The Hopetoun tearooms are in an historic Block Arcade and very charming. There is always a long queue at peak times. I have only ever dropped in for sandwiches which have been very good if somewhat pricier than the average, and tea which has always been excellent. I had an interstate friend in the city and suggested we go there for brunch one Sunday morning. We were lucky as we arrived at 11.30 and there was no queue and we were squeezed in straight away. Tables are tiny with bentwood chairs and very packed in. The window of Hopetoun is quite amazing and there is an endless stream of tourists taking their photos in front of it. I have had cakes (takeaway) and found them to be very good but not excellent. 3 of us had brunch. I asked if the orange juice was freshly squeezed and was told it was but however it was not. I would not have bought it if I knew that. So I had a $7.15 glass of bottled juice. My friend had the full breakfast which included mushrooms and spinach which I don't eat but cost over $20. My daughter who is vegetarian had the omelette which she enjoyed. It had a lot of tomato and was also over $20. I had the shakshuka egg which was a spicy bean stew with egg for $16.50 . I didn't really enjoy it, it was a bit much for brunch and wasn't my cup of tea. But there were no eggs benedict or plain breakfasts on the menu. Another friend arrived late and we then all had dessert, they weren't worried about moving us on given the huge queues that developed not long after we arrived and it now being almost 12.30 which was good. They also let us squeeze another chair in for my other daughter who joined us for a coffee. My friend was very pleased to see they had not only one but several gluten free cakes available and she is a chef and was very impressed with the orange and almond cake which she said was moist while they are very often dry. Two of us had an amazing looking chocolate swiss roll with strawberries which was nice but not as good as it looked. My daughter had the macaroon which she said was very good and all desserts were presented well and served in a timely fashion and with the coffees. Drinks were pretty good. We had to push through the crowds outside to get a look in the window to choose the desserts which was a bit annoying. The toilet is also way back in the arcade, up an elevator and along a rabbit warren upstairs. When it came to paying they were pedantic about no bill splitting. Everyone except one person had given me cash and I wanted to pay $130 with $100 card and $30 another card but the manager said sorry, they can't allow it as the waitresses make mistakes. It wasn't rocket science! I often go to the Lindt café in Collins St close by and the quality of the desserts at Hopetoun just don't compare, and they are all over $10 while Lindt is usually about $9 and you have more room, and the chocolate drinks are to die for there. If it's cake and coffee you're after I would recommend Lindt café and if you're wanting brunch there would be many other better and cheaper options. Bill was $130.45 for 3 brunches, a bottled OJ, a soft drink, 4 coffees and 4 desserts.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.