Enjoying afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress may have been the highlight of my entire Victoria vacation! We almost didn’t have tea because it’s a tad on the expensive side, but I’m so glad that Mal and I decide to indulge in one of Victoria’s grandest traditions.
For almost a century, the majestic lobby of this landmark hotel has played host to England’s most beloved ritual – the taking of Afternoon Tea.
Afternoon Tea is served in the elegant Tea Lobby, which overlooks Victoria’s beautiful Inner Harbor. The atmosphere is relaxing and not as “stuffy” as I expected.
The service was spectacular, too. Our server was upbeat, friendly, attentive, and very accommodating. He even gave us some tea to take home with us!
Mal and I lucked-out with a lovely table with cushy chairs right by the window overlooking the front lawn and harbor.
Before we even ordered our tea, fresh strawberries topped with Chantilly cream were served to our table. The Chantilly cream was light and subtly sweet. It was a nice compliment to the sliced strawberries.
The menu listed a number of freshly brewed tea options. Mal chose Earl Grey while I chose the Empress Blend.
The Empress blend is a selection of seasonal, quality teas, created exclusively for The Fairmont Empress by the Metropolitan Tea Company. With components from Assam (thick malty and full bodied), Kenya (floral-like flavor and a golden coppery infusion), South India (superb fruity and sprightly flavor), Ceylon (airy, almost piquant flavor), and China (burgundy depth with light oaky notes), it is truly one of the finest blends in the world.
I enjoyed the Empress Blend quite a lot. It had tons of full-bodied flavor.
I also loved all of the goodies that were served along with the tea. I tried at least a bite of everything.
- Battenburg-Vanilla and Chocolate Sponge Checkerboard wrapped in marzipan
- Chocolate Cake-Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Butter cream, topped with Ganache
- Lemon Tart- Lemon Curd with Berry Garnish
- Shortbread- Earl Grey Tea
- Marble Chocolate Tulip- a cherry hidden under milk and white
- Chocolate in a Chocolate Tulip Cup
- Freshly baked raisin scones served with heavy cream and strawberry preserves
- Smoked Salmon Pinwheel
- Mango and Curried Chicken
- Carrot and Ginger (cream cheese)
- Cucumber with light Horseradish Mayonnaise
- Multigrain Crostini topped with mixed Mushroom Pate, drizzled with Truffle Oil (open-faced)
Everything was incredibly delicious! My favorites were the Vanilla and Chocolate Sponge Checkerboard wrapped in marzipan, the Carrot and Ginger cream cheese sandwich, and the Crostini topped with mixed Mushroom Pate, drizzled with Truffle Oil. I was in heaven with each of these selections!
From my very first glimpse of the Tea Lobby to my final sip of Empress Blend tea, my experience was truly authentic and memorable. Afternoon Tea is an absolute “must do” for anyone who visits Victoria! Loved it!