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
627 reviews since May 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.3
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (509)scenic view (278)romantic (222)great for lunch (130)fit for foodies (125)great for brunch (116)good for groups (90)neighborhood gem (87)kid-friendly (59)hot spot (35)great for outdoor dining (18)notable wine list (9)late-night find (3)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • 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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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
  • 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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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.
  • A must!
    foodfan
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    A true piece of Canadiana that met our expectations. You have to do Tea at the Empress at least once in your life, for us it will be everytime we get the chance to visit Victoria.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Life long dream
    1down30togo
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    My parents visited on their Honeymoon in the 30s,& they always talked about the High Tea, so when I retired it was on my bucket list. TRULY a great experience!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tea at the Empress Hotel/Victoria
    Suchfun
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    It was lovely atmosphere - good food - great for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • SusieQ
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    Absolutely amazing food and tea. The chef Was able to create wonderful all- vegetarian finger sandwiches for us, and the pastries and scones were delicious. Don't worry if you can't eat it all because they'll provide a " to go" box
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Special Place for special people
    NZWA3
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    A lovely setting with superb character, gracious hosts and hostesses with divine treats. From the savouries to the chocolates all are appeasing to the eye and appetite. Victorian indeed!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Vacation Tea time
    2scotslassies
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    We had a great time at the Empress, Warmly greeted, nice seating and an exceptional waiter. The food was very good and we could not finish the desserts so we took them back to the hotel for a late night snack. Even our husbands were impressed with the food and service as this is generaly not there thing.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Dream come true
    Scousegrannie
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    I first visited this venue 20 years ago and loved it but couldn't afford the afternoon tea price. As a joint birthday and anniversary gesture my husband booked my afternoon tea after all these years. On holiday from Liverpool UK I was not disappointed. My husband had informed the hotel in advance of my special occasion and requested a nice table. The hotel met our request and made my day a very happy occasion. As a lover of traditional English afternoon teas I would suggest the hotel use white table cloths and use leaf tea not the horrid tea bags that they use.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • My Empress Experience
    ValMB
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Very enjoyable afternoon. Good food, good service and loved the music. Would recommend any visitors to check it out.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    superb service, food items were first rate in freshness, quality, variety and presentation; Empress blend tea is quite nice and can stand on its own very well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Eligence at it's best
    Travels4food
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    The last time my mother was here was 1970's and she did notice some minor changes from then. The wait staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive. The rooms were very relaxed and you didn't feel rushed at all. It didn't look like there would be enough food, but there was ample amounts of the sampler. Sweets were sweet, almost too sweet, but all was very nicely presented and tasty. There was a piano player in the background, and she made very good selections for the patrons to listen to, or easily talk over.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Empress in Victoria-Afternoon Tea
    travelend
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Awesome experience! Somewhat sweet, but the savory portion was quite good and the tea was awesome. And the walking tour of Victoria afterwards was memorable.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tea time
    WeLuvTea
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Our visit to the Empress was a trip for my Mom who always wanted to attend High Tea , we explored the Empress, our Tea Time was an experience we will not forget, the service was amazing, every bite was savoury , and the tea was delicious. Our visit was amazing.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • do it
    dlthughes
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    if you go to Victoria, you must have this afternoon Tea, lovely food with great service, makes you feel special for an hour, you deserve it.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.