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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
  • Phone: (250) 389-2727
  • 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.
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
  • "The Empress afternoon tea is an occasion with delicious food and tea, amazing service and an old-world elegance difficult to find here in the United States. I recommend it fully, and look forward to my next visit to Victoria for more of the same!"
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "The service was fantastic, the food and tea were tasty, making for a very enjoyable 'Afternoon Tea' experience."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "Tea at The Empress Fairmont is an unforgettable experience. I love high tea in general. What makes this tea special is not the food. I've had better (namely Langham in Pasadena and Windsor in New Orleans). However, the ambiance, the scenery and just being there in Victoria sitting at the historical Empress, sipping tea and relaxing is just special."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "We celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary having Afternoon Tea at the Empress. The experience, service, selection and quality was superb. It was a delightful, wonderful memorable experience."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "We were in British Columbia for a quiet extent ion to an pacific west vacation. The Empress Hotel is lovely! It airs the feel of England and the afternoon tea time was all we thought it would be. The tea was great, there were plenty of pettifors, fruits and tarts. The relaxing piano was quiet enough so we could converse. The tables or sitting areas were close but the conversations were not heard. It is a bit expensive but not if you think of it as an attraction/lunch. We felt a bit rushed to leave but the servers were happy to take our photo of this fun experience."
    Dined on 7/10/2013
  • "Having Tea at the Empress was a crowning glory to my first visit visit to Victoria. The Hostess was very pleasant and thoughtful in seating me in a very relaxed location for a solo diner and provided a book about the Empress for entertainment. The waiter was very cordial and obliging. The food was very good, and more than I could eat - I ended up boxing up several of the dainty deserts for later - not wanting to miss out on the delectable sweets."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "This was the highlight of our visit to Victoria! Fabulous food, attentive service, and all the formalities of high tea made this a very special experience."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Tea time at the Empress with my parents and my family was an extra special experience after cruising through Alaska thr last 8 days. The formality and civility by our waiter was excellent, making us feel royal for the afternoon. Our sandwiches, scones, and little desserts were well paired by several pots of Empress tea and pineapple flavored tea. The ambience and water view were fabulous."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "The entire experience was absolutely wonderful. We had a wonderful waitress that was so fun and so attentive. If I go to Victoria again, I will definitely do Afternoon Tea at The Empress!"
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "My wife said this was the highlight of her trip. It was a once in a lifetime experience and although it was expensive, we thought it was well worth the price."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "It's been almost 20 years since I first had afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel. It was just as wonderful as I remembered. They give you a wonderful selection of savory and sweet delicacies to go with you tea selection. And - you are served graciously and attentively by a seasoned will trained and friendly staff. Our waiter also offered to take our picture, too."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "Having had afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel 7 years ago....we were somewhat disappointed in the food. Sandwiches were mostly bread...not enough filling and not much flavour and the petit fours were average, to say the least. However the scones and the tea were lovely. It is unfortunate that, other than ambience, the Empress Hotel does not even hold a candle to a lovely tea place in Vancouver called "The Secret Garden". I took my daughter to the Hotel Vancouver for afternoon tea prior to that and it was even worse and had no ambience at all. Although, we enjoyed a mother/daughter day.....my daughter had just come back from England where she had afternoon tea at Claridges so......."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "Very wonderful experience but very expensive trip! It cost the 4 of us over $500 to get to & from Victoria by ferry & have the tea. We are from Southern California & we were in Vancouver on vacation & thought to include the Empress tea on our agenda. We just didn't realize how much it was going to cost us!!"
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "High tea at the famed Empress Hotel in Victoria should be something special, particularly at $60/person before tip and taxes. It wasn't. Food was average, service was good, but the experience for us was very mechanical. We had the feeling of being in a high tea factory, i.e., serve this bunch, get them out and move the next group in."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Even if you are not a big tea drinker I would highly recommend this experience. One of the best places to have afternoon tea outside of Englad."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "This was my first visit to the Empress Hotel. Classic and beautiful! I loved every bit of the tea experience and the food was terrific. If you are in Victoria I highly recommend that you visit the Empress Hotel and have a spot of tea."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "It was a lovely experience to sit among the warm glow and colour of the dining area. We felt fancy. Our server was very knowledgeable and attentive. A great afternoon!"
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "Sorry, but wasn't 'Empressed'. Simply felt like we were next in line and the waiter just went over and picked up the next pre-made tray of sandwiches, which we could see. Table by the window was 'directly' faced by the table just inside, which results in the people frequenting that table quite naturally looking towards the window and looking straight at us. The result of this made us and them uncomfortable as they were watching our every bite. The food itself was good, but it would have been nice to have a choice rather than us leaving 50% of it, but as I said it was pre-assembled and we were stuck with it.."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Put this experience of High Tea at the Empress on your bucket list--it's really special. Great service and yummy traditional foods and tea--I recommend the Empress Blend. They also give you a small box of tea to take home--a nice touch. Finish your visit with a self guided garden tour and take in the spectacular architecture, or a guided tour that leaves every hour or so."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "It was a great experience but the management needs to enforce the "no cell phone" rule that is stated in the invitation. A very rude French (not Quebecois) couple run a prolonged face time chat with all their children right next to us. My wife did not want for me to create a scene, so I held my tongue, but I feel management should have said something. Many wait staff passed by during this time, but nothing was said. Come on folks - this is afternoon tea at the Empress..."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "I saw the price on the menu which never started that it was per person. The food was presented with two of each type. To see a bill of $125 for sandwiches and tea for two blew me away!"
