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“Bucketlist Item” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Tea at the Empress

Tea at the Empress
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Ranked #61 of 1,177 Restaurants in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $28 - $56
Cuisines: British, Canadian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Scenic view
Dining options: Drinks, Lunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
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.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Bucketlist Item”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 12, 2014

This is a must do once in your lifetime if you love the idea of luxury and pampering. My daughter booked reservations for my 50th birthday while I was staying at the Empress. Very fun.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Prindy2
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, February 27, 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Seattle,

Thank you for writing such a great review on Tripadvisor of your recent Afternoon Tea experience. Our Afternoon Tea servers love to pamper our guests, especially on their birthday. Afternoon Tea is an experience steeped in tradition, designed to create the most enjoyable and memorable experience. We look forward to seeing you next year on your 51st birthday! Thank you again for taking the time to write a review.

Warm regards,
Nathan Pearce
Director of Food & Beverage
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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808 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
California
Level Contributor
49 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Enjoy the civility”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2014

If you are a person who enjoys afternoon tea, then you will know what to expect from the Empress. It's no use complaining about the cost because, face it, you are in the hotel where it feels like the ritual of afternoon tea was born. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed a leisurely afternoon of tea, eating dainty sandwiches and looking around at the ladies who lunch. I am not sure who would complain about there not being enough food because (a) it's a tea, not a buffet and (b) my husband and I both had a box of leftovers. We had never had so much tea to drink in our lives and I don't think we will ever drink so much again. So, wind down a little and enjoy the finer things in life, such as a bottomless cup of Earl Grey and tiny salmon and cucumber sandwiches.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank InTheory
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, February 27, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor of your recent Afternoon Tea experience. I was so happy to read how much you enjoyed the tradition of Afternoon Tea. The Fairmont Empress has been serving Afternoon Tea for over 106 years. Guests from around the world have experienced Afternoon Tea precisely how Anna, Duchess of Bedford intended it to be when she first invited her guests for tea and scones. Our pastry chef and tea sommeliers are delighted to have created a menu that truly upholds this great tradition. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Fairmont Empress when you return to Victoria again.

Warm regards,

Nathan Pearce
Director of Food & Beverage
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indian Wells, California
Level Contributor
79 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“A first time visitor's endeavor.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2014

Of all the tourist experiences in Victoria, this one is probably the most easily skipped in my book. The tea and finger sandwiches are expensive and one can wallow in the grandeur of the hotel itself without doling out the bucks to sit at a small table in a room with 300 of your newest friends. My suggestion is to explore the hotel and have a drink at the bar.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank 4njourneyer
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, February 27, 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Highland,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I am sorry to hear that your Afternoon Tea experience was not as memorable as we would like. We strive to provide the best experience and customer service that guests have come to expect of Fairmont Hotels. I do hope you were able to have a drink at the Bengal Lounge though. The Bengal is rich in history as well, celebrating 60 years the Bengal has always been a popular spot for both guests and locals. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review.

Warm regards,

Nathan Pearce
Director of Food & Beverage
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“This is one of those fantastic experiences that can make a vacation.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2014

We visited Victoria, BC for the first time last week. We were celebrating our 5th year wedding anniversary and wanted to do something special. I have been a huge fan of tea for the last 5 years and seek out tea stores and shops in each town we visit, but this was my first experience with a traditional sit down tea. I read several reviews before going and can say that The Empress still exceeded my high expectations. We decided to order the traditional Fairmont Empress Tea blend and were impressed with the character and complexity. We especially liked the salmon and the chicken curry tea sandwiches. The clotted cream and scones were also fantastic. Our waitress was very attentive and went the extra mile to make sure that our anniversary tea was perfect. I recommend attending an earlier tea and not eating lunch beforehand. There is plenty of food and the earlier seating time will improve your chances of being able to sit near a window. The window seats offer incredible views of the harbor and add to the experience. My husband and I agree that this experience was our favorite on this trip and that we will find a way to return to enjoy afternoon tea in the future.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank rxkate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
54 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Nice experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2014

Yes, it is pricey ($50 per person - adults) but it is an experience. Food was very tasty and surprisingly filling. Tea was average but the service was very attentive. We tried to make reservations for a Monday that same morning but were told they were full. We then walked in shortly after noon and were able to be seated as a walk in. It was a worthwhile experience.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank YVR-AKI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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