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Afternoon Tea - The Fairmont Empress Hotel - Permanently Closed

4.4
4.4
3037 Reviews
CAN$51 and over
Afternoon Tea

Service Announcement: Afternoon Tea has been temporarily relocated to the Upper Lobby while the Tea Lobby undergoes renovations. Please visit their profile page for information and reservations. Permanently Closed - Steeped in tradition, 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.

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Menu

Empress Tea Selection

  • Empress Blend

    Exclusive to Fairmont Empress, this a delightful blend of Assam, Kenyan black tea, Kenyan green tea, Dimbula from Sri Lanka and Keemun

    • Margaret's Hope Darjeeling

      A 2nd flush tea with a delightful fresh character with distinctive Muscat grape notes and hints of current

      • Borengajuli Assam

        A robust, malty tea from the Borengajuli estate of Assam, India, finishing with a slowly subsiding velvety feel on the palate and a natural sweetness

        • Fairmont Earl Grey

          Refreshing and sweet, with lifted citrus charm extracted from the structured tenacity of the Ceylon leaf. A perfectly focused classic

          • Kea Lani Orange Pineapple

            A bold and bright orange pineapple tea made from all natural herbs and dry fruit, this blend offers a refreshing, slightly tart profile

            Loose Leaf Selection

            • Quangzhou Milk Oolong

              A most unique character best described as "premium oolong with sweet milk and light orchid notes peeking out from camellia depths"

              • per servingCA$10.00
            • Madame Butterfly Jasmine

              Rich, luscious, and complex with stunning jasmine character. It is perfectly complimented with green tea from Fuijan province in China

              • per servingCA$15.00
            • 2 Doves Silver Needle White

              A premium tea that has exquisite haunting hints of peach with a fresh lingering finish. The flavour is light, sweet and loaded with nuance

              • per servingCA$10.00

            Cocktails

            • Champagne CocktailCA$14.00

              Sparkling wine infused with angostura bitters

              • Blueberry TeaCA$14.00

                Amaretto & Grand Marnier blended with Earl Grey Tea

                • Kir RoyaleCA$14.00

                  Crème de cassis topped with sparkling wine

                  Traditional Afternoon Tea

                  $53

                  • Fresh Strawberries

                    with Empress Cream

                    • Smoked Salmon Pinwheel

                      with Dill Cream Cheese

                      • Roasted Honey Ham

                        with Tarragon Dijonnaise

                        • Free Range Egg Salad Croissant

                          • Cucumber & Ginger Mascarpone

                            on Butter Brioche

                            • Moroccan Spiced Coronation Chicken

                              on Marble Rye

                              • Freshly Baked Raisin Scone

                                with Strawberry Jam & Empress Cream

                                • Duo of Jivara & Ivoire Chocolate Délice

                                  • Tropical Lamington

                                    • Raspberry Mascarpone Mousseline

                                      • Valrhona Pistachio Crémeux Tart

                                        • Rose Petal Shortbread

                                          Royal Tea

                                          An additional $30 per person. Royal Tea offers an additional tier of three local Salt Spring Island cheeses, a glass of tawny port and fresh honey harvested from the honeycombs of Chef's honey garden. Brighten your afternoon with Bubbles!

                                          • Sumac Ridge Stellar's Jay Brut, Canada

                                            • GlassCA$14.00
                                            • Half BottleCA$47.00
                                            • BottleCA$65.00
                                          • Zonin, Prosecco, Italy

                                            • GlassCA$14.00
                                            • BottleCA$65.00
                                          • Cipes Rose Pinot Noir Brut, Canada

                                            • GlassCA$16.00
                                            • BottleCA$75.00
                                          • Möet & Chandon, Brut Imperial, France

                                            • GlassCA$89.00
                                            • BottleCA$150.00

                                          Prince & Princess Tea

                                          $26.50. for children 12 years or younger, when ordered at the time of reservation

                                          • Fresh Strawberries

                                            with Empress Cream

                                            • Raspberry Jam Croissant

                                              • Chocolate Hazelnut Spread Star Sandwich

                                                • Ham & Cheese

                                                  • Freshly Baked Mini Raisin Scone

                                                    with Strawberry Jam & Empress Cream

                                                    • Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

                                                      • Mini Chocolate Tea Cup

                                                        • Mini Vanilla Cupcake

                                                          • Crazy Hair Cookie

                                                            For menu edits, please contact SinglePlatform at (866) 237-4564.

