Afternoon Tea - The Fairmont Empress Hotel
Afternoon Tea - The Fairmont Empress Hotel

Afternoon Tea - The Fairmont Empress Hotel

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.fairmont.com/empress
  • Phone: 2503892727x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Daily Seatings start at 1130am
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,JCB,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Afternoon Tea
  • Executive Chef: Morgan Wilson
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Entertainment, Fireplace, High Tea, Non-Smoking Restaurant, View, Wheelchair Access
  • Entertainment: Pianist plays daily during Afternoon Tea Service.

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Afternoon Tea - The Fairmont Empress Hotel
Steeped in tradition, The Fairmont Empress has been serving Victoria's grandest tradition of Afternoon Tea for over a century. The majestic lobby of this landmark hotel has played host to England's most beloved ritual - the taking of Afternoon Tea to famed celebrities, dignitaries and royalty alike.



Our Award-winning Pastry Team works their magic, ensuring an authentic and memorable experience - from your very first sip of our secret Tea at The Empress blend tea, right through to his freshly baked raisin scones served with heavy cream and strawberry preserves.



Served in the relaxing atmosphere of the elegantly restored Tea Lobby, overlooking Victoria's sparkling Inner Harbour, Afternoon Tea is an absolute 'must do' for all who visit Victoria.



