A Christmas in July luncheon is now served at the Queen’s Terrace Café at Australian Parliament House in Canberra.

We visited the Queen’s Terrace Café today to enjoy a late afternoon tea.* The Premium teas were prepared and served in earthenware tea pots with other home wares by a most hospitable Café attendant called Joseph.

Accompanying the tea was a slice of Whole Devils Food (Chocolate) cake, prepared by the Parliament House bakery. It was eaten in a flash! This is the best chocolate cake this diner has ever tasted.

For the price of $8.70 for tea and cake, this is surely the best afternoon tea served in a five-star location in Canberra at the moment.

The Christmas in July luncheon

Our food and beverage attendant said the Christmas in July lunches served on 15 and 16 July were well received by visitors and diners. The bakery and kitchens in the basement area of Federal Parliament create delicious meals for diners to enjoy their mid-year celebratory luncheon.

The Christmas lunch will be served again this Thursday 22 and Friday 23 July from 11.30 am. Wearing festive attire is optional though, as Parliament House is a grand building, corporate dressing is recommended for the luncheon.

The two-course meal is $45. Three courses are priced at $50 and the five-course Christmas Degustation will cost $60 per head.

The Christmas in July menu

Entrée Menu

Game Farm spatchcock, poached mandarin, Warrigal green tahini honey verde (lg), or
Pumpkin tortellini, red cabbage vinaigrette, Happy Wombat hazelnut, cultured butter (v), or
Murray cod croquette, bouillabaisse broth, rosella sauce rouille, aromatic herb.

Main Menu

Turkey stroganoff local mushroom pot pie, roast gourmet potatoes, cranberry compote, or
Long and slow lamb shin, Parisian gnocchetti, Yorkshire pudding, wattle-seed bearnaise, or
Confit pumpkin steak & velouté, winter vegetable medley, Holy goat’s cheese, saltbush (lg, v)

Dessert Menu

Grand Marnier sunrise lime souffle, burnt vanilla ice cream (lg, v), or
Spiced Australian chocolate molten, Davidson plum raspberry sorbet (v), or
Neapolitan ice cream cake, chocolate biscuit, muntries malto (lg, v).

Five course Christmas Degustation Menu

Pumpkin tortellini, red cabbage vinaigrette, happy wombat hazelnut, cultured butter (v), or
Murray cod croquette, bouillabaisse broth, rosella sauce rouille, aromatic herb, or
Turkey stroganoff local mushroom pot pie, roast Gourmet potatoes, cranberry compote, or
Spiced Australian chocolate molten, Davidson plum raspberry sorbet (v), or
Petit four – Eggnog brulee (lg, v), chocolate Rosella Rocky Road (lg, v), gingerbread people (!?).

LG = low GI; V = vegan.

Kindly note, though, that this menu price is for food-only. That is to say, the Christmas in July menu price does not include drinks or beverages, A separate arrangement needs to be negotiated for refreshments.

Catering contact points

To book and enjoy a mid-year Christmas meal, email or telephone 02-6277 5239. Or via the APH’s website:

Any feedback on catering matters could be emailed to the Café management at:

Building security protocol

Suggestion: allow 20 minutes to travel from the underground car-park to the Security main entrance of Parliament via the stairs or the lift.

Traversing the Protective Services’ instructions about conditions of entry into the building takes no more than 45 seconds of silence. Nodding in agreeance to indicate that you won’t transgress another person’s 1.5 metre spacing requirement is an acceptable response.

This minute of silence is a small price to pay to, once again, be within the confines of Australia’s most architecturally beautiful building,

Once in the Marble Foyer, turn left and take the lift or the grand staircase to arrive in the Queen’s Terrace Café.

Queen’s Terrace Café

Within the Queen’s Terrace Café, the Christmas tree with tinsel are in position waiting for you (see photo above). Let’s celebrate another festive event within Australian Parliament House!

The views from the front window tables of Old Parliament House and the War Memorial are stunning. By arriving by 11.30am we are assured of gaining a great table view before the lunch-time crowd arrives.

This is a great occasion to celebrate fine food prepared by highly-skilled food and beverage teams. The chefs and bakers work within Australian Parliament House so the food quality is fresh on a daily basis.

The quality of the afternoon tea enjoyed today is an indication that the Christmas in July luncheon is sure to please most palates.

Bon Natalie and Bon appetite!


* See my blogs on ‘High Teas with the birds and the bees’ posted 1 June 2021; ‘ANZAC Biscuit baking supports Commonwealth values’ posted 20 April 2021; and ‘French Chocolate Cake for Valentine’s Day’ posted 13 February 2021.

The Queen’s Terrace Café email is:

Text copyright: Fiona Rothchilds 2021 and Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS), Australia, 2021.
Photograph credit: DPS and Australian Parliament House.
Text uploaded: 19 July 2021.