                                                            What 3,037 people are saying

                                                            Overall ratings and reviews

                                                            4.4
                                                            4.4 based on all time ratings
                                                            • 4.3Food
                                                            • 4.5Service
                                                            • 4.5Ambience
                                                            • 0.4Value

                                                            NoiseModerate

                                                            90% of people would recommend it to a friend

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                                                            1. OT

                                                              OpenTable Diner

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              1 review

                                                              5.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on October 17, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                              We made reservations far in advance for the day we knew our cruise ship would be in Vancouver. We had wanted to have tea at the Empress since 1981, the last time we were in Vancouver and could not have possibly afforded it at that time, so we didn't even ask. It is expensive, but we knew that when we made the reservations and did not try to compare it to any other similar afternoon tea. It is lovely, the noise level inside was comfortable, as was the piano playing in the room. All things considered, you should have a reasonable appetite because there are a number of different delicacies to tempt your taste buds. And trying a new blend of tea was fun. Glad we went.

                                                            2. OT

                                                              OpenTable Diner

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              1 review

                                                              4.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on September 28, 2016

                                                              overall4food3service3ambience4

                                                              A little disappointing - less food than a previous visit and less attention - now looks very casual as dress standards seem to have been relaxed. Less food than before but price increased and service down

                                                            3. J

                                                              Jemmy

                                                              Atlanta

                                                              261 reviews

                                                              vip
                                                              5.0

                                                              261 reviews

                                                              Dined on September 20, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                              A classic well done!

                                                            4. NG

                                                              NormanG

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              3 reviews

                                                              5.0

                                                              3 reviews

                                                              Dined on September 15, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                              While visiting Victoria, we knew we had to stop by the Fairmont Empress Hotel for their afternoon tea. To come to this grand city ... and not experience the afternoon tea ... would be a sin. The elegance, the atmosphere, the presentation, the selection of teas ... worth every minute spent there and worth traveling from Boston to experience all that it is. I have not had a true scone like we had since I had afternoon tea at Harrod's in London. The food selection was perfect ... just the right portions and not overdone. There may have been others around us ... but we found ourselves simply enjoying one another's company ... and the edible delights before us. We were saddened when it was time to leave ... but found solace in that ... we will come back again ... to experience and remember ... when the clock turned back to a time more elegant ... when the world outside disappeared ... and together ... we shared afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

                                                            5. OT

                                                              OpenTable Diner

                                                              Portland

                                                              5 reviews

                                                              5.0

                                                              5 reviews

                                                              Dined on September 5, 2016

                                                              overall5food4service5ambience5

                                                              My best friend and I took our mothers to afternoon tea while on a trip to Victoria. It has been something that they had always wanted to do and none of us were disappointed. The service was excellent, the tea was great and the food was really good. They went out of their way to accommodate us as we had two people that didn't like shrimp and one of us is a pescatarian. No one left hungry! While we will most likely not do this again it is something that you must experience once in a lifetime if you enjoy afternoon tea.

                                                            6. OT

                                                              OpenTable Diner

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              1 review

                                                              5.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on August 28, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                              This was a wonderful experience on an otherwise rainy and gloomy day in Victoria. The food was superb and the Creamy Earl Grey Tea was divine. I should have purchased some to bring home. Highly recommend.

                                                            7. OT

                                                              OpenTable Diner

                                                              Birmingham

                                                              2 reviews

                                                              5.0

                                                              2 reviews

                                                              Dined on August 21, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service1ambience5

                                                              the food and ambiance of the room was very good the service was a little haphazard and one of the best afternoon teas but not as good as the savoy

                                                            8. TH

                                                              TeresaH

                                                              New England

                                                              1 review

                                                              4.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on August 19, 2016

                                                              overall4food4service3ambience5

                                                              My husband and I went to the Empress for afternoon tea about 35 years ago and were excited to go again for our 40th anniversary. This time I thought the price was too high for the amount of tea and food served. I would recommend this event for anyone who's never done it but I don't think I will be going back.