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "Everyone I spoke to about it had heard of Tea at The Empress. I guess that makes it famous. I'm not a big tea person, so it was new to me. I thought the food was spectacular, the tea was very good (I'm not a tea person) and our waiter worked hard. Maybe too hard. A few more waiters might have been good. My wife noted that one of the dishes was chipped. For the price of Tea at The Empress, that should not be the case. If you can afford it, it's worth a try! If you're on a tight budget, don't feel bad about missing it."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Busy. More filling than expected when tray was presented, but very expensive. Something to do once. But happy to have experienced it."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "We had a memory making weekend in Victoria before my granddaughter heads off to college. She has loved tea parties since she was 2 yrs., and this was the ultimate experience. Thank you for making it so special!"
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "This is a must do when in Victoria. It was so charming and the service was perfect. Will only stay at the Empress when in town again and will do the high tea every time too."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Great location but waiter didn't really pay attention to requests. Extremely overpriced. $65 per person DOES NOT INCLUDE $15 per person for TEA!"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Beautiful and historic tea service. Once in a lifetime experience"
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "Somewhat disappointed with the experience. That room was lovely, but nothing else stood out except the poor service. A table next to us (only two people) kept ordering "extras"- bottles of champagne, cheese platters etc) so our waitress obviously knew where the largest tip was coming from and pretty much ignored all her other tables. We couldn't even get a drink of water. Ever do it again? Not there. Recommend it? Nope."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "I have been waiting for many years to experience Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel and it did not disappoint. The experience was everything I could have asked for and more. From the moment we walked in the staff was warm and welcoming. The decor is so beautiful and the perfect setting. We were fortunate to go on a Wednesday so they weren't super busy which allowed us to spend a good 2 hours enjoying every minute of the experience. The staff is knowledgeable on both the history of Afternoon Tea at the Empress as well as the tea service. I highly recommend that everyone take in this experience at least once in their life. I can't wait to go again someday!"
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "We chose to do afternoon tea because it looked like a fun experience. We were so impressed with our server and the tea was unbelievable!! The three tiered plate of goodies was out of this world! Everything was delicious and the piano player in the background helped set the mood. It was an experience we will remember forever!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Afternoon Tea at the Empress was one of the highlights of our trip. The custom and tradition that the staff bring to the event is amazing. Definitely going to have to do this again!!"
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "My 7 daughter really wanted to come to the Empress for her first afternoon Tea for her birthday. I think she enjoyed it, but she didn't eat much of the food, and for 4 people dining (2 being children) it was incredibly expensive. I would love to take friends who visit Victoria to High Tea at the Empress, but it's just so expensive. The atmosphere of the restaurant was beautiful."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "The worst high tea I've had in years. A few of the savory items taste like something you slap together yourself at home. The Moroccan spiced coronation chicken on marble rye, in particular, tasted like curry beef bun from a chinese bakery. The presentation of the dessert items were better. However, the flavor profile is not what I expect from a high end hotel. Again, some of the pieces tasted like it's straight from a local chinese bakery. Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouvver dt also has a cafe, Oru, that offers high tea. The one in Oru is about 10x better although both are located inside a Fairmont hotel."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "We have been wanting to do this for a long time. We were seated on time, actually early. Our server was very attentive, be ready to be taken care of. It is a very busy place but we did not feel rushed at all. Note: there is a dress code and I would strongly suggest making reservations especially if you are tight with time. Enjoy!"
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Afternoon tea at The Empress is a delight. We had a marvellous time."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Our server, although she seemed very sweet, forgot to bring us the Earl Grey tea that we picked in addition to the Empress Blend until we caught her attention and asked for it. Also, when we got home and checked the leftover boxes we brought with us, one of the boxes wasn't our leftover--it was somebody else's. So we didn't really got the chance to try any of the sweet pastries that was part of the assortment. I know it was really busy when we were there (3pm) but we can't count that as an excuse because that's when afternoon tea is done and we expect them to be adequately staffed for the afternoon tea service. It was an experience that fell a bit below what you'd expect from Fairmont Empress Hotel, unfortunately."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "We had a great time for the high tea at the Empress. We made reservations in advance, which I would recommend to get the seating time of your choice. We had our two year old grandson with us and ordered the "Prince" tea. He loved having his own tray of goodies along with Apple juice. It was worth it to see the expression on his face when it arrived."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "Although our server was terrific and the food and tea was terrific, I was a little disappointed in what I had imagined would be my best tea room experience ever. I have gone to many tea rooms over the years and had always heard about the excellence of the one at the Fairmont Empress. Instead, I felt a bit rushed, being served ALL the food - sandwiches, scones, desserts - at once, instead of in courses as is done in any other tea room I've experienced. So again, in general, it was a good experience, I just felt a little rushed and I didn't appreciate feeling that way. The person I was with shared these feelings, too."
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "I suppose it is something that "you must do once", but it is very expensive. I do not think that "tea", no matter how traditional, how tasty, and how well served, should cost close to $100 per person."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "We had outstanding service at tea. Our waiter could not have been more helpful, taking pictures of us and accommodating our every wish."
    Dined on 6/26/2014