October 08, 2013

Travel Tuesday: Afternoon Tea at The Empress: Victoria, BC

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Afternoon Tea at The Empress, Victoria, BC
The Fairmont Empress

There is no better way to indulge my love of tea and travel, than by enjoying afternoon tea in tearooms around the world.  Whether they are upscale or casual, franchises or family-owned, glamorous or kitschy, I have loved trying each and every one of them.  Each new experience might offer up a new china pattern or scone flavor, but they all have things in common.  There is always that feeling of excitement when the three-tiered tea stand is brought to the table, the pungent aroma of fresh brewed tea in the air and the clink of tiny spoons against porcelain teacups.  It is both the familiar and the unexpected elements that make these such special travel memories.

Back in July, I wrote a Travel Tuesday post about Victoria, British Columbia.  I loved the charming and multicultural city of Victoria.  I briefly mentioned how much I enjoyed our afternoon tea at The Fairmont Empress, and thought this would be the perfect occasion to share more about our experience.

Afternoon Tea at The Empress, Victoria, BC
Side View of The Empress

Before we even entered the tea lobby, we enjoyed a walk around the beautiful exterior of the hotel.  Though the hotel is at the center of the city and across from the Inner Harbor, the grounds are quiet and tranquil.  There were lovely old trees and many varieties of flowers in bloom.  Walking through this garden, you'd never guess you were in the heart of the city.

Afternoon Tea at The Empress, Victoria, BC
Sharing a Cup of Empress Blend with my Sister

Tea is served in the traditionally decorated hotel lobby.  The waiters are knowledgeable about the tea, and can tell you all about The Empress Blend made exclusively for the hotel.  This blend of fine black teas from around the world is the perfect backdrop to the food.  We thoroughly enjoyed our finger sandwiches, scones and cakes while sipping the tea and listening to a live pianist.

Afternoon Tea at The Empress, Victoria, BC
Enjoying the Strawberries and Cream

Not to be outdone by other tearooms, The Empress has a signature dish that we all loved.  Strawberries with fresh cream are served before the scones and cakes.  The cream was divine and the extra treat was a nice touch to an already great tea experience.

Afternoon Tea at The Empress, Victoria, BC
The Empress stands across from the Inner Harbor

If you are ever in Victoria, you really must have tea at The Empress.  The setting is so charming and the food and service make this stand out as one of my favorite tearooms.  If you aren't too full after all that wonderful food and drink, why not take a stroll along the Inner Harbor?  Just be sure to buy a tin of The Empress Blend before you leave the hotel.  It's the perfect souvenir to remember your afternoon tea!


6 comments:

  1. Definitely one of the best teas I've ever had. Would love to try another Fairmont Afternoon Tea someday!

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    Replies
    1. Don't you think the strawberries and cream were a great touch? I really want to visit the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec. I bet they serve a fabulous afternoon tea, too.

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  2. Such beautiful models you show sipping on tea at the Empress! When I was in Victoria, I only had the opportunity to walk through the Empress lobby. I need to return there someday to experience the Afternoon Tea that you so fondly describe.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! You missed out for sure. We had a great experience at The Empress!

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