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Tea Rooms in Victoria


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Hello, I am looking for the top tea rooms in Victoria please? It can be a modern tea lounge or a classic afternoon tea shop. I am also looking for the oldest tea room in Victoria (The Empress has been serving tea for 100 years, is there anywhere older then that?

I would appreciate your help! Thanks Cate

Cate Simpson

Les Dames d'Escoffier International

www.ldei.org

www.lesdames.ca

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Hello there! (long time reader, but first time poster...)

I don't know if this is a "top tea room" but I enjoy the White Heather Tea Room. It is a traditional Scottish tea room with fantastic food and service. The owner/operator has always been there with a friendly welcome each time we've gone.

I prefer it over some of the other tea rooms because it is not very touristy. But tres populaire with the locals.

Good luck!

B

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Hello, I am looking for the top tea rooms in Victoria please? It can be a modern tea lounge or a classic afternoon tea shop. I am also looking for the oldest tea room in Victoria (The Empress has been serving tea for 100 years, is there anywhere older then that?

I would appreciate your help! Thanks Cate

You mean top tea rooms for tourists or a place that locals might go to?

Are you sure about the 100 years of tea service at the Empress?

Who are you gearing your survey to?

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There used to be a delightful tea room in Oak Bay called, I think, "The Blethering Place".  So English you would swear you were in the English countryside and pretty good food too!

I'm sorry, but are you on drugs? So English, you would swear you were in the English countryside? Come on.

Pretty good food? I invite you to take a walk around the corner where you can see the kitchen open to the street.

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There used to be a delightful tea room in Oak Bay called, I think, "The Blethering Place".  So English you would swear you were in the English countryside and pretty good food too!

I'm sorry, but are you on drugs? So English, you would swear you were in the English countryside? Come on.

Pretty good food? I invite you to take a walk around the corner where you can see the kitchen open to the street.

I think it would have been nice if you could have made your point without the personal attack. Not having the benefit of a food writers inside view of Victoria's eating establishments, I can only go by experience and I did have two very pleasant visits to said establishment. And, no, I'm a little old for drugs.

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Sorry Mamacat. Didn't mean to suggest you were on drugs.

The implication that Victoria and tea is so English and more English than the English really pushes my buttons.

Tea is just great. :smile:

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In all my years in Victoria, I never did go for tea. Brunches at the Empress, yes, but no high teas. But after the Empress, The Blethering Place was the 2nd most famous locale for it, at least as far as I ever heard. If it makes any difference, I moved away in '91.

The whole pseudo-British persona of the city, though, continues to be a source of very strong love-hate emotions for the citizens. I'm sure it is the source of a good percentage of tourist dollars, but man is it ever annoying to be labeled with anything. On the bright side, I can fake a killer English accent. (Or so I claim after several pints. :wink: )

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Not an English high tea, but a superior 'diner tea' experience is the Dutch Bakery. Great coffee, slices, petit-four and light meals. Also great greasy spoon stuff!!

If it's busy during lunch, which is always is, they will ask you to share your table. Great for meeting people and socializing.

Also, James Bay Tea Room (on Menzies I think) is fun for a cheesy English Tea experience. The big earthenware tea pots come with a tea cozy in cheap wool like Grandma might have made for you when you first moved out ....

And tea in Victoria can't be said without Murchie's. (est. 1894)

How about tea houses that use teapots that don't drip. Can you find me one of those?

-- Matt.

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memobletheringplace.jpg

Memo the voyeur, Oak Bay Avenue, circa 1967

I have fond memories of really-high tea, when - as a young boy recently moved to Victoria's tweediest neighbourhood - I could tower over the Blethering building and peer into the tea-making chambers of quaint quaintness.

Alas, thanks to not-so-modern medicine (and Oolong therapy), I now stand tall enough to get in the front door.

There's also afternoon tea served at historic Point Ellice House (you can arrive via harbor ferry).

Only a block away (on Turner) is a derelict masterpiece of industrial modern architecture - designed by Victoria's late-great architect, John DiCastri.

(I took this photo last week.)

DSC08829bwcrop.jpg

Memo - where there's a tea room, there's a building

Edited by Memo (log)

Ríate y el mundo ríe contigo. Ronques y duermes solito.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snore, and you sleep alone.

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How about tea houses that use teapots that don't drip.  Can you find me one of those?

Matt, you have to steal them little pieces of food grade tubing on the end of teapots in Chinatown. They are awesome. Just don't steal anything from Don Mee, everyone else is open game.

I have lauded Dutch Bakery on this forum my fair share, but they are definitely more greasy spoon in the dining area rather than high tea. Might work for the really-high tea. But yes the cherry tarts, some of the petit fours, and their most righteous meat pies are my favourites in town.

Edited by BCinBC (log)
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Can you find me one of those?

Matt, you have to steal them little pieces of food grade tubing on the end of teapots in Chinatown. They are awesome. Just don't steal anything from Don Mee, everyone else is open game.

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The Empress for ambiance but the White Heather for better nibbles. My last trip to the Empress I was not impressed with their tea (it was a tea bag in the pot) what the hell is that all about? It's loose leaf or nothing when it comes to tea.

Cheers,

Stephen

Edited by SBonner (log)

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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Come on British Columbia- We still are a Colony- and the Empress is the oldest traditional afternoon tea. :wacko:

Vancouver Island used to be its own seperate colony from the east and from british Colombia

How british is that.