                                                            9. OT

                                                              OpenTable Diner

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              1 review

                                                              5.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on August 16, 2016

                                                              overall5food4service5ambience3

                                                              Still overpriced for the experience, but something we always wanted to do. Would be nicer if it was quieter.

                                                            10. V

                                                              Vickster

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              1 review

                                                              5.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on August 11, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                              Classic Hotel with wonderful Afternoon Tea. My parents honeymooned here in 1949 and so it is a special place in our family.

                                                            11. OT

                                                              OpenTable Diner

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              1 review

                                                              5.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on August 11, 2016

                                                              overall5food4service5ambience4

                                                              I have always wanted to have high tea at The Empress, and it met my expectations. I enjoyed the ambience for a long leisurely dining experience.

                                                            12. LM

                                                              LindaM

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              1 review

                                                              4.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on August 8, 2016

                                                              overall4food3service5ambience3

                                                              I made the reservation a year in advance. The Empress raised their cost per person by $15. I only recommend this place because it is an iconic place for tea. The food was so-so and the interior is nothing special. Had a better overall experience at the Palace in San Francisco. Our waiter though was very attentive. All in all, we had a nice time visiting.

                                                            13. OT

                                                              OpenTable Diner

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              1 review

                                                              5.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on July 31, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                              Afternoon Tea at The Empress is always absolutely perfect!! From the ambiance to the service to the food to the tea, everything is just perfect!!

                                                            14. OT

                                                              OpenTable Diner

                                                              Baltimore

                                                              2 reviews

                                                              5.0

                                                              2 reviews

                                                              Dined on July 29, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                              Delicious food and tea elegantly served in a post Victorian setting. Overpriced for what was served.

                                                            15. CP

                                                              ChristineP

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              2 reviews

                                                              3.0

                                                              2 reviews

                                                              Dined on July 25, 2016

                                                              overall3food5service5ambience1

                                                              When I made reservations, the cost was $65.00 but when I got there it was $75.00. I was disappointed in the lack of formality, the tea was set up in a lounge used for cocktails in the evening, nothing special or formal as I had anticipated. I should have listened to others to have tea for less and perhaps a better ambiance.

                                                            16. J

                                                              Judy

                                                              Miami

                                                              10 reviews

                                                              5.0

                                                              10 reviews

                                                              Dined on July 23, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                              The afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria was the culmination of a glorious tour and cruise from Alaska. I had been told by many a friend and family members that High Tea was the epitome-it-proved to be absolutely delightful and elegant. The service was superb--our service person, Lorne, was friendly and most efficient--my daughter and I enjoyed the experience thoroughly.

                                                            17. CA

                                                              CatherineA

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              1 review

                                                              5.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on July 22, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                              It was a girlfriends yearly get together & we love our Afternoon Tea. Janet our server was great and had made excellent suggestions . We would definitely come again. Actually this was my 2nd time staying here at the Fairmont Empress & The Afternoon Tea.

                                                            18. CJ

                                                              CJinChicago

                                                              Chicago

                                                              14 reviews

                                                              vip
                                                              1.0

                                                              14 reviews

                                                              Dined on July 21, 2016

                                                              overall1food1service1ambience1

                                                              I was sent an email that said this was permanently closed so we did not show up for our reservation. It is NOT permanently closed and we missed our afternoon tea while in town. VERY disappointed in Open Table.

                                                            19. UT

                                                              UofT63

                                                              Toronto

                                                              4 reviews

                                                              4.0

                                                              4 reviews

                                                              Dined on July 20, 2016

                                                              overall4food4service5ambience5

                                                              Great tradition at the Empress hotel. Expensive but how many times to you get to Victoria, BC High tea can count as a lunch. Great selection of teas, small sandwiches and desserts. Very traditional

                                                            20. OT

                                                              OpenTable Diner

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              1 review

                                                              5.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on July 19, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                              The High Tea experience was extremely enjoyable with the wait staff proving a friendly and efficient service. The food and ambiance was very special.

                                                            21. JA

                                                              JohnA

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              1 review

                                                              3.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on July 17, 2016

                                                              overall3food3service2ambience3

                                                              WAY overpriced! But I guess you pay for the venue, not for tea/food.

