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.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
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
568 reviews since April 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.3
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.6
    Noise LevelModerate
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (459)scenic view (242)romantic (202)great for lunch (112)fit for foodies (108)great for brunch (103)good for groups (88)neighborhood gem (70)kid-friendly (54)hot spot (35)great for outdoor dining (21)notable wine list (9)late-night find (4)vibrant bar scene (2)Show More
  • Tea at the Empress Hotel
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Great place to go for a high tea experience. Food and tea were excellent. Presentation wonderful. Staff very gracious.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great time
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    We had a very good time. Would recommend this as a have to do.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A great feeling
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Tea at the Empress is a great experience. One way to feel special and to experience a traditional moment. Service is absolutely perfect, with great attention given by staff. Do not plan on dinner after tasting all the goodies served with tea!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best afternoon tea
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Afternoon tea at the Empress is an experience. Great service, food selection was terrific with fresh ingredients. Appeciated the fresh berries and cream to start. Nice tea selection. Champagne recommended by our server was excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • afternoon tea feedback
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    I can only comment on our wonderful experience at The Empress Afternoon Tea. If our "tea experience" is an indication of what is in store if lunching, dining, or brunching, it is fabulous. I hope in future I have the opportunity to enjoy lunch dinner or brunch. Afternoon Tea was the first thing I pre-booked after confirming our airline and hotel reservations. The ambience, the service, the tea, sandwiches, desserts and sconces were more than I could have hoped for. Our server was extremely pleasant and added to the enjoyment. Truly a special experience.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Afternoon Tea In The World.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    The best afternoon tea in the world that literally sets the bar so high that all afternoon teas must now be judged. Will recomend to anyone who is going to Victoria,Canada.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful!
    FoodiesfromUSJPN
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    It was definitely worth the price per person for the experience we got! We made our reservation last minute but we are very happy that we did it. The experience was a great memorable factor during our short trip to Victoria. We would love to do it again! I was also impressed that Robert -our server- pronounced our name correctly the first time (he mispronounced it the 2nd time, nonetheless impressed)!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tea Lover
    iluvtea
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    I love going to tea and have been to many all over this country. The tea at the Fairmont was exceptional. The ambience was perfect. I loved the seating arrangements and the special china used for tea. Our server was wonderful. She met our every need and was knowledgeable about the food and teas as well as the Victoria area. Needless to say it was one of the best teas I have enjoyed and would highly recommend it to others
    Special Features:
    special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Englishromantic
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    A special experience for us visiting from England, a reminder of how things used to be, gracious and elegant. Thank you.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fun, but overshadowed by high price
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Afternoon tea at the Empress is for most a once in a lifetime experience, but it is still difficult to justify the price. Keep in mind, your bill with tip for two people will be around $150 CAD. This gives you all you can drink tea and a few starchy morsels. This is not a meal - you'll need to eat again shortly after. If you accept that you are basically paying $40 admission to the room and then $20 for the tea and morsels, you will not be disappointed.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Did not meet expectations
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    The food was premade, the service was polite but rushed and the setting was only so so. It was very loud with lots of foot traffic moving through the dinning room to get from the lobby to the shops. I love the tradition of high tea but this was a terrible disappointment.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Loved it all
    Luvhightea
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Love the empress high tea. Food is delish, ambiance is fun/romantic, and our server Marilyn was knowledgeable and the perfect amount of friendly. She called us by name. Loved it all- yummy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • DON'T GO
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    For years we have come to the Empress for tea on very special occasions. This was one, and it disappointed on every level. The venue was Noisy and had lost the luxurious ambiance that we remembered from years past. Our waiter was deferential but determined to encourage us to spend even more on extras that were not part of the already outrageously expensive tea. He poured once, when the tea had not yet steeped, and we did not see him again. We had both eaten much better food. Yours was good, but not exceptional. The reputation of tea at the Empress was destroyed. We would not ever return. For the price we paid for tea, we could have enjoyed a lovely three course meal with wine, elsewhere.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Feeling Special
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Looking for something unique, this is one of those. Covered all palettes very well and made each of us feel so special!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • dentonnimmo
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Great service and lovely food in a very traditional setting. Expensive but worth it for a special occasion. Leftovers packed up with lovely samples of the tea we had - excellent.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A treat for grandma/granddaughter
    Lhgarden
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    I have been taking each of my grandchildren on a 1-2 week trip to a destination of their choice (USA - west of the Mississippi). When planning the trip for my only granddaughter, Victoria and tea at the Empress became a reason to push my limits. We thoroughly enjoyed our very special tea at the Empress, as we were treated like royalty both in food and in service.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Seriously overpriced
