Empress Hotel

Old Aug 12th, 2005, 11:39 AM
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Empress Hotel

Is tea at the Empress Hotel worth it or do something else? We only have a few hours in Victoria.
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Old Aug 12th, 2005, 12:04 PM
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Tea at the Empress is very nice, albeit expensive. Many say there are better teahouses in Victoria. If you are in Victoria in good weather, I would vote for visiting the gorgeous Butchart Gardens and having tea there. It's not as fancy, but still quite nice, and the flowers are out of this world.
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Old Aug 12th, 2005, 12:54 PM
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The locals go to The Blethering Place or the White Heather -
not as elegant of course but great food
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Old Aug 12th, 2005, 03:04 PM
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As a local I can certainly recommend the best tea as far a the quality of the food etc. The Empress is far too overpriced. The White Heather is very good but it is very cramped and not the place I would recommend to tourists. The Blethering Place used to be good but the quality has gone down a lot.
On Government St just a couple of blocks from the inner harbour is Murchies Tea and Coffee. They are a very old tea and coffee merchant. It is fun just to go in there to see it. Their bakery is out of this world too if someone wanted to buy something to to. However their afternoon tea is just fabulous. The are less than 1/2 the price of the Empress at $24.95 but the food is exquisite and the tea is tea itself is the best. They have two seatings daily 2pm and 4pm. If you go to the later seating forget about going to dinner after. They do take reservations and I highly recommend you make one. The phone number is 250-381-5451. If you have friends at home who like tea it is great to take some of their special teas as gifts as well.

I hope you give it a try - you won't be disappointed. I splurge at least once a year.
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Old Aug 12th, 2005, 07:02 PM
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Last year the Victoria Times-Colonist published a list of places that serve afternoon tea. The Empress was the most expensive, but by no means the best.

The one they rated highest, I think, was the Four-Mile Pub on the Old Island Highway. We of course had to go and check it out, and it was awfully good. But our vote still goes to Point Ellice House. I posted about it a couple of weeks ago.
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Old Aug 12th, 2005, 07:30 PM
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It's been a few years since we walked into the Empress planning on an "elegant" tea. What we found were wall to wall tour groups off busses jamming the place. One look and we knew that there was no "elegant" or "relaxing" tea to be had there! Not sure if it was a special day or if that was the norm.
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Old Aug 14th, 2005, 03:46 PM
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Last time I had tea at the Empress it cost $96.00CAD for "tea for two". There was also a bus load of Japanese tourists walking through on a tour. However, I was there last January and there is a sign advising only tea patrons are allowed in the tea room area during serving times. Four Mile pub for tea? Didn't know they served it. Have had good pub lunches and dinner there.
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Old Aug 14th, 2005, 09:07 PM
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$96 for tea for two? I never realized how much gratitude I owe all those tourists that prevented us from having tea that day! Wow.
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Old Aug 15th, 2005, 06:12 AM
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Yes, the Four Mile Pub does afternoon tea - at least they did last year when we heard about it. They have a patio where they serve it; the indoor dining-room does the pub lunches. It was quite lovely; the tea selection was good and the little sandwiches, cakes, and fruit were fantastic. We still like Point Ellice House, though, for atmosphere as much as anything else.
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