Please note any dietary concerns or restrictions in your reservation.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Afternoon Tea - The Fairmont Empress Hotel reviews from OpenTable diners
616 reviews since June 4, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.3
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (501)scenic view (267)romantic (221)fit for foodies (129)great for lunch (127)great for brunch (111)good for groups (92)neighborhood gem (86)kid-friendly (58)hot spot (35)great for outdoor dining (15)notable wine list (8)late-night find (3)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Fantastic Event-A Must in Victoria
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    We attended high tea as part of a cruise stop in the city. One person had a birthday as well that day. We let the hostess know of the birthday and they included a "Happy Birthday" white chocolate strip as part of the pastry tray that was served. Our table waiter was exceptional and treated us formally (suitable to the manner of "high tea") but interacted with us very pleasantly when we asked questions about the china and silver service. It is advisable to book your own reservation online ahead of visiting the city. The Empress Hotel is the only place for high tea in our opinion. Do tour the Empress hotel while you are there. That is a treat in itself. Also do book ahead for the place can be busy at peak times.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service
    DeeDee
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Sam, our waiter was excellent! His service was quiet and non intrusive and he appeared at the right moment to pour our tea etc. He made my experience at High Tea with my mum a lasting memory forever. Thank you.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
    Alliemd
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Shared with a great friend and it was so special. Little pricey for amounts of food but you would only do this once.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    My boyfriend and I really enjoyed high tea at the Fairmont Empress. The food and tea were delicious and the service was amazing. It's too expensive to do often, but it's a great experience and I would definitely go again on a special occasion. I especially appreciate the wonderful dairy-free options they provided.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Victoria Tradition
    birdie
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    My husband and I have been visiting Victoria every few years throughout our 34 years of marriage. Living in the Northwest, Victoria is a special, "local" getaway and enjoying high tea at the Empress is a tradition we rarely forego. It is expensive, but it is a quintessential Victoria experience - slowing down in the elegance of this grand hotel, being served like royalty, and gazing out at the charming inner harbor. The food is delicious and ample so count on it being "lunch" and you'll feel like it was worth the splurge.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious
    Tea42
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    A very enjoyable and relaxing afternoon tea. We were not rushed to leave and could have used the table all afternoon. Excellent service and excellent quality of food and beverages.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very Special Day
    Lloyd
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    My wife and I were celebrating our 30th anniversary. I wanted to treat her to something special. We had a great experience. The service was excellent and the ambiance was perfect. We really enjoyed the food and tea.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Disappointed
    Memi
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    The cutlery was chipped and the food just ok but it's a nice tradition . I expected more for a 200 dollar tea!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Wonderful experience!
    lovetheempress
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Brought my son, daughter in law, and baby from Texas, and they were enchanted by the specialness of the occasion They were very impressed with the service, not tea drinkers - but I think my son is now converted! Being gifted with tea when we left was special.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delightful Experience
    HighTeaLover
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    I took my best friend for High Tea for her birthday and it was a perfect experience. The ambiance at the Empress Hotel is outstanding, although the room was bit crowded for my liking. The tea was a bit too strong for me, but our lovely server provided us with some hot water to temper it a bit. Our server was amazing. She was hospitable, engaging and friendly. The food was okay. I am not a fan of cucumber sandwiches, but the rest of the finger sandwiches were good. The desserts were a miss for me in all but one case, the little chocolate teacup filled with cream. Overall, it was a very good experience, one which I look forward to repeating in the future:)
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great experience
    Berry
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Great quality food and tea, love the gift they give us -the same tea as we ordered, which is tasty. The view is great if u sit beside the window, look forward to go there again! But I don't know if there's limit time for afternoon tea? The waiter seems like push us finish quickly, which is kind of rude.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fatz
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Having the option for enjoying tea on the veranda would be nice :)
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Costly experience
    3sistersandamom
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Although it was a once and a life time experience, it was very costly for what you get and the quality of food. Of course due to the fact that 3 of our party are gluten free eaters, that changes the type of food you can participate in eating. The gluten free selections were comparable to the regular menu but certainly the sandwiches were not. The gf bread was ok but having all the sandwiches made from it was a bit much as it tends to be dry bread. That being said it was a great experience for our moms 70th birthday, we are not likely to go again. Service and ambience was lovely.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food, uncomfortable service
    FancyFood
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    I looked upon afternoon tea at the Empress as a luxurious treat, and the food certainly lived up to expectations. As for the service, I was left waiting for such a long time for some butter to eat with my scone, I was starting to get annoyed. This greatly influenced the gratuity I was to leave. Upon reading my receipt, our waiter questioned the lack of generosity on the tip given, and suggested that unlike in Britain (where we originate) a sizeable gratuity should be given. I was so uncomfortable with the conversation, with him leaning over us and waiting, that I felt obliged to tip, which I deeply regret now! We won't be going back in a hurry!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Pleasant but lacking finer points
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Because we have experienced afternoon tea several times in London at the Ritz and the Langham Hotels it's difficult not to compare any other venues with those (particularly the Ritz). Firstly we followed a sign pointing to where tea was apparently being served and when wr couldn't find where we were supposed to be we were finally ushered around to a rather obscure side entrance of the hotel. The afternoon tea food itself, whilst being acceptable did lack the imagination and finesse to be expected for the price paid. A dress code could also be established for such occasions
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 1806dp
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    The tea experience that all others would do well to emulate.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Sam was wonderful and very attentive. Food was delicious, beautifully prepared and quite filling. A very special treat.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    Even though this was a special occasion I found it over priced at $60 per person for small bites with tea. The setting in a grand room overlooking the harbour with fine china and gracious service was wonderful and almost made it worth the price. A nice touch as we paid the bill was to give us each a box with Empress tea.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A big deal in Victoria
