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
629 reviews since May 23, 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 (279)romantic (224)great for lunch (130)fit for foodies (124)great for brunch (116)good for groups (91)neighborhood gem (86)kid-friendly (61)hot spot (36)great for outdoor dining (20)notable wine list (9)late-night find (3)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • 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.
  • Not worth the price!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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
  • 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.
  • Perfect as expected
    dcrdcrVIP
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Loved the tradition. They easily accommodated a vegetarian request. We also upgraded to the Royal tea with the port or champagne and cheeses. While expensive, it was delicious and we had to ask them to box up some because it was too much to finish. All the tea sandwiches wete excellent. Scone was superb. You can also have very lovely tea at other places for much less $$ though, so you are paying for the setting. They give complimentary tea bags in a gift box at the end. All in all a memorable experience.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Totally worth it!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    It was the next best thing to having afternoon tea in the UK!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Over-priced. Special occasion only
    Neil
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Having high tea at the Fairmont Empress is a unique experience. The cost was $60 per person for mediocre tea. More if you want better quality tea, cheese plate or wine. It's a beautiful view of the inner Harbor in Victoria BC. They know they're getting away with overcharging patrons, but we do it anyway. Can't really blame them for increasing prices but they could offer better quality. If you don't know what you're getting in high tea, it's easy to be taken advantage of which is how I left feeling. Nice time with my wife on our anniversary. But it's not something I would do again. Not there at those prices anyway. We are other places give a comparable high tea for $30-$40 per person. Staff was very nice and professional, however.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great experience
    Sas90254
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    A wonderful experience-- they even were able to accommodate my boyfriend who is allergic to dairy with other nice food options. Nice ambiance and tasty lunch!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Didn't match the hype
    Sandlapper
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    I would not recommend afternoon tea at The Empress as it was very overpriced and didn't live up to the hype. We didn't think the overall experience was commiserate with the price. Desserts were very disappointing and mostly were left uneaten. It is true that the view is lovely and the decor impressive. We were told later by our concierge that the Butchart Gardens have a similar tea and we wish we had chosen that over The Empress. We were disappointed and didn't think it lived up to the hype.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • jerry
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    A one time special and extraordinary experience! Well done!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Big disappointment!
    Disappointed
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    I have to say we were really disappointed with all aspects of our afternoon tea experience at The Empress. Having visited other fairmont hotels, the empress lets the group down. Although the building is impressive, they did not provide a Classic British tea. No table cloths, sat at a card table. T-bags no loose tea. No replenishment of sandwiches or cakes. Sandwiches had little taste. Dress code not upheld. Also I'm afraid the washrooms were worse than some public conveniences. All in all a real disappointment at considerable expense.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    The dining room was lovely to behold, the tea and food were excellent, and the service friendly and professional. I highly recommend this event to any one that visits Victory.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 1st time visit at The Empress Hotel
    Saddleback2010
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Overall, the Tea Room was warm and welcome Good service, happy they have option for gluten free food Pasties delicious, if scone can served it warm will be even better. Orange Pineapple tea was my favorite.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • High tea fail...
    Lwat14
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    I have been to the Four Seasons and the King Edward Hotel's high teas in Toronto...the Empress fell far short of both. It felt like a tourist trap production line at best, food was average and the assembly line trolleys piled up let you know you were on a timeline and little care was given to the food. High tea is meant to be an experience and this was more a hustle. I missed the presence of the white linen table cloths, the sandwiches didn't feel special and the fillings were very average. I'd taken my Mom for her 82nd birthday and was disappointed with my choice. The room was crowded with tables and the furnishings felt a little 'flea market' and less Fairmont. I won't be back and I won't recommend this experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate