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
577 reviews since July 2, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.3
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (471)scenic view (248)romantic (213)great for lunch (126)fit for foodies (123)great for brunch (103)good for groups (86)neighborhood gem (84)kid-friendly (50)hot spot (34)great for outdoor dining (13)notable wine list (8)late-night find (4)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Enjoy the Exiereince !!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    An experience you should at least try once in your lifetime -I loved the idea of High Tea in a magnificent spot and this was just the place. The grandeur palace set on the foreshores of Victoria Habour truly made for a dreamy little afternoon tea with friends.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tea for Two
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    Afternoon tea at the Empress is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. A throwback to a different time. It's pricey, but you should do it once. Lovely pastries, savory tea sandwiches and the wonderful Empress blend tea.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tea Time!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2001
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    You can't visit Victoria without having Tea at the Empress!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Must Experience!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel is a wonderful experience. The service is such a treat and the Tea, Sandwiches, Scones and dessert are very delicious.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • high tea at the Empress
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    It was a good experience. The tea as different. The customer service need some improvement the waitress was quiet rude especially when I ask her kindly to take a picture.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful tea
    Ecolorado
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    My husband and I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon tea. The food was delicious. I am a vegetarian and let them know ahead of time and they had prepared very interesting vegetarian finger sandwiches for me. The service was friendly & efficient. A baby at another table that literally shrieked & screamed for over 20 minutes detracted greatly from the experience.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A definite must do in Victoria BC!
    jenjarbo
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    The Empress is such an amazing hotel. So beautiful and historic and High Tea is truly something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime there. The servers are so sweet and unpretentious, the atmosphere is festive and the food is delightful. You can dress up or go a little casual, there is no snobbery at this High Tea, but I would definitely keep your pinky out just for fun!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice Tea!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    This is my third time having the afternoon tea at the Empress. I have enjoyed it everytime. They accomodated my request at the time of my reservation for a quiet corner with view. Food and tea was wonderful. Only negative is that the price is high at $49.95 per person.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • High Tea Sets High Expectations
    bgilchrist
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    This was my third or fourth time having High Tea at the Empress and nothing I've had elsewhere can compare. The ambiance alone could carry the experience, however that has never been the case. The tea was perfectly steeped and apparently endless; the sandwiches, pastries, and sweets (all made in house) fantastic; the service (try and get seated in Margie's section - a 45 year veteran and simply delightful) impeccable. Always a must whenever visiting beautiful Victoria, B.C.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    Excellant chose of tea's and exlnt tasting teasand goodies to go along with the tea.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    In our reservation request we noted that were coming to the Empress to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary!! I didn't expect a brass band, but expected something. When we arrived and gave our name, the receptionist mumbled a perfunctory "Happy Anniversary" as the waiter led us to our table. At the midpoint the waiter brought over a little white chocolate ribbon with "Happy Anniversary" written on it and added that to the candy tray. forgotten in the initial prep, I guessed. And then the pianist stopped playing - not enough patrons? During prior visits service was provided by gracious, attentive ladies. No longer. Nothing special except the high cost and the lovely historic facility - which you can tour for free.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • wonderful experience!
    maria
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    It was my first high-tea experience and I wasn't disappointed. Our server was very friendly and accommodating. My husband requested for a special drink from the bar and he went over himself to get it for him. He also offered to take our pictures first before partaking of the food. I would have forgotten to do it if he didn't mention it. The food was great. The tea set used also had a history behind it. It was something like the set used for Queen Elizabeth's inauguration or something.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect birthday celebration
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Five of us went to celebrate birthdays during a one-day visit to Victoria. Our afternoon tea was the highlight of our trip. We were seated immediately and made to feel at home. The tea was hot, the sandwiches were delicious but the best was the scone. To die for! I was so full I barely made a dent in the sweets on the top tier. I actually brought back a box to our tour guide as a treat. A very thoughtful touch was the white chocolate sign at the top of our three-tier tray that had "Happy Birthday" written in chocolate. We all received a small box of tea to take home as well. It was a very special afternoon for all of us.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Charming to a "tea"
    pyukawa
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Having tea at the Empress is like going back in time to a period when men took their coats off for women to cross puddles, and they would curtsey in thanks. The food seems small when it comes out, but I left full and with a box of leftovers. The sandwiches were light and tasty, the scones were buttery and light, and all of the desserts were yummy. You get a selection of 5 different teas, and we had the Empress Blend and the Kealani Orange Pineapple teas. The Empress Blend was classic, while the Orange Pineapple was fruity yet not overpowering. The service was top notch, attentive yet not smothering. Our waiter even offered to take pictures before we dug in to capture the moment. The price may put some off, but splurge once!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • a must do when in Victoria
    loveVictoria
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    A customer of mine recommended we have tea at the Empress. I researched it on line and made reservations. It's not only about the tea and food it's also about the experience. Our server was amazing, explaining the different teas and when we received our food she explained each tier of food. My parents honeymooned in Victoria back in 1967. They had visited Victoria several times but they never experienced the afternoon tea at the Empress. My dad is gone now but I plan on taking my mom to Victoria so she can have this experience too.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic old world ambience
    TheGregman
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    All in all a great experience. Knowledgeable staff, beautiful old world room with a view of Victoria's inner harbour, strawberries and cream, great finger sandwiches, traditional raisin scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream and desserts to die for. WOW
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • PDXTevvy
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    Definitely a special occasion kind of place (unless you normally drop $50 on lunch). I came here once as a child and was excited to return on a trip to Victoria to celebrate my 30th birthday. Everything was just as I remembered it: delicious variety of sandwiches and desserts, warming teas, and really attentive service. Our server was always nearby but didn't seem intrusive. And we were offered more of everything after we made our way through the first tower of treats; we declined only because we were already full.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delightful afternoon!
    garygastronomy
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    We had a delightful afternoon ant the Empress. The treats were delicious, service was great, ambience was elegant and we felt very indulged!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful, as usual
    NurseOfMarines
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    This is my second time to do Tea at the Empress , this year. It's always a lovely experience. My only desire is that there would be unlimited portions. :D. Of all the items, I think the scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserves are my favorite part of the meal. The scones are so light, the clotted cream is delicately sweet. Top the preserves on top and it's a winning trifecta! OH so good!!! Our server Yosief was attentive.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delightful
    David
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Such a fun and elegant experience. Always a great tourist thing to do.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • teafor2
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    We enjoyed "Afternoon Tea" at the Empress Hotel. We had a window seat overlooking the harbor so that certainly added to the event. Food was excellent, and the waitress was very professional.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Lovely!
    kyon
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    Lovely atomosphere,Good foods and Very sweet server! I had a great time with my parents. Thank you!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • rockymountainqueen
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    A most gracious and delightful experience. The view is wonderful, and the ambiance offered by the live piano completes the experience.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special treat for us ladies!
    Caligals
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    I was on a trip with my mom, sisters and aunt. This was a perfect thing to add for us ladies who all have children and husbands at home and don't get away much for relaxation! We really enjoyed the ambiance and the relaxing atmosphere! It was quite elegant and the tea and goodies were delicious!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Empress Saturday 4th of October
    Lovetea
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    My daughter and I have had tea at the Empress 10 years ago and I was hoping for the same wonderful experience. It was just as nice as before and I think just a little bit better. Sublime finger sandwiches, scones and tea. The server was fantastic even though the room was packed. I would say on the expensive side, 50.00 a person, but for a once in 10 years experience, it's worth it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We thoroughly enjoyed afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel. Our special requests were accomodated quite nicely. We enjoyed our table by the window with a view of the inner harbour. Certainly an experience that should not be missed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tea at Empress
    memorabledining
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    I had been looking forward to this tea for so long, but was a little disappointed. The Empress is a grand old lady, and I was hoping the tea would live up to that legacy. The food was good, but nothing I haven't seen before or that stood out. The tea room and the accoutrements need to be spruced up to the point of elegance, and it's just not there. Come on Fairmont....this is the Empress...do her proud.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Splendid experience!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    While it was a bit expensive, the experience was awesome! Great service, tasty sandwiches, delectable scones and superb sweets! My girlfriends and I thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon tea!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Empress Blend a hit!
