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“A wonderful tea service”
Review of Tea at the Empress

Tea at the Empress
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Ranked #50 of 1,196 Restaurants in Victoria
Price range: $29 - $60
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: A grand tradition for over a century, the world renowned Fairmont Empress has served England's most beloved ritual of afternoon tea to famed royalty, celebrities and dignitaries alike. Reinvigorated in our timeless, sophisticated Lobby Lounge, Tea at the Empress will continue this quintessentially Victoria experience. Home of the Empress cake, which showcases an extra special customized chocolate developed by our Executive Pastry Chef AJ Thalakkat and experts in France, Tea at the Empress is among the world's best unique tea experiences. To complement our house-made signature Empress scones, pastries, clotted creams and strawberry preserves with fresh lavender from our rooftop herb garden, are 21 of the finest loose leafs teas available. Featuring our original blend of The Empress Tea and the exceptionally rare Tong Mu Phoenix Lapsang Souchong blend, the tea list is completely ethically sourced and certified by the Ethical Tea Partnership. Tea at the Empress is an absolute must-do event in Victoria.
Canada
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“A wonderful tea service”
Reviewed May 10, 2013

The Empress Room is a beautiful, comfortable place to have afternoon tea. The tea service (tea, food, and staff) is wonderful. I really enjoyed the scone (but I would prefer it with clotted cream, not the empress cream they include) and the savory and sweet items were great - including things like a raspberry macaron, a really lovely shortbread cookie, a mini lemon-meringue, a curried chicken sandwich, a smoked salmon sandwich, and so on. I drank the Empress tea, and the waiter gave me a complimentary box of it to take home (this was a nice surprise!). The afternoon tea is definitely pricey, but it's worth it as a treat.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank naraja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Toronto
Level 6 Contributor
301 reviews
134 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“Way over priced”
Reviewed May 8, 2013

In the Victoria guide book (2013-2014) the Afternoon Tea is advertised as $48.95 per person, but in reality...on May 1st it goes up to $59.95 for the "Tourist Season", as if we weren't being gouged enough. Some of the other Teas advertised in the books were half the price and according to the pictures had about 50% more food too. Think I will go for coffee next time...hopefully it will be cheaper.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank tedb548
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerEmpress, Manager at Tea at the Empress, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Dear Valued Guest from Toronto

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about your recent experience with us. I am so sorry to hear that your visit with us was not as memorable as we would like and that your felt the value of the product your recieved was lacking. We strive to provide the best experience and customer service that guests have come to expect of Fairmont Hotels. I will personally be following up with our Management teams regarding your experience, that is certainly something that we take very seriously. I would like to assure you that our menu price increase is accompanied by a change in menu offerings, not just something that we do to "gouge" our guest. Thank you again for sharing the feedback; I would be happy to discuss your visit further should wish. I can be reached directly via email at nathan.pearce@fairmont.com. Thank you so much for your time and feedback.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“afternoon tea is an experence, not a meal”
Reviewed May 4, 2013

before you have afternoon tea (reservations required) visit the memorabilia on the lower level to see why you are paying $50. for a snack. in keeping w/ the era - no jeans allowed. a friend and i went for afternoon tea in february (off-season it's $25) and sat by the fireplace. it warmed my heart as well as my body. i took my daughter in may a few years later when the fireplace was not lit, but we sat by the window facing the harbour and that was pleasant.

first, i don't know what tea they seve now. they used to serve a special blend by murchies (empress afternoon tea) and you'd receive a small souveneer can of ten teabags to take w/ you, but that blend is now called afternoon blend at murchies. 'tea' consists of the british menu of the turn of the century - scones w/ jam (sadly no devon cream), tiny cucumber and other selections of white bread (crusts cut off of course) petit fours, a fruit cup (fresh strawberries in season) and four tiny cakes and tarts served on a three tier porcelin cake server. tea is meant to be savoured and you will never be rushed. excellent service. the food is authentic (i'm british and have tea in england often) and delicious, altho tea n stratford england is preferable, and the sevice impeccable.

if $50 and no jeans doesn't suit you - try murchies afternoon tea service (reserve 24 hours in advance). granted it's not THE empress, but it's authentic and you will be seated in a seperate room under a pretenda-tree. it's quite pleasant.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank CommittedCruiser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
648 reviews
388 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 861 helpful votes
“Old tradition still breathing, barely”
Reviewed May 2, 2013

We have experienced this highly publicized "traditional tea" over many years. We reserved an early opening tea at noon. Got a nice window table overlooking the harbour and enjoyed the ambience of the old-time tea room in this old-time faux British hotel.
We knew it was expensive and were not disappointed to pay $55 a person for "tea".
The presentation is still a delight, including two pots of excellent tea and a large assortment of small sandwiches and pastries.
The old gal is getting a little arthritic and service is just adequate. Sandwiches were pre-made and somewhat dried out, fillings were not spectacular and pastries were just so-so.
At half the price this would be nicer, but they are a tourist magnet and can get away with boosted price levels.
A year ago we experienced the same price level "tea" at Butchart Gardens and found the food and service there much better. Although it is a long car ride or bus ride out to Butchart, and they charge admission to get into the park in the first place.
So for a touch of tradition this Empress experience is adequate but there are sure enough much better places for lunch at more affordable prices within walking distance of the harbour.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Malice6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerEmpress, Manager at Tea at the Empress, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Dear Valued Guest from Seattle

Thank you so much for sharing your feedback about your recent experience with our Afternoon Tea service. I am so sorry to hear that our service and presentation did not live up to your previous visit with us! We strive to provide the best experience and customer service that guests have come to expect of Fairmont Hotels. I can personally assure you that all of our offerings are made fresh daily! I will personally be following up with our Culinary teams about your comments regarding the food, that is certainly something that we take very seriously. Thank you again for sharing the feedback; I would be happy to discuss your visit further should wish. I can be reached directly via email at nathan.pearce@fairmont.com. Thank you so much for your time and feedback.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida, United States
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“fabulous!”
Reviewed May 1, 2013

My daughter, two granddaughters and I have been to Empress Tea Room many times. We have always been treated like we were family. The food and tea is fantastic and the service, outstanding. Keep up the good work! ~Mary

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Tara H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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