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  • Afternoon Tea - The Fairmont Empress Hotel

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

Afternoon Tea - The Fairmont Empress Hotel Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.fairmont.com/empress
  • Email: emp.diningres@fairmont.com
  • Phone: (250) 389-2727
  • Hours of Operation: Daily Seatings start at 12pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Afternoon Tea
  • Executive Chef: Kamal Silva
  • 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.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "....and expensive. But worth it when guests are in town. Delicious food and tea."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "A memorable experience to share with someone you love."
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "What an amazing experience! It felt like I was taken back a few centuries with the atmosphere. The assortment of sandwiches and desserts were nicely done. Tea was delicious. Loved the seating areas , great for couples, women's group or a family with well behaved kids! I say this as the china is very nice and well you'd be looked at horribly if your kids made the experience unenjoyable for anyone. I recommend this place to anyone who can enjoy an experience for what it is ! Oh no tank tops, flip flops. Casual Sunday dress I would recommend."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "Having High Tea at the Empress was wonderful with old gal pals, definitely something special to do!"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "So much fun to take a friend who had never experienced "tea at the empress" as a surprise!!!"
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "We had a lovely time, Kids enyoied so much the prince and princess treatment. The tea was delicious."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "I was in Victoria for business and had some free time so I booked an Afternoon Tea. It was a great experience. Delicious food and my server was extremely friendly and attentive. I would recommend the experience to anyone visiting Victoria."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "The food and service were excellent. it was so elegant there, from a bygone era. it was definitely an experience! i would go there again for a special occasion."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "I was a bit hesitant about making tea at the Empress part of our Vancouver vacation. Reviews noted it was an expensive experience. My daughters (13), husband and I were pleasantly surprised at the how much fun it was. We enjoyed the beautiful presentation of tiered sandwiches, scones, and sweets. The tea began with fresh strawberries and cream. The tea itself was very good and our server made sure to describe the various types carefully so we could make our choice. My husband and I opted for a glass of champagne. You could also add a cheese tray (both at additional cost). We were also entertained by a pianist and later, a choir performed. In the end, we could not eat all of the sweets and they were happy to box them for us. Wonderful!"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Experienced Afternoon Tea with my mother and sister. It was a great beginning to a much needed vacation. Background live piano music was the icing on the cake. Loved it!"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Just what we wanted from a luxurious afternoon tea overlooking the harbor in Victoria. Service was excellent - catering for very specific dietary requirements. Our 12 year old opted for the half-price option but was given full size tea - very generous. Expensive but worth it for a special occasion. Thank you."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "I have always wanted to experience tea at the Empress. Five of us made the trip to Victoria for this wonderful experience. We were not disappointed! The tea fare was wonderful!"
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "this is tea. the food was really really good for just being tea. the salmon sandwich was especially good. really a treat and they give you some tea to take home."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "Although it may not look like a lot of food, it is filling and delicious. The atmosphere is calm and welcoming."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "Just one of those places you have to go when in Victoria. Not cheap but great service and fantastic locaion. A real treat and one I enjoy every time I visit. Cannot wait to take my future grandchildren some day."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "A perfect spot to spoil someone you love, or just relax and be spoiled yourself. It is elegance without ego, decadence without pretension, and thoroughly, deliciously, delightful. As the dress code implies: casually elegant. Do dress the part, (no jeans or flip flops), and it will only add to the magic of the moment."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Marilyn was absolutely delightful. Just what you would expect from a High Tea server. The people out front of the hotel directing us to the location of the high tea were not nearly that accomodating. I felt he thought we were a nuisance. I was surprised we did not receive the senior rate off season on a Friday. Luckily we all had enough for the full charge. Once again can't say enough about Marilyn. She made is feel very special. Thank you for the special birthday note on our food trays. Nice touch!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "We had an excellent table right by the window with a view of Victoria's lively and beautiful harbor. Our server was attentive. All of the food was wonderful, although my husband and I are used to a stronger brewed tea. Overall, a fun experience. It did not seem too stuffy for us at all. Come hungry!"