    Traveladybug
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    This was my first visit to Victoria, and prior to going I had heard from numerous people that I must try afternoon tea at the Empress. I have been to many tea services before, and this service was exceptional! The atmosphere and view were incomparable, and the food was delicious. My friend and I chose the Empress Blend, and it was wonderful! Compared to other teas I have been to, I found this to be served a bit "mechanically". There were many people to be served, and we never felt neglected by our server, but it was very routine. I would definitely recommend this to anyone visiting Victoria though, it was a great experience!
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • High tea
    anitawho
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Very nice and elegant. Food was delicious and more than imagined. Which was good as was hungery. Would like a little history given at appropriate times The tea sample to take home was an added bonus and a nice surprise. Would ho again
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Empress Afternoon Tea :)
    Tea42
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    29 years ago, on our hineymoon, my husband and I had afternoon tea at The Empress. It was an elegant experience we've always remembered. Last weekend, we took our two adult children and another guest with us to Victoria. We had Afternoon Tea together, and everyone was very favorably impresses. Our server was wonderful: personable, knowledgeable, and jolly! We felt very pampered. The Empress was very accommodating to a food allergy as well. The 5 of us had a relaxing and fun dining experience!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delightful Afternoon Tea
    lindyca
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    I've had afternoon tea at the Empress three times over the last 20 years and it is has been the same: relaxing, delicious, a special experience. The tea room is lovely, the tea sandwiches and sweets are unique and tasty, and the scones with jam and cream are great. The service is pleasant and appropriately attentive. It is expensive, but worthy of a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Pricy
    Andy
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    The high tea is great and tasty. But the price point is too high. I can have a great experience at Butchart Garden high tea.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Great experience at the Empress our server had been there 17 years and she was fantastic. It was definitely a "bucket list" event. Our only disappointment was the super casual attire by the majority of the guests. I guess it's just too much to ask to dress up a little at such an elegant and historic destination.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Afternoon Tea Experience
    AnniversaryCouple
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Due to traffic, we had to call from the car to postpone our reservation. The reservations person was very accommodating, immediately changing our reservation to a more convenient time, no questions asked, even assisting us with directions for underground parking, the best elevator to take. Once we arrived we were shown to a cozy corner table for two- unfortunately there were no window tables left with a view, one of us had to face a blank wall, the other an open view of the restaurant. Krista, our server was attentive, gracious and very knowledgeable about the types of sandwiches/cakes and the various teas. The food was sparse, but very tasty. Costly for what you get, but worth going to "The Empress" at least once in your lifetime.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A truly special place
    Lovebirds09
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    We thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon tea. Upon our arrival at the dining room, we were warmly greeted and welcomed. Our table was private and beautifully set. The staff at The Empress worked swiftly and ensured that all of our needs were addressed, but still allowed us privacy to enjoy our anniversary. The tea and food were perfectly done and served. We will recommend this experience to people who appreciate great food and outstanding service.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fairmont Afternoon Tea
    AandG
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    Our experience at the Fairmont Empress for Afternoon Tea was memorable. The window seating was quite special, our server Sam was marvelous and the selection of teas and foods was superb! Absolutely great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • High Tea
    AlaskaCruiser
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    Very nice afternoon tea. Expensive but good stop for tourists visiting Victoria. Staff were all very friendly and accommodating. We had a 12 noon reservation but arrived at 11:30 and were seated at that time
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Event-A Must in Victoria
    Victoriavisitors
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    We attended high tea as part of a cruise stop in the city. One person had a birthday as well that day. We let the hostess know of the birthday and they included a "Happy Birthday" white chocolate strip as part of the pastry tray that was served. Our table waiter was exceptional and treated us formally (suitable to the manner of "high tea") but interacted with us very pleasantly when we asked questions about the china and silver service. It is advisable to book your own reservation online ahead of visiting the city. The Empress Hotel is the only place for high tea in our opinion. Do tour the Empress hotel while you are there. That is a treat in itself. Also do book ahead for the place can be busy at peak times.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The ultimate in high tea.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Service was great, food was superb, a very special treat. The Empress Tea gift was a pleasant surprise & a great way to remember a lovely experience.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet