sounds like a super fun experience, and I wish they did that here! I had no idea they only used to have two meals, and that high tea was a little bite to get you through to the next meal. It sounds like so much fun. Also, what is the difference between whipped cream and clotted cream?

    • Hi there Rachel Annie

      Yes!  It is a yummy experience!  High tea or (afternoon tea) is $30 for two people sharing.  But you could easily spread it among 3 or 4 (if… you are only just wanting a bite or two or are on a budget)  – spoiler alert – there are only enough scones for two!!!  Extra drinks are needed if you did share with more than two. 

      Sure, anyone can walk in and order high tea.  Tipping is done in Zimbabwe – you can work on 10% of the total bill.  It’s really up to you if you give the tip to the waiter directly or on the bill.  We just include it with the bill.  Carrying $1 or $5 bill notes is a good idea and you could just use your credit card – but then tip them with the hard cash.

      Whipped cream is just that – cream whipped up

      Clotted cream is when full fat milk (or in some cases double cream) is baked.  It separates and forms a crust-like surface.  When cool the top part (clotted cream) is very thick and delicious – (it’s not a common food in Zimbabwe – we use whipped cream.

      Well, thanks for stopping by and I hope you get to visit us soon so that you can have High Tea on the Stanley Terrace!

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