You could say it is still Spanish :biggrin:

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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Come on British Columbia- We still are a Colony- and the Empress is the oldest traditional afternoon tea. :wacko:

Vancouver Island used to be its own seperate colony from the east and from british Colombia

How british is that.

You could say it is still Spanish :biggrin:

steve

Love Spain but thank god we did not pick up their tea drinking bad habits. The Spanish have no idea about tea :cool: . You're right we are still a colony and the Empress is a beauty to look at. I just want to drink my Assam or Darjeeling in loose leaf form and not a tea bag. Shame on the Empress with tea bag tea..."pity just in Canada you say" :raz:

Cheers,

Stephen

Edited by SBonner (log)

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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  • 2 weeks later...
Come on British Columbia- We still are a Colony- and the Empress is the oldest traditional afternoon tea.

For seekers of tea-drinking trivia, Canada officially ceased to be a British colony with the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931.

Para los buscadores del trivia te'-que bebi'a, Canadá dejó oficialmente de ser una colonia británica con el paso del estatuto de Westminster en 1931.

Memo, from the land of trivial pursuits

Edited by Memo (log)

Ríate y el mundo ríe contigo. Ronques y duermes solito.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snore, and you sleep alone.

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Come on British Columbia- We still are a Colony- and the Empress is the oldest traditional afternoon tea.

For seekers of tea-drinking trivia, Canada officially ceased to be a British colony with the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931.

Para los buscadores del trivia te'-que bebi'a, Canadá dejó oficialmente de ser una colonia británica con el paso del estatuto de Westminster en 1931.

Memo, from the land of trivial pursuits

And for those who may be confused by the non-official language bilingual noticia (que beuno), please note that it is British Columbia, not British Colombia...

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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THis is a really funny thread.

In my opinion, Tourism Victoria should do everything they can to get away from the Englishness of Victoria and the stiff upper lip of longstockings that settled here and turned us in to a nimbie paradise with a tweed curtain.

The Terrace at the Empress is far more enjoyable than the tea service.

As for afternoon Tea, try the Grand Pacific Hotel. Awesome selection of rare teas and great tea pots (note: my wife is the restaurant manager so there is some bias).

White Heather is good and for a great introduction to Tea and a very cool spot check out Silk Road Tea on Gov't Street, kitty corner to China Town.

If your coming up Island, stop at the Aerie and ask for James and I will buy you an afternoon tea. We have a great selection of Tea from "T" and we serve French Madelaines (sic).

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Come on British Columbia- We still are a Colony- and the Empress is the oldest traditional afternoon tea.

For seekers of tea-drinking trivia, Canada officially ceased to be a British colony with the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931.

Para los buscadores del trivia te'-que bebi'a, Canadá dejó oficialmente de ser una colonia británica con el paso del estatuto de Westminster en 1931.

Memo, from the land of trivial pursuits

And for those who may be confused by the non-official language bilingual noticia (que beuno), please note that it is British Columbia, not British Colombia...

Deborah,

Love the play on New Order's "Power, Corruption and Lies" Album.

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THis is a really funny thread.

In my opinion, Tourism Victoria should do everything they can to get away from the Englishness of Victoria and the stiff upper lip of longstockings that settled here and turned us in to a nimbie paradise with a tweed curtain.

The Terrace at the Empress is far more enjoyable than the tea service.

As for afternoon Tea, try the Grand Pacific Hotel. Awesome selection of rare teas and great tea pots (note: my wife is the restaurant manager so there is some bias).

White Heather is good and for a great introduction to Tea and a very cool spot check out Silk Road Tea on Gov't Street, kitty corner to China Town.

If your coming up Island, stop at the Aerie and ask for James and I will buy you an afternoon tea. We have a great selection of Tea from "T" and we serve French Madelaines (sic).

James,

Great suggestion for tea at the Grand; I did not know they had a tea service. I also love the teas from "T".

Cheers,

Stephen

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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James,

Great suggestion for tea at the Grand; I did not know they had a tea service. I also love the teas from "T".

Cheers,

Stephen

Shelora wrote about the Grand Pacific's tea program in her latest Epicurean At Large column in EAT Magazine.

Ríate y el mundo ríe contigo. Ronques y duermes solito.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snore, and you sleep alone.

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My wife and I returned just two days ago from spending four days in Victoria. We decided to do the Empress high tea, theorizing it is one of those things you should do before you die. $ 152 CDN later with tax and tip, we were somewhat neutral about the experience vs. the cost. The ambience is lovely, the tea excellent and the little sandwiches and pastries adequate. It was a pleasant experience, but the next time we feel it necessary to take tea in Victoria, we will go elsewhere.

PS: The bill breaks down to $ 55 times two for tea, $ 9.50 times two for a glass of adequate champagne, and the remainder tax and tip. The very same tea at the Empress goes for $ 26 per person in the off season.

Regards,

Michael Lloyd

Mill Creek, Washington USA

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The bill breaks down to $ 55 times two for tea, $ 9.50 times two for a glass of adequate champagne, and the remainder tax and tip.  The very same tea at the Empress goes for $ 26 per person in the off season.

That's gouging! High tea in high season.

Ríate y el mundo ríe contigo. Ronques y duermes solito.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snore, and you sleep alone.

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The bill breaks down to $ 55 times two for tea, $ 9.50 times two for a glass of adequate champagne, and the remainder tax and tip.  The very same tea at the Empress goes for $ 26 per person in the off season.

That's gouging! High tea in high season.

Almost as much per person in CDN dollars as it is in GBP at the Savoy (some years ago, I paid £60/person)...

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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