Victoria high tea is a grand tradition that is held daily at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. While many places throughout Canada showcase their British roots, perhaps none is more English than afternoon tea in Victoria. For more than a century, people have gathered in the lobby of the elegant hotel to enjoy a pleasant afternoon—a tradition enjoyed by royalty, celebrities, and generations of mothers, daughters, and friends.
In the tradition of elegant dining, afternoon tea in Victoria follows a typical menu of teas, finger sandwiches, and pastries. The tea is a special blend, not served in any other tearoom. It's served with a selection of fresh fruit as well as scones with strawberry preserves and cream. With the sandwich course, it's easy to see where the Empress Hotel's chef has made her mark. Selections include mushroom patȇ served crostini style, a croissant with free-range eggs, and curried chicken with mango. The dessert course of Victoria High Tea, too, contains some unexpected tastes with rose petal shortbreads and green tea cheesecake.
As you'd expect for meals served at luxury hotels, an upgrade is available. The Afternoon Royal tea package includes a glass of wine as well as a fine selection of cakes, scones, and pastries. Sandwiches and teas also are served to the guests who are treated like royalty. The Prince and Princess High Tea package is specially designed so children can participate in the tradition.
For either package, service begins at noon for afternoon tea in Victoria. Because so many people want to enjoy tea in the lobby overlooking the Inner Harbour, it's best to make reservations well in advance. You don't need to be a guest of the Empress Hotel to savor Victoria high tea. Casual dress is encouraged, although flip flops and baseball caps should be saved for the beaches.