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
587 reviews since May 1, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.3
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (477)scenic view (248)romantic (204)great for lunch (114)fit for foodies (111)great for brunch (106)good for groups (90)neighborhood gem (73)kid-friendly (59)hot spot (35)great for outdoor dining (22)notable wine list (9)late-night find (4)vibrant bar scene (2)Show More
  • Over-rated and over-priced
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Unless you want to be seen in a hotel lobby having tea & treats, save your money & go for a fancy dinner instead! Not much privacy as people walk past the tea area constantly, plus dishes clattering. Tea for 5 came to $360 and the sandwiches & scone were no better than what my (older) kids can make; while other treats you can pick up at Murchie's or the like for a fraction of the price (and full-sized). You do pay for the "cuteness" of the mini-sized treats if that float your boat. The tea will disappoint you if you are a cappuccino/latte people. The coffee (tea) table that we're at is smaller than the one at our hotel; slide out trays help but that's hardly elegant for a supposedly high-class tradition. We packed half the treats back!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Elegant High Tea
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    Both my husband and I love a proper High Tea and we were not disappointed. The Empress blend of tea was perfect, all the finger sandwiches, scones and pastries were to die for. On top of this the service was impeccable and the atmosphere takes you back to the turn of the century. The cost is high but worth it.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Empress Afternoon Tea
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    We enjoyed the tea very much, and appreciated the wonderful friendly waiter. If we could change anything it would be the ability to hear the piano better. The food and tea were delightful. What a wonderful memory.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Empress Tea
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    I have been to afternoon tea many times at the Empress and have loved it in the past but this experience was not as special. First, the cost of the tea is really out of line with what you get. I will be reluctant to recommend that people spend this much money given the quality of the food and the noise level.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic afternoon tea !
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Very friendly service, tasty sandwiches and pastries, scones were cold though. We had a table with a view on the harbour, very romantic: overall a very pleasant experience, so far from the UK !!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beyond Expectations
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Afternoon Tea was everything I expected and more! The tea was delicious and the room was gorgeous but more than that the food was incredible! All the finger sandwiches were delicious and you got one of each for each person so no deciding who gets the curry chicken :-) The scone and bluberries with cream were both amazing and then five desserts, which were perfectly crafted. An amazing perfect experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Empress Tea room impresses
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Wonderful, it was fantastic. A must do in Victoria.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Elegant as always
    Babalish
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    High tea at The Empress never disappoints. We had a great time and wonderful food as expected. The legacy continues!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Memorable Anniversary Treat
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    We really looked forward to our Empress experience and were certainly not disappointed. It was lovely and Paz, our server, was so welcoming, pleasant and efficient.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ilovetea
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon tea at the Empress. We will return! Our server was outstanding!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • For the experience
    Lovetoexperiment
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    This is one of those special treats you have to try for the experience. It can get a little pricey, but it is worth every penny. The specialty teas are subtle with great flavor and the cheese platter tasted so good. The service is impeccable and it's just fun to say you had high tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. I will definetly take my friends the next time I get to Victoria.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of the highlights of Victoria
    Bookwoman
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Great view of the harbor as you dip tea and enjoy some good food. Wine and cocktails available if tea isn't your "thing."
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not worth the visit
    lediner
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    An unsuccessful attempt to duplicate Tea at the Empress. Noisy, with clattering dishes and silver as well as crowded. Factory like approach - just the opposite of a leisurely graceful respite. The food was OK, but overpriced. A Disneyland imitation of afternoon tea.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing
    Love2travel
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Everything was perfect, from the ambience, food, waitress, view, music, everything. It is an experience that everybody should have while visiting Victoria B.C.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dessert
    skipthedessert
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    The scones and sandwiches where delightful as usual. The desserts were disappointing; looked different, but tasted the same. Whatever happened to the classic petit fours, lemon tarts and vanilla cream layer cake?
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • TheJohnsons
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    This was on our bucket list for 35 years and we were very pleased.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • great for gluten free
    kbp312
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    I was so amazed and pleasantly surprised with how they were able to make the entire menu gluten free and so delicious!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Special birthday tea
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    We expected outstanding & that is what is was. The boxes of tea to take home was a nice surprise.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tea at the Empress
    wally
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Never fails to meet the high standards set. Consistent in attention, quality and ambience. Highly commend the staff for their attention and professionalism.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Afternoon high tea
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Great experience to try once but way too pricey and posh. Wound not do it again. I found Abkhazi afternoon tea much more charming for less money, not so posh but great service
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • EXCELLENT service & wonderful food!
    foodfun
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    EXCELLENT service & wonderful food in a relaxing & beautiful setting.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tea at the Empress
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    This venerable tradition continues despite "new" ownership of the hotel. They could have mechanized more, but have not - their goodies are still made in-house. The only downer on this return visit was the bathroom - it was late in the afternoon and really needed cleaning.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tea at the Empress Hotel
    tea4two
    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.
  • Wonderful
    berryprincess
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    Enjoyed afternoon tea at the Empress. Such an elegant experience, really gracious and positive server.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 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
    Joan
    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
    greatteaexperience
    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
    foodwow
    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.
    sunshineandlollypops
    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
    Foodluv25
    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