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Hopetoun Tea Rooms

The Hopetoun tea rooms, Melbourne's oldest, were established in 1892 at 6 Block Arcade, moving to shops 12 and 13 in 1893. A teetotal ladies' domain, frequented by polite society, it was a fashionable spot for lady shoppers to take lunch or afternoon tea in the 1890s. Until 1907 they were run by the Victorian Ladies' Work Association, named after their founder Lady Hopetoun, wife of Lord Hopetoun, Victorian Governor (1889-95) and Australian Governor-General (1901-03). When the Association disbanded, the tea rooms moved to their present location, shops 1 and 2 at the front of the Block. They have survived little changed to this day, retaining a quaint atmosphere of old-world gentility and refinement.

Carly Millar