Do you think that Queensland’s Parliament House is just for the politicians, well think again. Here’s something that locals and visitors alike should experience at least once in a lifetime – a High Tea (click here) of grand proportions in the Strangers Dining Room where over a century of Queensland history has been made and its leaders including the 2014 G20 summit have gathered.
On a regular occurrence throughout the year, this magnificent dining room complete with black tie waiters, silver service and harp inspired classical music throws it doors open to the general public to take their place at white starched linen tables where only the governments best silver service rules supreme.
As soon as everyone is seated, the wait staff arrive with your selection of “Bubbles”, water, orange juice and your choice of tea and coffee. To follow is an hour and a half to sit and absorb this magnificent setting – classical harp music playing in the background, the soaring ceilings and tiers of the most delectable goodies.
A sumptuous feast of fresh sandwiches of salmon and cucumber, asparagus and turkey, freshly baked scones with the most delicious strawberry jam, savoury quiches, dainty pastries and mouth-watering strawberries dipped in chocolate. We also had the opportunity to speak to the head chef who in glowing terms told us they sourced local grown produce where-ever possible with the menu ever changing from one sitting to another as they often have a lot of repeat customers. Now, that’s a recommendation!!! Also included, along with the scrumptious High Tea, is a highly recommended option of a 30-45 minute tour of Parliament House.
Parliament House (click here) is one of Queensland premier heritage buildings and one of Brisbane’s best-known landmarks. Opposite the resplendent green foliage of Brisbane’s City Botanic Gardens, bound by the Brisbane River and Queensland’s University of Technology, Queensland’s Parliament House is located on the corner of George and Alice Street. The buildings within the parliamentary confines showcase QLD’S history ranging from 1868 through to modern times.
In addition, which is highly recommended, to our High Tea extravaganza is a tour of Parliament House. Starting in the foyer of the old Parliament House building, the tour led by the most knowledgeable guides took us on a behind the scenes visit of the Legislative Assembly Chambers (the was no Parliament sitting on the day of our visit) and Upper House Chambers (by public referendum vote, the Upper House was abolished 23rd March 1922). There was also an opportunity to sit in the members area and position yourself in the Premier’s or Opposition Leaders seat all the while our guide detailed the trappings of a parliamentary sitting. This was just another amazing highlight in what was just a perfect day full of surprises.
We then wound our way along the corridors of power, climbing several flights of stairs, past striking ornate stained glass windows to our next stop, the 1860’s O’Donovan Library where the Government’s oldest book collection is stored in impressive ceiling to floor timber shelves. This large collection of over 32,000 items covers wide ranging subjects from travel, science, history to political science, theology, law and many other materials all forming a very valuable part of this collection.
To everyone’s sadness, this is where our High Tea experience and Parliamentary Tour reached its conclusion. We were then escorted back to the visitors meeting point in the New Parliamentary Annex to continue with our day.
Visiting Parliament House
🚶♂️Directions: Parliament House is on the corner of George and Alice Streets and is an easy walk from Brisbane’s CBD.
🚌 Public Transport: You can catch a bus to Parliament House. Timetables and departure times are available via Translink.
⛴ Ferry: Catch a ferry to Parliament House. A City Cat ferry terminal, QUT Gardens Point, is located at the rear of the precinct. Contact Translink.
🚌 Free City Loop Bus: This is a free Brisbane City Council bus service that circles the CBD. The Loop stops at several locations near Parliament House. 🔥Highly Recommended. Contact Translink.
🚗 Car Parking: There are several car parking stations within the CBD and metered street parking is available in surrounding streets.
What to Know before you Go. 🤔🤔
👉 Entry for High tea guests is via the Parliamentary Annex in Alice Street. Due to the location of the High Tea, all guests will be required to provide Government Issued photo ID to gain entry. You’ll be escorted to the Strangers Dining Room. Parliament House High Tea Information (click here).
👉 The Parliament House tour includes accessing different floors via several staircases, some of which are quite steep. As an alternative to the stairs, there is a “lift” option complete with your own guide to get you from one floor to the next where you can re-join the tour.
👉 Parliamentary guides conduct a variety of tours of Parliament house that are designed for the general public. On Government sitting days there is also the opportunity to see our “Pollies” in action from the Public Gallery. No booking is required. Parliament House Visitor Information (click here)
More To Do In Brisbane
There are many more experiences to do and see if you are visiting our Brisbane City. I have included one of my favourite trips:- See the History of Brisbane @ The Museum of Brisbane, Ride to the top of the City Hall clock tower or have some coffee and cake at the Shingle Inn. Check out the Blog and get all the information you need at ROAD TRIP’N – Museum of Brisbane – Brisbane City Hall (click here)
If you enjoyed this post, I’d be grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. Thank you.