    Katrina
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Fun and civilized and well worth our time. A beautiful setting with great food, great service, tea and champagne!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A Step into the Past
    Eat2Much
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Tea at The Empress is a bucket list experience. We traveled from NC to Canada for a 2week vacation. Having tea in this setting was like stepping through a time portal -- the elegant setting, the classic china with the a Royal seal, the same special blend of tea for over 100 years, and the 3 course serving was classic. The chocolate mini tea cup with the earl gray sugar cream was a tasty finish. Give yourself this hour.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Memorable Event! Glad we did it!
    doni
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    This was our way of celebrating what would have been my fathers 106th birthday. I will cherish the memory of Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel as we celebrated my fathers life in such a special way. Thanks
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not worth the price!
    Millepen
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    The Afternoon Tea is overrated and way too expensive. It cost us $145 including tip for two people who each got 4 tea sandwiches, one biscuit/scone, and 4 little desserts, All were delicious but spend your money on dinner or lunch instead.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Surprise experience
    Sistersurprise
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    I had this experience planned as a surprise for my sister who is from Minn. I was successful!!!!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A royal treat
    WestcoastTourist
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    My husband and I enjoyed a late afternoon tea on a Monday in September. The hotel and tea room are lovely and the sandwiches, scones and desserts were top-notch. We had a nice view of the inner harbour through the arching veranda. The service people were attentive, but it would have been nice if they discussed a little more about the history of the tea and the history of the Empress Hotel. I also found the tea a little expensive for a between meals snack. All in all, it was a really nice experience and I think it really embodied the British experience in Victoria. We would definitely recommend the tea to friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A real treat
    Unsatisfied
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    I recently went for afternoon tea in London, England so had a good comparison. The food here at the Empress was divine and sufficient for our party. We got one of everything for all of our party, in London we had to "rock/paper/scissors for the ones we wanted! The only drawback was that the noise of dishes stacking and cleaning was way too loud. We were seated with our backs to the central serving area and at times we couldn't talk for the noise. The delightful piano playing didn't drown it out either. I'd go back but request a table as far from the serving area as possible.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Loved this experiance
    Barbarastarreview
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    A wonderful birthday for a best friend great glutten free options. Excellent service. Nice piano music, great view overall better than we expected .had a very good time. Will go back again for sure
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Average Food, Fun Ambiance
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    The tea and ambiance are great. But, be warned the food is very average. A fun one-time experience.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Fairmont Empress Tea
    Carolluvscats2
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Our server, Bradly, told us how everything worked and about his life in Toronto. My sister and I love meeting new people in interesting places. The view and hotel were beautiful. The people watching was as good as the food.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Wonderful afternoon with the exception of the service - stand offish, slow, and borderline rude.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Delightful afternoon..good food, excellent service
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Beautifully Accommodating
    tecumsehstitcher
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    When we worked together in England, we were required to serve afternoon tea, so we decided to commemorate our past by enjoying afternoon tea at the Empress. They are very good about accommodating dietary restrictions, and still providing tasty and enjoyable alternatives. Bradley was attentive and entertaining and made our afternoon even more delightful. No rush, no hurry, just a delightfully quiet and pleasant atmosphere that invites you to relax and let go of the bustle for a moment of quiet pleasure.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Afternoon tea
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    What a wonderful experience ! Yosef - our waiter was delightful and most helpful. After discovering one of our threesome was a vegan he suggested their special vegan trays . It was a winner. We enjoyed everything to the point of not being hungry at dinner time. Thank you for a special afternoon tea on beautiful china , a pianist in the background and in the company of good friends .
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • High tea indeed
    Jubilee
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We went to the Afternoon Tea for a very special occasion. It was good but in my opinion not good enough for the price paid. The ambiance and location is great.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful experience
    teaforfour
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    What a great experience we had at tea at the Empress. We were delighted to find they accommodated our need for gluten free foods and did it elegantly. We so enjoyed our time there and the food was very good/
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
    MemoriesOfNewZealand
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    While the food was good, I found the proportion between the sandwiches and the sweets disproportionate. The ratio is one sandwich to 5 petit four per person!!! For my diabetic husband that was a disappointment. In the reservation I have notes our food restrictions, not expecting that sugar level should be one of them Bravo to the conditor - the petit-four were outstanding. The sandwiches were very good but not enough. 1 sandwich, 1 scone, and 5 petit-four and tea of course for $60 – way too high. But obviously it is going to be once in a lifetime experience.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Special Treat!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    An elegant and traditional Tea. A wonderful experience! Also a considering the US to CAN exchange....not to expensive & well worth it! Also special dietary restrictions are acomodated.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful service, pricy for value
    IMHO
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    The price was high for a mildly tired ambience. It seemed production aimed and touristy. Happy I came, but steep price for the experience and for this would not go again or recommend. IMHO
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cgirl
    Cgirl
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    The tea was elegant and delightful. The staff was attentive and helpful. We were seated immediately. Piano playing in the room added to the atmosphere and the china was very elegant.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pat & Laura
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Overall, we enjoyed the afternoon tea . The entire experience was elegant.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • An experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Step into late 1800's with lovely high tea. Delicious with wonderful friendly service.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.