Hidden within the narrow streets of Chippendale, The White Rabbit Gallery and it’s Tea House is a welcome retreat from city life and traffic heavy thoroughfares that surround the compact inner city suburb. The gallery’s collection is one of the world’s largest and most significant collections of contemporary Chinese art, and to top it off, it’s privately owned! Before settling in for tea, peruse the collection that is exhibited over three floors, otherwise there’s a small gift shop selling an array of typical art gallery gifts. The simple design of the Tea House creates tranquility but the crème de la crème of the space are the mishmash of empty birdcages suspended from the ceiling. Scones are sold singularly rather than as pairs, and only one batch are baked per day. I suggest calling ahead if going specifically for scones, as the first time I turned up they hadn’t baked them due to an event the evening before. On the day I visit, my scone is slightly burnt on the bottom, but otherwise it has a lovely robust texture and tell-tale signs of crispness when straight from the oven. The jam is especially sweet, even for jam, and is neither good nor bad. The lightly whipped cream is more than likely from a cream canister. Closed Monday and Tuesday, and for two-week blocks throughout the year for exhibition changes.
Tea: An extensive range of Chinese and Taiwanese loose-leaf teas served in a teapot and a thimble-sized cup. Choose from white, oolong, and green teas, as well as flower teas such as chrysanthemum. Have as many hot water refills as you and your tea will take.
Overall: A slice of culture and tranquility in the hectic inner city.
Location: 30 Balfour St, Chippendale NSW 2008 Ph: 02 8399 2867 whiterabbitcollection.org
Reviewed September, 2017