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    The room was ornate, the china tableware perfect, and the theme music to Downton Abby played by the piano player on the nose. Little did we realize that we would have to have Earl Grantham's inheritance in order to afford a tray of dried out finger sandwiches, scones with whipped cream (not clotted cream) and desserts that had sat out so long the chocolate was sweating and the thimbleful of "mousse" had skinned over. For $60 it was overpriced, but then we learned that the price of the tea did not include the tea! That was an additional $15--each. $300 for 4 people to have tea is ridiculous, especially for the pedestrian quality of their offering. The dismay of being taken advantage of has overridden the pleasure of the experience.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tea at Empress Hotel
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    A memorable experience for my daughter and me. Tea was wonderful and the setting couldn't be better
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • skippy
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    I took two 15yr girls for a treat to the High Tea at the Empress Hotel. The waitress was extremely good with them and was around when needed. This is definitely on the Victoria to do list. I do think it is a little overpriced but worth the experience of being in one of the most beautiful old hotels.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Experience
    3scompany
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Second time having afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel. This is an excellent experience for a special occasion. This was my son's 22nd birthday and his suggestion, so it seems that younger and older people enjoy the ambiance. The sandwiches, cakes and scones with jam and fresh cream were wonderful. The tea was also very good and getting a sample each to take home was a nice touch.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great tourist attraction
    Empresstea
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    This is someting that tourists ,especcialy from overseas,must do in Victoria. Afternoon tea at Empress Hotel is in many tour guid books and well known . It is expensive but worth to experience. For many tourists ,visiting Victoria is a once in a lifetime event. It will make a wonderful memory which lasts forever.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overpriced
    PianoPalate
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    This is my 3rd (and probably last) time there. I was a little shocked to see how the prices had risen. $240 for four people (Two 3 tiered trays of food that served two people) ~ The sandwiches were nice, but nothing special, the scone was a little heavy but it tasted good. The pianist did a great job playing a light jazz style of music...I would have expected more classical music for a tea room, then maybe jazz in the evening. We do our own family teas for events or just for tea, and they are just as tasty if not more. The hostess and servers were all very kind and gracious. Overall, it was a lovely experience but way overpriced.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Loveeatingout
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Everything there was first class. From the hostesses to the servers. The food was wonderful and everything was so fresh. A little pricey but worth it once. Thanks for a memorable day.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Afternoon Tea
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Krista attended to us and she was fabulous! She was incredibly warm, kind and simply lovely. Because of her, we thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon tea experience.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing service
    charvie
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    A fantastic experience to take out of town guests. The service was amazing.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A real gem
    IanM
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    "You must have tea if you go to Victoria" - is what I was told. I did, and I am VERY happy I did. Although some may balk at the price, as a one-time treat I believe it was worth it, even though I was also dining alone. Food was incredibly fresh and tasty, some of the best I've ever had. Local organic berries, and BC salmon included. The tea itself was divine and the scone and jam - heavenly. I had a late seating at 4:15, and this served as supper, as I was quite full afterwards. I highly recommend tea at the Fairmont Empress to everyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Truetolife
    Truetolife
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Tea at the Empress was lovely but not exceptional. The reason for going is because it is an institution and they have been serving tea for over 100 years. I have enjoyed equally lovely tea service at Other establishments, but of course, they don't offer such a magnificent building as the Empress. I have no complaints about the food, ambiance or service, however the value for money spent is not there. The cost is completely out of proportion and in my opinion, not worth it. I would certainly not return nor would I recommend to others visiting Victoria. Spend the money on another experience.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • MissPiggy
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    The tea was lovely and perfectly served. It equaled but didn't exceed the tea at The Shangra La Xi Chi room in Vancouver and it is $38.00 per person. I thought the price at the Empress was excess but since it wasn't any sort of hardship for me, it didn't really matter. it's just that my memory of the occasion will include the fact that it's over priced compare to other excellent venues and I would definitely mention it to anyone who was considering it. Irma West.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Empress Tea
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    I was so impressed that they were able to easily accommodate both my dairy and wheat free diet. It's expensive, but a "must do" experience while visiting Victoria. The only problem we had was the long walk to get to the tea room. My friend has great difficulty walking any distance and cannot do stairs. Even the handicapped entrance was a long walk from the tea room with no place to stop and rest along the way.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Famous and No1
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Afternoon tea in the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria is famous for the Japanese. I visited this time, and found that the fame is true. Moreover, impressed that the service was good and friendly.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic!
