It’s a dismal day outside on Sydney Harbour so there’s no place better to be than the Queens Room of the art-deco wonder Queen Mary 2 for afternoon tea, the British institution first served for Anna Maria Russell, the Seventh Duchess of Bedford, in the 1840s and a daily event on Cunard ships for 150 years. It was a 4pm tide-me-over served for the duchess to curb her “sinking feeling” between the aristocracy’s two main meals — breakfast midmorning and a late dinner. High tea was a 6pm meal for the workers so they could get to bed then back down the mines in the morning. Let’s leave that to social historians as here come the white-gloved QM2 waiters with silver trays. There is a selection of finger sandwiches — egg mayonnaise, tomato, ham and mustard, and the essential cucumber. Following are fresh scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. And the cakes, what a visual joy and taste sensation. The tea, Twinings Traditional Afternoon, is a blend of Assam, Kenyan and Ceylon leaves. Musicians entertain in this elegant ballroom and two professional dancers take to the floor. I want to stay forever. More: cunardline.com.au.