                                                            22. AD

                                                              AngelaD

                                                              Dallas

                                                              3 reviews

                                                              5.0

                                                              3 reviews

                                                              Dined on July 17, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                              Fantastic experience! It's pricey but the food and service makes it all worthwhile. Also, not sure why the "name" on this experience says Permanently Closed because it certainly is not!

                                                            23. BG

                                                              BenjaminG

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              8 reviews

                                                              5.0

                                                              8 reviews

                                                              Dined on July 14, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                              My favorite experience in your city. Definitely the crown jewel.

                                                            24. t

                                                              tampagirl

                                                              San Francisco

                                                              9 reviews

                                                              vip
                                                              4.0

                                                              9 reviews

                                                              Dined on July 13, 2016

                                                              overall4food4service3ambience4

                                                              The high tea was a bit predictable. Also the rest room facilities were inadequate for the space.

                                                            25. OT

                                                              OpenTable Diner

                                                              Edmonton

                                                              1 review

                                                              3.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on July 10, 2016

                                                              overall3food3service2ambience4

                                                              We were seated in a very lovely area on couches beside the fireplace. However, this made conversation a little difficult due to the loud environment. The food was very good, with the smoked salmon rolled sandwich again being memorably delicious.

                                                            26. CC

                                                              CarolynC

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              1 review

                                                              5.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on July 7, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                              Our entire family took a cruise to Alaska and the ship stopped for a day in Victoria on the way back. The adult women in our family all went to the Empress Hotel for High Tea. It was awesome and elegant!! I am not sure why the listing says "Permanently Closed" because it was open and had a wonderful tea. We had champagne followed by tea, scones, sandwiches, and desserts. There was so much food we could not finish it all! Pricey but worth it for a special occasion.

                                                            27. EB

                                                              EvvyB

                                                              Seattle

                                                              2 reviews

                                                              5.0

                                                              2 reviews

                                                              Dined on July 5, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                              One of the highlights of our trip, without a doubt. It was pricey, but well worth it. It was my daughters birthday and they made a special Happy Birthday sign out of chocolate to decorate the top of the tray of goodies. I had asked in advance for a gluten free version for myself and everything on the three tiered stand was absolutely delicious. Even the tea was fantastic and I'm not a tea drinker! Absolutely a must when visiting Victoria.

                                                            28. H

                                                              Hhoward

                                                              San Diego

                                                              36 reviews

                                                              vip
                                                              5.0

                                                              36 reviews

                                                              Dined on July 4, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                              After living in Vancouver for over 34 years, we've never had high tea at The Empress. So glad we did this year. Loved every aspect of it. We'll be making it an annual event every year!

                                                            29. F

                                                              saraF

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              1 review

                                                              4.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on July 4, 2016

                                                              overall4food4service5ambience3

                                                              Felt that it was very expensive in comparison to others we have had around the world eg Raffles ,The Goodwood and Dubia and would not recommend to others for this reason.There was not a very good selection for the price and we had to pay extra for the first glass of wine. The music was very loud even though we had requested that it could be quieter.

                                                            30. RH

                                                              RonaldH

                                                              Chicago

                                                              2 reviews

                                                              4.0

                                                              2 reviews

                                                              Dined on July 3, 2016

                                                              overall4food4service3ambience4

                                                              Very bust and noisy. Slow service if you wanted anything other than tea and sweets - like water or extra clotted cream. Also please have someone change the "permanently" closed part of the name! Obviously it is open

                                                            31. PP

                                                              PeppermintPatty

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              7 reviews

                                                              2.0

                                                              7 reviews

                                                              Dined on July 3, 2016

                                                              overall2food2service2ambience2

                                                              Very disappointed in our tea experience. The piano player was a nice touch but the noise level in the crowded room was high. Your experience starts with being told that the Empress blend is included in the price but any other choices will cost more. At $75 per you should be able to have any tea you choose. My friend had her tea cup in her hand and was reaching for the tea pot when our server swooped in and took the tea pot saying he would be right back with fresh tea. He did not offer to fill her upheld cup with what was remaining in the pot. Then he disappeared. We had our sweets left to eat and finally ate them without any tea. 15 minutes later we spotted him and indicated we did not have any tea and it was obvious from his reaction that he forgot about us. No apology but he did bring the pot right away after we signalled him. The selection of food was bland. The raisin scone had few raisins and we felt there should have been 2 scones. The 4 finger sandwiches were stale and had no flavour, very little filling in each one. The sweets were nice but without tea kind of dry. We had a seat by the window but the table was low, would have liked some nice lace tablecloths to make you feel you were having an elegant afternoon. Many much nicer tea experiences in Victoria for less money.