    goodfoodchangeseverything
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    fun little sandwich tray and sweets. Large tea selection. Yosef was an excellent and attentive server. I wish I would have worn a hat. Some ladies had stylish hats.... Ascot horse race style. Splendid!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Time
    FarmBoyGoneCity
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    We had a great time. It's expensive, but if you're visiting Victoria, you really NEED to experience tea at the Empress.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Sushilover
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Food was fair, but very very expensive so I don't think it's worth it. There are a lot of good afernoon teas out there. Just because it's in the Empress, doesn't mean it's the best.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • lovely food but wish for dress code
    52727
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Lovely food and excellent service shame that it was become no more than a trip to Starbucks, as we waited to be seated, shorts, flip flops and jeans were the typical dress. Part of coming to the Empress was to be part of an experience which set it apart from your average coffee chain with a smarter appearance and no feet or flesh in sight. Sad loss I fear.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect for treating Mums!
    Seasiders
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Tea at the Empress is an institution - thoroughly enjoyed by our Mum. Sandwiches were varied, interesting and excellent, but some of the cakes appeared manufactured rather than home-made. Champagne was excellent, but own-blend tea was not great.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Perfect to the last drop and bite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    A wonderful experience - Although it was pricey, I believe that it was well worth the splurge. The relaxed atmosphere - the piano playing was very enjoyable. I dined on my own; others dined as couples or small groups. The tea, fruit, finger sandwiches and desserts were divine. Bradley was my server - He was friendly and attentive without being intrusive. I am happy that I experienced Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Empress - It was perfect to the last drop and bite.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Creating memories
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    I took my daughters 19,23,for high tea. I had been myself as a young girl with my Grandma and remembered the day fondly. We all loved the afternoon. We dressed up in "Sunday best" not that we needed to, but because it made the time more special. Our server was warm and welcoming, the food was delicious, the memories of the experience with my girls will last forever.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ladywholunches
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    We were looking forward to afternoon tea in the magnificent and majestic Empress Hotel. To be honest, not all of our expectations were met. Positive aspects : lovely interior, splendour and grandeur + hotel caters for vegetarians + nice to receive a gift at the end of the session + nie to be served local blueberries. Negative ; service was rather slow and not all that efficient, whipped cream instead of clotted cream with the scones (that really spoiled it for me -for the price they charge they could have had it flown in from Dorset !), dresscode should be stricter, the tartlets were not all that nice. Pleased I did it, but nothing compares to the Ritz in London.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Tea
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    My friend from out of town and I came for the afternoon tea and it met all my expectations. Despite living in Victoria for 15 years I had never been and was pleasantly surprised and impressed with the service and atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • for tourists only
    teatraveller
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    The good: Our server was top notch - friendly and attentive, but not fussy. The bad: the food was clearly made assembly-line style, nowhere near worth the price in terms of quality. The ugly: the hotel exploits the fact that 'high tea at the Empress' is at or near the top of Victoria tourisms' list of things to do by charging $60 for the experience while serving weak tea and unmemorable food. Because the ambiance, service and our own company were good, we still enjoyed ourselves, but we certainly won't be back or recommend it to others. This simply doesn't measure up to high tea at other fine hotels we've been to.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate