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Afternoon Tea in Vancouver

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.

Fairmont Empress Hotel

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

 

Notch 8

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

Neverland Tea Salon

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

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

 

Pâttisserie Für Elise

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!

 

 

Seafood in Vancouver

Credit: Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio

 

There are a lot of perks to having the ocean as your backyard, and one of our favourites is the abundance of seafood. With restaurants in Vancouver promoting fresh and quality ingredients, sampling local seafood is easy to do. The best part is the many different kinds of seafood available, from sushi to fish and chips, that can be found around the city. Both locals and visitors will love this new post since we list some of the best (and our favourite) places we recommend to get seafood in Vancouver, for every budget!

Tony’s Fish and Oyster Cafe

If you want to meet a local then Tony’s Fish and Oyster Cafe is the place to go. A popular restaurant on the famous Granville Island that offers a huge selection of seafood, including some great fish and chips. Add in the fact that they are reasonably priced, give large portions, have a take-out window, and have friendly staff, means Tony’s is always on any list of places we recommend to guests.

Credit: @kanakana29 via Instagram

Miku

Most locals have either heard of or been to Miku. Located on the harbourfront at Canada Place, Miku specializes in Aburi sushi, where nigiri sushi is flame-seared on top. They combine both local ingredients and traditional Japanese methods to make some of the best sushi in the city.  Enjoy their lunch or dinner menu as you watch the cruise ships come into the harbour. 

Credit: Miku Restaurant/Tourism Vancouver

                                                                   

Blue Water Cafe

The Blue Water Cafe in trendy Yaletown is found on many of the top restaurant lists. Their diverse menu offers seafood in various forms such as sushi or from their live tanks. The Blue Water Cafe offers guests one of the premier seafood experiences in the city.

Credit: Blue Water Cafe

 

Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House

If you’re looking for the surf and turf experience in a place with personality, then Joe Fortes is a Vancouver classic. Providing a San Francisco style experience, when you eat here you get a selection of fresh seafood and perfectly prepared steaks. You are in goods hands at this award-winning restaurant.  

Credit: Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House

Rodney’s Oyster House

With two locations, one in Gastown and one in Yaletown, Rodney’s offers a casual atmosphere with top quality menu items. Enjoy fresh oysters, clams, mussels as well as four different types of chowder. Sit at the bar and watch the staff prep your oysters, and they make darn sure you only get the good ones. As this spot is popular with locals, don’t forget to make reservations, because Rodney’s is the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights.

Credit: Brianna Alexander

Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio

Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio offers a blend of Japanese and Peruvian delicacies with Vancouver views. Having recently opened in 2015, Ancora offers unique dishes that have left their customers wowed, not only from the food but from the artistic design of the restaurant as well. 

Credit: Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio

                                                           

Go Fish Ocean Emporium

You don’t have to be a restaurant to serve up amazing seafood. Go Fish is a small seafood shack that offers some great fish and chips, burgers, wraps and more right by the water. Open all year round, Go Fish supports local fishermen and the protection of our oceans. Sit back and relax, and watch the boats come in as you enjoy your lunch.

Credit: part_time_traveler via Instagram

 

Hopefully, this post leaves you hungry and wanting to try some of the best seafood Vancouver has to offer. If we missed a restaurant that you feel should be on this post then feel free to let us know and we’ll be sure to check them out!                                               

The Landsea Guide to Government Street

Credit: Tourism Victoria 

 

The Victoria and Butchart Gardens Tour is a favourite for many of our tour guides. From a scenic perspective, it’s easy to see why. Unlike so many cities where historic architecture has begun to crumble under the pressures of time and gentrification, Victoria has maintained and preserved their vibrant Victorian buildings seen along both commercial and residential streets. Government Street, in particular, is especially known for its awe-inspiring moments.

It doesn’t matter which map you look at when visiting Victoria, it’s plain to see that Government Street connects you to almost anything you could want downtown. Generally, whenever a Landsea tour guide conducts a Victoria tour, we drive up Government Street turning into Chinatown to get back to the wharf. Even though our guides try to point out their favourite places, it’s hard to catch everything. Most maps only include the main attractions and can’t fit all the details. So here is a list of some of the best spots on Government Street.

History’s Corner

One of my favourite moments whenever I visit Victoria, is turning onto Government Street. You can also hear how excited visitors get once you make that turn. That’s because, within this little corner of British Columbia’s capital city, you not only get to see the famous Fairmont Empress Hotel, the Royal BC Museum, and the provincial parliament buildings, but also a breathtaking view of the water. In fact, if you image search the words “Victoria BC,” all you see are various photos of these four things. It’s easy for time to fly by when you’re snapping photos here.

                         Credit: Tourism Victoria

Never Leave Without a Souvenir

Government Street is basically ‘main street,’ for Victoria; lined with restaurants, stores, and galleries. Multiple souvenir shops are located here so no one misses a chance to buy a gift for themselves or for others. If you happen to want a one-of-a-kind piece to remember your visit, I would recommend the following stores:

  •      Out of Ireland: the perfect place to pick up handcrafted, imported Irish clothing, art, or jewellery
  •      Cowichan Traders: a go-to spot for those looking to own some First Nations artwork
  •      Rogers Chocolate: it’s hard to leave this beautifully-stained glass storefront filled with sweet chocolate, and rich with history
  •       Munro’s Books: a book lovers’ dream in an enchanting historic building; this store has been ranked as the third best bookstore in the world in 2016
  •       Murchie’s Tea and Coffee: also has a café, but has a great selection of teas and china for that “Victorian” feel

 

                                  Credit: Out of Ireland and Munro’s Books

Foodie or Fast Food

With Landsea Tours, we also arrive in Victoria around noon – which means lunch. Now whether you are a culinary adventurer, looking for unique local dishes, or if you’re instead wanting a family restaurant that serves chicken strips, then Government Street has something for you. Some places we always tend to recommend include:

  • Sam’s Deli – great if you want to grab a sandwich and eat by the water
  • The Soda Shoppe – perfect place to grab an ice-cream, especially in the summer
  • Frankie’s Modern Diner – good family restaurant with local/seasonal favourites
  • Bard and Banker – historic Scottish Pub (great place for fish & chips lovers)
  • Irish Times – historic Irish Pub (I will personally recommend the forest mushroom pizza)

Don’t worry though, if you want to stick to what’s familiar, there are also quite a few chain restaurants located on Government Street (and yes there is a Starbucks too).

                                                      Credit: Victoria Pub Company/Tourism Victoria

Chinatown

Victoria’s Chinatown is the second oldest in North America and always deserves a visit. As long as you aren’t claustrophobic, try visiting Fan Tan Alley – the narrowest commercial street in Canada. Containing both history and culture while being a cute bucket list spot, Chinatown is usually as far as we recommend tourists go and we find few guests wander farther north beyond this point.

                        Credit: Brandon McGeachie/Tourism Victoria

For the Person Who Wants to See it All

If you find yourself with a few extra minutes to spare on your trip, there are a few other places that are worth visiting that can be accessed through Government Street.

  •      Bastion Square – leads to Wharf Street and is lined with public art
  •      Market Square – a tucked away corner that is off Yates Street filled with some neat stores
  •      Wharf Street/Johnston Street – follow along with the water and see the colourful Victorian buildings (ie. Snap your Instagram photos here)

                                 Credit: Tourism Victoria

 

While this post offers the highlights of what can be seen, we personally recommend visiting for yourself. With a harmonious blend of Victorian sophistication mixed with a modern appeal that rivals European cities, Government Street offers travellers a way to explore the vibrant highlights of British Columbia’s capital city.

 

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