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "This was great. It's on the pricey side, but a really nice treat!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "we went as a special treat and a "been there, did it" experience. it was nice to have tea in one of the iconic hotels in western Canada and be able to afford it. the service, tea and treats was very good but at $50 per person, I wouldn't do this again unless someone else was treating. it was very nice and I would recommend Tea at the Empress as a special treat when in Victoria."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Afternoon Tea is a must-do for any Victoria resident or visitor. The price is rather daunting - $58 per person, but it really is worth it. The view of the harbor, the gorgeous architecture, the elegance of the whole event is worthy of a queen (and I believe she did dine here!). The food is superb, and you can ask for more of whatever you like, and spend 2 hours eating. As Joey would say, wear your turkey-eating pants. Look nice, but wear something you can still feel comfortable in when you've eaten way too much! To lower the cost a bit, residents can send for a Friends of the Empress membership card which has a 10% discount. Just don't forget to present it when you get there! Enjoy!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "We had a happy memory made with the help of a wonderful staff member, ray, who made us feel very special for our Mother-daughter Tea."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "The Empress High Tea is not really impressive and certainly not worth the price. The food quality is cheap (wonder bread used). No thought into the flavor of the food, food is mismatched in flavor. Service staff were very passive and almost seemed like they were tired of working at the tea service. Had to pour my own tea, which is awkward because they place the very bulky tea pots at the corner of one side of the table so you have to reach over everyone if you are in a group. They try to rush you through so they can seat the next guest and make 49.95 off the next guest. Was not an enjoyable experience. I would NOT recommend this tea."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "The tea and the food were great. We so appreciated the diabetic selections that were provided for my husband. All of the pastries and the scones were fresh and delectable. The sandwiches were an interesting selection of flavours and, of couse, the egg salad on a croissant was the favourite...what's not to like? We took a friend at the end of her two week visit with us and she was delighted. The server was charming and ensured our tea was topped up. We would return with other guests."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "I love tea and so, for my birthday, I received an IOU for an afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress. It did not disappoint! We were seated at the window and had a lovely view of the harbour. The service was incredible! Our waiter took our picture and anticipated our every move. The food was delicious! Everything from the sandwiches to the scones to the desserts - we ate it all up! And the tea, of course, was perfect! We were gifted the Empress blend at the conclusion of our meal as a lovely souvenir. Overall, a great experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone if you're in town!"
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon tea. The sandwiches were tasty, not exotic, and the scones and dessert were delish. The tea was "magnificent" as the March Hare says, and the ambience and service were delightful. It was an experience as much as a meal. We had a gluten-free person in our party and they easily accommodated her."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "A wonderful experience. Very beautiful surroundings. The Afternoon Tea was lovely. The tea, the food, the service was terrific. A definite must go to, on my trips to Victoria."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "We had a lovely afternoon at Empress Hotel. The staff was pleasant and accommodating. Our party of 5 was seated at a table adjacent to the waitstaff kitchen/the live piano entertainment/and a hallway. There was a lot of traffic as we had our tea time and it was a bit loud. The meal was quite expensive for a few treats, some sandwiches and hot tea. I wish I would have done a bit more research before going - the meal is very carb-heavy & high fat. A little too rich. A sample menu is available online and I should have checked it out first. Otherwise, a nice experience to try once. I think our party would have been equally impressed walking through the hotel as a tourist spot -without the need to stop for tea. Thank you Empress Tea Room."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "I went for my 20th birthday to the high tea with my oma and mom and it was amazing! A truly great experience, I wish I came before my 20th birthday because I would love to do it again and again. Although it's a little on the expensive side, it's worth every dime for a special occasion but not an every day thing."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "We had a great time at the Empress Afternoon Tea. The food was very good, there was certainly plenty of it. The tea was perfect, the atmosphere was relaxing and lovely, our server was very nice. It's expensive but, you're paying for an experience! We loved it."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "Our family looked forward to our "tea" at the Empress....top of the list of things for us to do while in Victoria. We were very pleased to have a gluten-free option for one of our kiddos. He thought is was great - and voted his options as better than ours! While it didn't look like much at the beginning, time was afforded for us to savor and enjoy. We left stuffed! The presentation was fantastic, only surpassed by the service."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "The food and ambiance were wonderul, staff were fabulous. It's incredibly expensive (works out to about $10/finger sandwich!) but you're buying a classic experience. Have to do it once if you go to Victoria."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "This was an excellent experience having high tea for the first time, but it was costly and looking at the the food which was not expensive to produce, I do feel that the experience is over priced."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "My 10 year old son and I had high tea. He loved the experience. We are glad we did it!"
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "Pleasant, nice service but food wasn't too exciting"
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "Great food and tea and our server was exceptional!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "The Empress Afternoon tea is an experience in and of itself. Simple elegance in unbelievable surroundings. A definite must-do. We find ourselves returning again and again. The service is above and beyond, you feel pampered and regal. You will not be disappointed."
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "Born and raised on van island, I have visited the empress since I was small with my grandparents and mother and father then my husband and I brought our little girl and we also enjoyed the tea time on our own, which was just recently. The last time we were here was nine years ago.....I see a huge difference. I was so disappointed to see the lack of maintenance of the fine furniture, outside of the empress, overall, lots of disrepair. The server -ray was very polite and service oriented but the tea service lacked the special look with choice of quality .the sandwiches were a bit dry- sitting in. Bunches already made for customers ahead of time. Price not in sync with quality. Might choose some where else next time for our visit."
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "I have been to Victoria a couple of times but this was the first time to afternoon Tea. Lovely experience and we will return. A must for all."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "the food and staff were amazing, to go there you really feel like your pressing the pause button on life and taking it slow and just enjoying your time there. staff went above and beyond to enrich the experience."
    Dined on 3/23/2014