Credit: Neverland Tea Salon
Afternoon tea has always been a fun way to experience an iconic British tradition. With a variety of teas and unique locations available, many different hotels, cafes, and salons offer their own versions of this popular activity. Additionally, it’s a social opportunity that doesn’t leave you feeling rushed.
I think that’s part of the reason why afternoon tea is so popular; people can sit and relax, taking their time sampling the different menu items provided, while enjoying the company of others. Most afternoon teas provide an atmosphere of elegance and can be enjoyed year round, which is great in a place like Vancouver, which may or may not have less than spectacular weather sometimes!
In our post today I am going to list some popular places to enjoy afternoon tea; however, this list is not limited to just downtown Vancouver. Places like Victoria are well-known for having a strong British influence, and there are many places worth visiting in the surrounding areas of Vancouver. Before we start the list though, here are a few things you should note.
The terms ‘high tea’ and ‘afternoon tea’ are commonly used together but are actually different things. Designed for commoners during the 1700s, high tea was a hearty meal consisting of meats and vegetables, consumed after the workday. Afternoon tea, on the other hand, originated in the 1800s, courtesy of Anne Russell, the Duchess of Bedford, who often felt hungry around mid-afternoon and would ask for tea and a snack to be prepared for her. Quickly, this became a trend and many amongst the higher classes began taking part. This is also the version which is accompanied by both smaller savoury and sweet dishes.
Thus, afternoon tea is what this post will be focusing on. Since there is more to the experience than just tea and food, the places on this list will also be judged on their atmosphere, value, and unique features. Accompanying each location will be the cost per adult (pre-tax and not including gratuity), as of July 2018.
This iconic hotel in B.C.’s capital city of Victoria has mastered authentic Victorian elegance with modern sophistication. The Fairmont Empress has served more than 80,000 guests annually and uses bone china from England to dish out a locally made menu with a selection of teas that are ethically and sustainably sourced, as well as offering their own famous chocolate cake. Surrounded by elegance and with the finest service, you will find yourself travelling back through time when dining in their historic lobby.
Cost Per Adult: $78
Credit: Tourism Victoria
The Notch 8 restaurant in the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is famous for their themed afternoon teas. With a fine attention to detail, guests enjoy a selection of pastries with edible decorations, unique platters and dishware that match the theme. Over the years, this restaurant has had themes ranging from the Brothers Grimm to old Hollywood. Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Notch 8 offers guests a different experience every time they visit.
Cost Per Adult: $65
Credit: ICE Portal, Inc./Accor Hotels
The Neverland Tea Salon is one of the newer locations on this list and offers a whimsical approach to afternoon tea. Enjoy bottomless teapots and choose from any of their four different afternoon tea menus. With a children’s tea option, reviewers have commented that the Neverland Tea Salon is perfect for younger guests. Dietary restrictions cause no issue here, as vegetarian and gluten-free options are readily available. Enjoy desserts and sandwiches that are as cute as the atmosphere at this spot.
Cost Per Adult: $38
Credit: Neverland Tea Salon
Adonia Tea House is perfect if you are looking for a vintage atmosphere for your afternoon tea. This quaint shop tucked away in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood advertises a relaxed setting, perfect for anyone wanting an afternoon away from the hustle and bustle of life. Keeping up with the trends set by the hotels, Adonia promotes their authentic experience with fresh and local ingredients. You can also enjoy their tasty sweets and savoury items to go with their catering services. Don’t forget to purchase some tea from their selection of products available for sale.
Cost per Adult: $33
Credit: Adonia Tea House
Located inside an authentic heritage home in Vancouver, this charming location is a hidden gem worth exploring. Pâttisserie Für Elise specializes in traditional afternoon tea, but with French desserts. Located in Yaletown, this shop is a charming escape from the rush of the downtown core. Enjoy their desserts to go, and the Victorian feel while sampling your macarons.
Cost Per Adult: $30
Credit: Claudia Lucía via Instagram
For those who are afternoon tea experts, or those looking for their first experience hopefully this post has you already making plans to try some of the places we've listed. If we missed a place that you think should have made the list then let us know!