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“Best tea in Victoria area.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Dining Room Restaurant - Butchart Gardens

The Dining Room Restaurant - Butchart Gardens
800 Benvenuto Avenue, Central Saanich, British Columbia, Canada
250-652-8222
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Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Wallace Drive
Transit: From downtown Victoria, you should take bus #30 or #31, then transfer to bus #75 (at the Royal Oak exchange) which comes right to The Gardens. For BC Transit schedules visit http://www.bctransit.com/regions/vic/?p=1.txt
Description: One of two restaurants (the Blue Poppy is the other, more casual style) in the renowned Butchart Gardens. The Dining Room Restaurant is located in the former residence of the Butchart family and is surrounded by gardens. Fresh local ingredients and local wines make for exceptional experiences. Afternoon Tea is served in the warmer months and High Tea during the rest of the year. Patio seating is available during the warmer months.Dining Room reservations can be made on The Butchart Gardens website or via OpenTable.
Danville, CA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Best tea in Victoria area.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

We visited Buchart yesterday and truly enjoyed our afternoon tea in The Dining Room. The service was extremely professional-attentive, knowledgeable and friendly. We had a beautiful view of the gardens from our table and the restaurant was quiet and we were easily able to have a conversation. It was nice to be able to order from either the tea menu or the full service lunch menu as half of our group did not want tea and the other half did. Pleased everyone! Perfect ending to a beautiful visit to the gardens.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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150 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    100
    32
    14
    3
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
SF Bay Area, California
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Wonderful Afternoon Tea”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

My husband and I have been to Butchart Gardens outside Victoria many times. This time, I decided we should have afternoon tea in The Dining Room. It was a great decision. We had the latest (3 p.m.) reservation time, so that we could walk through the Sunken Garden first. We didn't realize that we could reserve a table on the covered patio overlooking the Italian Garden and the Rose Garden (that's for next time!). But the inside is lovely, with big windows so you can people- or plant-watch. You have a choice of several teas (we got Teaberry and English Breakfast - both excellent). The tea tower had many savoury items and sweets. The very best were the German sausage roll with mustard, the candied ginger scone, and the incredible truffle. Everything was wonderful, and the service was outstanding. We ordered the Okanagan wine flight (3 wines) to share with our food, and they were delicious as well. The server took the time to explain everything on the tower, and to tell us about the wines (and which wine paired with which foods). When we couldn't finish our entire pot of tea, our server gave us the rest in a cup to take as we walked around the gardens. This afternoon tea was a real treat! It will be our new tradition when visiting Victoria.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Top Contributor
490 reviews 490 reviews
268 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 118 cities Reviews in 118 cities
704 helpful votes 704 helpful votes
“Could Have Been A 5 STAR...Except For This BAD Hiccup...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

We were enjoying The Gardens and had a lunch reservation. We had asked on our res. for outdoor seating, because we were celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary. Such a nice place to want to celebrate!

Well, we got there about 15 minutes before out res. time and were told to wait, as nothing was open on the terrace. The hostess came back rather quick and told us it could be at least 45 minutes or more...or we could be seated inside. So, we did not really want to be seated inside the rather HOT and BRIGHT "greenhouse" or "conservatory room" but we did not have much choice. There is no bar to have a cocktail to idle the time away...

Very lovely room...a lot of windows...nice plants and furniture. We were seated at a table for 2...VERY small...as in no real room for everything that would be placed on your table. Tables were WAY too close together...so everyone was really whispering. HELLO Dining Room...seating is TOO close.

Had a couple of wines along with our lunch. Spouse had the celery soup. A very large bowl and VERY hot, but pretty tasteless. We split a burger and fries and it was very good. I do not like french fries, but these, along with mayonnaise were SOOO tasty! Our bill was about $100.00(US).

It was rather hot in the "greenhouse" room...I would advise not to sit there.

Paid the bill and went on to enjoy the rest of The Gardens. At days end for us, about 3:20 we came back to The Dining Room to have a "farewell drink" before leaving. The hostess was rude and said they were not seating at this time. We explained we already had lunch here but it was our 35th anniversary. We had such a nice day we just wanted to have a "farewell" cocktail before taking our CVS bus back to Victoria. She had to get a manager??? Another person of 30 years old came out and said it was "too late" to seat...even though there was about 10 - 14 tables still seated and eating/drinking.

Well, Dining Room at The Butchart Gardens you really need to pay attention to your customers. Not like we were asking for a dinner menu at 3:00 in the afternoon. All we wanted was to have a special drink on our special day. It really made us feel bad.

And like I told the rude hostess...Thanks for the good Canadian hospitality.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Butchart_Gardens, Public Relations Manager at The Dining Room Restaurant - Butchart Gardens, responded to this review, July 25, 2013
We appreciate the fairness of your critique and we want to follow-up with you. If you could let us know directly of the date and time of your reservation it will be of great assistance in following up with our restaurant team. (We will send you a direct message request via TripAdvisor.)

In more general terms and to help inform those who read your review we offer these points:
1. Seating on the veranda is limited and weather dependent. We do not accept reservations for specific seating areas, but we note requests and try to honor them. For those who phone us we do advise of this, but we’ll review our web site and OpenTable to make sure it’s outlined there as well.

2. The Dining Room is fully air-conditioned. Adjustments can be made if diners let us know. When we know the date of your visit we will check records to see if there was a problem noted.

3. The liquor laws in British Columbia do not allow for us to seat guests just for cocktails with our Food Primary permit. At the very least, rudeness on our part is not acceptable and perhaps a better explanation of the reason could have been offered.

4. You have raised some valid points which will be passed along to our Dining Room team and steps needed will be taken to ensure these issues do not repeat.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florence, OR
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Beautiful but spendy”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013 via mobile

Beautiful setting, food was expensive, nicely presented, but not the best meal we had in Victoria. Soup and salad was great, pork chop was tasty but stringy!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Smith
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Wonderful Afternoon Tea”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

After reading reviews, we elected to reserve a spot for afternoon tea at the gardens instead of the Empress. We had an absolutely fabulous experience. The service, the atmosphere and the food and tea and wine were all exceptional. We met someone later who had had tea at both locations during that week and they quickly said that the garden's tea was far superior to the Empress. Since the cost was about half the cost at Empress, there was no doubt we made the right choice. We couldn't eat all the food, but our server told us up front that the sweets were the easiest to pack up so we left those for last at his recommendation. We especially loved the scones, the sausage rolls and the quiche - and of course all of the sweets.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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