5 Afternoon Teas Across Canada
She’s the woman who wiped your tears—and, yes, your bottom—who kissed scraped knees and held her tongue (or not) during your teen years. But how do you show her your appreciation? We mothers love nothing more (and I do speak from experience here) than not having to cook and feeling like we’re spoiled. Throw in a sumptuous setting and possibly a glass of bubbly along with a pot of tea, and we’re likely to forgive you for that time you decided to venture off on your own in a crowded mall. For an hour. When you were three.
Treat your mom like the queen she deserves to be (at least for one day) and shoot to the top of her favourites list with a day out at one of these five afternoon tea spots in Canada:
Windsor Arms, Toronto
Your mom will feel like Audrey Hepburn with afternoon tea at the elegant Windsor Arms hotel in Toronto. In operation since 1937, the chic French-style tea room is replete with magnificent chandeliers, fireplace and dramatic black and white décor. Indulge your mom in a glass of sparkling wine before kicking off a spread of dainty sandwiches that includes smoked salmon, cucumber with sundried tomato and dill cream cheese, followed by warm, freshly baked scones with real Devonshire cream.
Fairmont Empress, Victoria
Afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress in Victoria is a sparking affair, from its cornerstone location on Victoria’s Inner Harbour to its menu of sparkling wine options ranging from a glass of Prosecco to a bottle of Verve Clique rose. Tea has been served in the lobby of hotel for more than a century. Take a seat on an elegant wing-backed chair and gaze at the portraits of King George V and Queen Mary located over two fireplaces. Indulge in mango and curried chicken sandwiches, scones and pastries such as the decadent cappuccino chocolate petal tea cup.
Banff Springs Hotel, Banff
Take tea overlooking the spectacular views of the Bow Valley in the Banff Spring Hotel’s Rundle Lounge. Settle down in their comfortable lounge and choose from 12 loose-leaf teas, including a Banff Springs Blend—a traditional orange pekoe tea—or a green Kyoto Cherry Rose tea. Their Castle Tea riffs off the traditional afternoon tea experience with prosciutto on rye with fig goat cream cheese sandwiches, Victorian scones and a Saskatoon berry tart. Looking to score extra brownie points? Celebrate your mom with a glass of Dom Pérignon “Brut” 2003.
Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver
Treat your mom to afternoon tea in the stylish and modern XiShi Lounge in the Shangri-La hotel. Classical piano accompanies a high tea infused with Asian flavours, but using local ingredients. Tea is served on blue willow china and features a range of sandwiches, scones and decadent pastries including a passionfruit and white chocolate cake. XiShi’s selection of teas includes an Irish whiskey-cream tea and their “heaven and earth” green with notes of strawberry and kiwi.
Fairmont Chateau Laurier, Ottawa
The décor in the elegant Zoé’s Lounge of the Chateau Laurier is a nod to the 1920s and was named in honour of Sir Wilfred Laurier’s wife, Zoé. Their vintage cocktails, like a Cascade Mojito, and live entertainment are bound to make your mom feel special. As well as their Traditional High Tea, Zoé’s offers a unique Canadian Tea. Overlooking Parliament Hill, sample Atlantic smoked salmon open-faced sandwiches, ice wine-marinated strawberries and maple pastries. Zoé’s tea sommelier can help you choose from their selection of exotic teas.