HOT: High Tea on the Rails by Elysian Afternoon Teas, Newport Railway Workshops, Shea St, Newport

Newport Railway Workshops

High Tea on the Rails was a one-off fundraiser organised by Elysian Afternoon Teas for McAuley Community Services for Women’s May High Tea Appeal.

Elysian Afternoon Teas is a vintage high tea business run by Therese Slee which offers small groups of 2-12 people the experience of high tea without the mess or the fuss.

Therese delivers high tea to your home by bringing her stash of vintage china (including a large collection of unique souvenir teaspoons), linen and table decorations. All the catering is done from her home kitchen. Some of the recipes come from the Ritz in London, some are treasured family recipes and some have been created by Therese.

Newport Railway Workshops

The location of this event was at the Newport Railway Workshops, which once used to be the largest industrial complex in Victoria. I never knew this place existed! The original 1880s workshops are now occupied by railway preservation groups Steamrail Victoria, Diesel Electric Rail Motor Preservation Association Victoria and R707 Operations and used by the Department of Infrastructure for the storage of disused trams and other rail rollingstock. The Australian Railway Historical Society Railway Museum is located south of the workshops.

I’ve eaten a lot of high tea in Melbourne, but never before in a vintage railway carriage! For this occasion we were very lucky to use the historic Avoca Dining Car, which was built at the Newport Railway Workshops and used for the Royal Visit of the Duke and Duchess of York on their visit to Australia in 1927. It was on loan from R707 Operations which charters locomotives, carriages and trains for private tours, corporate events, tours and filming across Victorian rail network.

Newport Railway Workshops

Newport Railway Workshops

Our high tea began with a flute of bubbly or home made ice tea in the spectacular Art Deco interior of lounge car 708, which was built in the 1940s and further decorated with some items from Seddon vintage shop Once More, With Feeling.

Newport Railway Workshops

We were then ushered into the snug dining car. Each gorgeously decorated table held a plate of traditional crustless sandwiches and scones with home made jam while pots of Madame Flavour teas were brought around.

newport railway workshops


The sandwiches were not terribly exciting to be honest as the bread was too soggy and thin. The traditional fillings included chicken paté and lettuce, cucumber and egg.

Newport Railway Workshops

The cake trolley was my highlight, filled to the brim with excellent home made treats. I dived into the moist Lemon Cheese Cream Butter Cake, a crispy hazelnut meringue filled with chocolate ganache and a tart with a hazelnut base and spiced apple butter filling.

Newport Railway Workshops

The ginger fluff sponge was simply amazing, like eating puffs of cloud sandwiching light whipped cream.

Newport Railway Workshops

From the hum of conversation a grand time was had by all as we dined to our fill in unique surroundings. Best of all, $10 of each ticket went to McAuley Community Services for Women, which provides much needed services for women and their children who are escaping family violence and for women who are homeless.

If you’re interested in the works of R707 Operations they restore and maintain heritage locomotives and carriages and can provide tours by appointment. They also regularly provide comfortable family friendly and affordable vintage rail travel day train trips to regional centres in in Victoria.

High Tea on the Rails by Elysian Afternoon Teas, Newport Railway Workshops, Shea St, Newport 

HOT: The Pint of Milk, 19 North Rd, Newport

The Pint of Milk is a lone ranger.

It’s in the middle of nowhere in Newport but has developed a reputation for excellent food and coffee such that westsiders travel up and down Douglas Parade to hang out there.

As its name suggests it used to be a milk bar so it’s not a huge space. There’s a communal table, some smaller tables surrounding it and some prized outdoor tables for cyclists, dog-walkers and families with young kids. They’ve retained some features from the old corner store such as the hardwood floors and old newspaper boards, while modernising it exposed light bulbs, tiled wall features and birds in flight by Jan Flook made from old tyres (as part of Art in Public Spaces).

The breakfast and lunch menu is extensive and available all day, with original dishes presenting a heavy Middle Eastern influence. Aaron, C, RM and I spanned both sides of the menu with a spiced chickpea, tomato and cumin cassoulet, two runny poached eggs flecked with hazelnut dukkah and a spoonful of sumac labne ($ 16), lamb kofta with quinoa, tabbouleh, babaghanoush and garlic yoghurt  ($19), soup of the week (potato and leek) $14 and a roasted veggie stack, taleggio cheese, sourdough crostini and herb dukka ($15).

The kitchen ticked the boxes for the 3 Fs – every dish was fresh, flavoursome and filling. Actually a particular highlight was the potato croquette ($3). It is worth ordering this as a side dish, you will love the crunchy through the crumbed shell to the creamy saffron-tinged mash inside.

Another highlight was the dessert. The cranberry and almond slice ($4) was like a soft polenta cake studded with fruit while the blondie was a sweet crumbly slice best shared between two.

While The Pint of Milk is not my local, it is a cafe worth checking out of you’re in the area – particularly before or after a visit to Scienceworks so you can avoid the not-so-exciting food offered at a tourist attraction.

For more delicious photos of  The Pint of Milk, check out Fatboo and Milk Chai Honey.

The Pint of Milk , 19 North Rd, Newport +61 3 9391 6641
Mon – Fri: 7:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sat – Sun: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

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