Posted on November 25, 2010
Afternoon Tea At The Fairmont Empress Hotel
There is perhaps no icon more synonymous with Victoria than the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Built between 1904 and 1908, its ivy-covered walls have been standing watch over the Victoria Harbour while hosting everyone from musicians and movie stars to dignitaries and royalty.
Walking through the halls, the deep history of the Fairmont Empress Hotel – or simply The Empress as it was formerly known – is abundant in the wooden architecture and Edwardian finishing. Afternoon Tea is a tradition steeped in the hotel’s history, having been served for more than a century to its guests.
With delicate napkins draped across our laps and a delightful bowl of strawberries and cream in front of each of us, Rebecca and I found ourselves starting our Afternoon Tea experience by sipping mimosas. Our host for the afternoon was a kind gentleman by the name of Yousef – he has been impeccably serving tea at the Fairmont Empress for nearly three decades.
Once finished our starters, Yousef brought out a three-tiered tray adorned with finger sandwiches, home-baked scones with Jersey cream and English-made preserves and an array of sugary sweets created by Award-winning Pastry Chef D’Oyen Christie. The salmon pinwheels, fluffy raisin scones and shortbread that tastes like grandma used to make were my absolute favourites.
The tea itself is something to behold. While normally I would load mine with milk and sugar, this blend was perfection all on its own. Featuring organic components from Assam, Kenya, South India, Ceylon and China, this famed tea is worth its weight in gold.
It’s close to impossible to be embraced in such an environment without daydreaming what life may have been like a century ago when a relaxing Afternoon Tea was a part of daily life. The experience was, for me, the epitome of refinement and luxury – and about as close as I’ll ever get to feeling like royalty for a day. The Fairmont Empress’s parting gift of a small box of their tea allowed Rebecca and I to take a part of the day home.
Please visit Miss604.com to read Rebecca’s post regarding her Afternoon Tea experience at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.
Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Empress is served after 12:00 p.m. in the Tea Lobby. Reservations are strongly recommended. The cost is $44-55 per person with Prince and Princess Tea for children, priced at $18. For more information on this and other delights at the Fairmont Empress Hotel, please visit their website. You can also find them on Facebook or follow the Fairmont Empress on Twitter.