High Tea - Victoria

Old Aug 21st, 2002, 11:47 AM
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High Tea - Victoria

High Tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria. Is it recommended? I've heard that the hotel is worth a visit but the High Tea is not worth the expense or even the time. Comments?
Old Aug 21st, 2002, 12:46 PM
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Afternoon tea at the Empress is lovely, but WAY overpriced. I've heard the White Heather Tea Room is just as nice, and much more affordable. From personal experience I can tell you that at least in the summer, Point Ellice House does a wonderful afternoon tea on the lawn, and you could combine that with a tour of the place. It's a historic home and very interesting. I don't know if they serve tea after the summer season is over.
Old Aug 21st, 2002, 02:02 PM
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Ditto on Cindy's comment regarding high tea ... we "did" the Empress' version a year or so ago and, while it was fabulous, it cost over $200 for the four of us. I haven't tried the Point Ellice option, but have heard RAVE reviews. Also heard good things about White Heather and the Gatsby.
Old Aug 21st, 2002, 05:27 PM
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I think it may be worth it if you've never been before. While I much prefer the food at the White Heather (high health inspection rating there too) and would take it over the Empress any day, nowhere has the atmosphere of the Empress. It is ridiculously overpriced though, even off-season.
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 09:59 AM
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We had afternoon tea at the Empress and the Point Ellice house. Both were very good although our favorite afternoon tea was at Murchie's on Government street.
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 03:56 PM
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Well, it isn't really high tea. Everyone should do some research on it. Americans love the Empress but for a real tea then I'd go to the White Heather.
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 04:58 PM
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Why isn't it real tea? We're from Texas and won't know the difference. What do they serve? We are thinking of doing the 12:30 seating instead of lunch one of the days we are there. Good idea?
Old Aug 27th, 2002, 06:38 AM
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It's not that it isn't "real" tea - it is. But the British use the term "high tea" to mean a meal, like a light supper, as distinguished from "dinner" which would be a heavier meal served later on in the evening. We North Americans have a habit of using the expression "high tea" to mean a formal afternoon tea, with sandwiches and cakes, which the British would just refer to as "afternoon tea." (Very often their use of the word "tea" means the same as "meal.") What you'll get at an afternoon tea will be lots of little tasty sandwiches, and some cakes for dessert, possibly scones with clotted cream and jam as well as other sweet stuff. It would make a great lunch. If you go to Point Ellice House, they have a choice of beverages including lavender lemonade, which we thought was absolutely yummy. Most places offer you a choice of lots of different kinds of tea.
Old Aug 27th, 2002, 08:21 PM
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Having tea at the Empress is very elegant. Yes, it is pricey, but well worth the ambiance. We enjoyed it immensely. For an explanation of High Tea vs. Afternoon tea check out this website...http://www.victorialodging.com/hightea/. The Empress is a necessary must that reservations be made directly with hotel a week or two in advance. They will hold the table for only 10 minutes if one is late. There are three seatings: 12:30; 2:00 and 3:30 p.m. The dress code is "Smart Casual." Not allowed: Tank tops; sleevless shirts; "Short" shorts or cut-offs.
There are many other fine establishments that also serve tea in the area. Some are: Buchart Gardens, $26.95; Blethering Place, $15.95; Oak Bay Beach Hotel in Bentley's Restaurant, $19.95 + tax. (This hotel overlooks Juan de Fuca Straight and Olympic Mtns. This is my favorite place in Oak Bay.) Enjoy!
Old Aug 30th, 2002, 04:33 PM
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It would all depend on what is more important to you, being in the elegance of the Empress or having tasty food. We went over to Oak Bay to the White Heather Tearoom last month since my husband was much more in favor of a good meal. We shared the Big Muckle Giant Tea for two which served as lunch AND dinner for us at half the cost of the Empress. To see your choices, look up www.whiteheathertearoom.com. Tell Agnes that Eileen sends her regards!
Old Sep 1st, 2002, 04:14 AM
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Here in Britain we do not call it high tea, it's just called tea.

Tea is taken on a Sunday evening when you eat dinner at midday and tea after 4.30pm.

Tea consists of a big pot of tea or several mugs, snadwiches and cakes.
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