                                                            32. GH

                                                              GrantH

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              1 review

                                                              1.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on July 2, 2016

                                                              overall1food2service1ambience4

                                                              The service was nearly nonexistent, the food was ok at best. I could easily replicate this tea by going to any Starbucks, and it would have saved me $140. The cost is egregious considering all we received was a pot of hot tea and some small snacks. The server did not pour our tea or serve our meal, short of going to the counter to get the hot water ourselves, we were our own servers. The setting is nice, but at $75 per person, I expect far more than ambiance. I would value our experience at most at $10 per person. We will not return.

                                                            33. m

                                                              mariab

                                                              San Francisco

                                                              2 reviews

                                                              5.0

                                                              2 reviews

                                                              Dined on July 2, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                              Afternoon tea at the empress was all it was supposed to be. the service was amazing and the food was outstanding. loved the views and the atmosphere. this is definitely worth doing when in Victoria... highly recommend this.. would do it again if in the vctoria area:)i

                                                            34. OT

                                                              OpenTable Diner

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              1 review

                                                              5.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on June 29, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service4ambience4

                                                              Attention to detail and personal attention were both at a high level , which we have come to expect from Fairmont

                                                            35. MP

                                                              MarcelleP

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              1 review

                                                              3.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on June 28, 2016

                                                              overall3food4service5ambience3

                                                              It is not what it used to be. So that was a little disapointing. It was ok but not what we expected it to be. Clearly every thing needs to be renovated. Hopefully the lovely victorian ambiance won't be lost.

                                                            36. GC

                                                              GregC

                                                              San Francisco

                                                              1 review

                                                              5.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on June 28, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                              I don't know why this venue is listed as permanently closed. It was certainly open when we were there on June 28th. Fine room, charming service, great assortment of finger food and plenty of tea.

                                                            37. AB

                                                              AliciaB

                                                              Seattle

                                                              3 reviews

                                                              2.0

                                                              3 reviews

                                                              Dined on June 27, 2016

                                                              overall2food3service2ambience3

                                                              We have been to tea at the Empress before. This time, the experience was entirely lacking. NOT a $250 plus dining experience. Very little attention was paid to the kids, very little explanation was given regarding the presentation, we sat in the back, the table was not set well, the settings were not something to write home about...overall, just not like it had been on previous trips.

                                                            38. SS

                                                              ShinjiS

                                                              Toronto

                                                              1 review

                                                              5.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on June 26, 2016

                                                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                              I enjoyed traditional English Afternoon Tea with my wife. We really enjoyed it and it is unforgettable memory of traveling Victoria.

                                                            39. t

                                                              tealover

                                                              Charleston

                                                              17 reviews

                                                              2.0

                                                              17 reviews

                                                              Dined on June 25, 2016

                                                              overall2food2service5ambience5

                                                              To attend tea here has been on my bucket list for a long time. The atmosphere and service was as anticipated. The food was very disappointing and was not worth the high cost. I had heard they have changed management and think this must have affected the quality of the food. The house tea blend offered was excellent.

                                                            40. LD

                                                              LynneD

                                                              Vancouver

                                                              1 review

                                                              2.0

                                                              1 review

                                                              Dined on June 25, 2016

                                                              overall2food2service2ambience2

                                                              The Empress high tea has always been a traditional treat in our family. The new management is heading in the wrong direction with their "hip art" on the walls and guitar folk music instead of classical, subdued music that is in keeping with the restfulness that high tea embodies. The cucumber sandwiches were good, but other and petits fours were a bit stale. Until recently, high tea participants always received a gift box of the signature Empress tea. The new management has apparently discontinued this tradition. What a pity. Noise level was high and tables too close together. Very pricey for this reduced standard.

                                                            FAQs

                                                            Afternoon Tea - The Fairmont Empress Hotel - Permanently Closed is rated 4.4 stars by 3037 OpenTable diners

                                                            Not available on OpenTable

                                                            Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

                                                            If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


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