Tucked into Sydney’s historic Rocks area, is this hidden gem – a quaint tea room serving delicious scones baked fresh on premises all day.
I’ve wanted to visit The Tea Cosy for months, but alas, I had nobody to go with – it’s tough making friends in the big city! However, with the fortune of two back-to-back visitors, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting twice this past month.
An Irish-Australian family opened the Irish Design Shop (in which The Tea Cosy is located) 28 years ago and opened the doors of the tea room in 2005. It’s located in a stunning 1870s heritage-listed building (which was originally a military residence for officers), though you might miss the entrance if you blink twice.
You can either sit inside and enjoy the retro decor and vintage lace tablecloths; head outside to soak up the sun in the quaint courtyard, or sit upstairs on the balcony overlooking the Rocks Markets.
Although this sweet little cafe is known for its loose leaf teas, teapots and handmade cosies, refreshing homemade iced-tea suited the 35-degree weather much better. The Lemon Lime Chiller was served ice-cold, brimming with ice and fruit. Every minute detail is accounted for, from the cute vases of flowers on the table to the colour co-ordinated ribbon on the jug, and colourful straws.
We enjoyed a dainty triple layered sandwich tray to begin with, which comes in a variety of classic flavours, including cucumber & cream cheese; ham, cheese, tomato & mustard; and curried egg with tomato.
The Tea Cosy is most famous for its scones – ‘just like nanna used to make’. Using an old secret family recipe, they make them from scratch each morning, and serve them warm with Australian-made gourmet jams, and double thick cream.
I can vouch that they taste amazing, so it doesn’t surprise me that The Tea Cosy is consistently voted as Sydney’s best Devonshire tea. As there are nine different flavours of jam to choose from; it was hard to choose, but the Pear & Vanilla was delicious.
For larger groups or private bookings, there are two beautiful function rooms that are scattered with communal knitting baskets and record players.
My only critique would be the process of ordering – they make it unnecessarily confusing on ‘how’ you should word your selection, and both times I could feel the staff member’s impatience when really, there are no signs or guidance to assist with this before you get to the till. However, as someone who has worked in hospitality for many years, I can understand the stress of a busy weekend.
Aside from that, this traditional home-style baked goodness, served with rustic charm is one of my new favourite places and I’ll definitely be back again.
What? The Tea Cosy
Where? 33 George Street, The Rocks NSW 2000
When? Thursdays and Fridays 10am – 4pm, Saturdays and Sundays 9.30am – 5pm