Tea at The Empress

4.5
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2497 Reviews
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CAN$51 and over
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Afternoon Tea
A grand tradition for over a century, the world renowned Tea at The Empress has served England’s most beloved ritual of Afternoon Tea to famed royalty, celebrities and dignitaries alike. Tea at the Empress provides a quintessentially signature Victoria experience to all who attend. Executive Pastry Dominic Fortin and team prepare house-made Empress scones, delectable pastries and tea sweets daily, reflecting locally sourced ingredients to ensure an authentically memorable experience. An exciting new offering is our Fairmont Empress cake. A rich hazelnut chocolate layer cake featuring customized chocolate developed in France specifically for Fairmont Empress. The cake will be topped with a chocolate crown. Truly one of the finest blends in the world, Empress Tea is the perfect complement to the tea experience. However, should you feel adventurous, Tea at the Empress now has 21 loose leaf teas to select from, making every moment memorable and uniquely your own.
What 2497 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Quiet
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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D
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We are visiting from the San Francisco Bay Area. Our experience at The Empress was fantastic. Our server was super knowledgeable and incredibly friendly. The food was better than done recent reviews had stated. Not sure why! Ours was delicious. A gentleman playing the piano complemented the overall experience.

KM
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Attentive, 5 star level service. My children felt welcomed and made to feel special. Celiac son had a lovely GF tea service. I would recommend the kitchen move from Portofino brand GF bread to Northern Bakehouse or Promise to ensure the quality and softness of the sandwhich is not compromised.

EI
Seattle
7 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Totally lovely experience and can recommend this to anyone wanting a lovely afternoon or to treat a loved one. Only negative was that I wish they still had a dress code. I though they did but the staff on the door that day wasn't strict on it with a few of the guests that came in.

P
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was the most amazing experience ever. The tea was outstanding the food was to die for and the service was perfect. Would recommend to anyone

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience3

We made reservations weeks ahead to celebrate birthdays. Asked for best table. We arrived. Staff not friendly. Didn’t get window seat. Food was not what we would expect for the price. Bread was dry. There are better tea houses in the area and we will not return to the Empress. Overpriced, poor service, nothing but hype.

BD
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience5

My "yes" pertains to the experience as a whole and the ambiance plus service. I've had tea at the Empress a few times and feel that the food is not quite up to the standard that I was expecting. I found the sandwich breads, scone and pancake or blintz on the dry side. Whether they had been fresh that day then left out long enough so as not to be moist by our 1:30 tea time, I don't know. The wait staff do their best I'm sure. Perhaps the new owners need to make a few more changes to up their game!
My grandaughter was thrilled with the experience and I was thrilled to share it with her but the food could have been so much better,

J
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall3food4service5ambience5

I do not believe the price reflects the food. Too expensive.

LF
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely love it. The rose tea is awesome. The experience is wonderful. Would recommend to anyone. There is plenty of food and every table has to box the left over.

PR
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a must do in Victoria. Gorgeous location with a water view. Exceptional service from a long term staff member (33 years!)
The tea is excellent and the food was lovely, and even made just for us as we have dietary restrictions.

OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely amazing!

OT
Seattle
11 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The gold standard for high tea in Victoria. Great experience.

DT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience2

The food is good, the service is good but the interior decoration is 'completely off''.
The greys chairs look horrible and very out of place. 'Ultra modern' colours in the wrong place !
The current interior decoration feels kitsch and 'wrong'.
The lounge floor and palms call for warm brown, dark brown or burgundy coloured comfortable seats.
The tables should also be at a comfortable heights, or at least well adapted to the seating.
My husband is 6'4 and having High Tea was a very uncomfortable experience for him.
I do not intend to renew my experience anytime soon, unless there is a change in the decoration.

J
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

From Lee who met our car at the entrance to John who served us our "tea", the service was outstanding. Not our first time, though the last was before our 30 year old son (celebrating his anniversary) was born, and not our last.

MD
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The tea was very lovely, the ambiance was perfect, as was the service from a friendly waiter, who even took a picture of us all. The food was excellent. The only comment was we found there were quite a few sweets and perhaps, being Christmas, a shortbread or gingerbread in place of a little cake with icing on it might have been nice. It is also quite pricey, although I know the Empress is known for their teas internationally. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and had never been there at Christmas time before.

YC
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

My tea pot wasn’t clean. Although the manager told me it was the tea stain, I just can not accept it no matter what it is as I as I pay 80 dollars per person.

KK
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was truly a enjoyable experience for a special occasion. One of our daughters and son-in-law have been there on several occasions and also enjoyed it. Unfortunately we forgot to check for our tea in your shop before we left but that’s a good excuse to return.

R
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience3

It is a nice experience. We went with 9 female members from our family and really enjoyed ourselves.
The food is pretty and good, the service is outstanding however it is too expensive for what you get.

TW
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

We so enjoyed our stellar server, Raymond, who made my young niece feel quite special. We were disappointed my sister's request for a regular chair/table could not be accommodated (we were on a low coffee table and sofa arrangement--which was lovely--but did not accommodate her need). We enjoyed a lovely afternoon with gorgeous ambiance and wonderful food.

Y
Vancouver
18 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely afternoon with grand kids

SN
Tucson
3 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Excellent service. Lovely setting. Great ambiance. Desserts were a wee bit TOO sweet this time -but everything else was fabulous.

G
Sacramento
8 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

You may be asking yourself if it's worth the $82/person cost just for some bite size sandwiches, pastries and tea...so I'm going to give you three reasons why you should DEFINITELY GO! 1)It's way more about the whole experience than the tea and food itself. When will you ever again have the chance to indulge in "high tea" in such a proper and classy environment? We were treated like royalty from the moment we checked in. Our server was attentive, knowledgeable and very generous. 2)The food is actually quite delicious. All the savory and sweet treats were pleasing to the eye and palette! 3)And trust me, this deserves its own separate accolade...the clotted cream and scones are divine! I would have paid $82 just for that clotted cream! (Major tip...don't be shy...ask for more scones and cream! We were delighted to receive extras at no additional cost!)

C
New England
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

We very much enjoyed our afternoon tea at the Empress. The food was delicious, and the atmosphere was delightful. It is of course expensive, but that is to be expected. We would recommend for a special occasion.

OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience4

Desde hace años quise tener esta experiencia de tomar té en el hotel, y para nuestras vacaciones ahorré (por que estaba muy consciente de que era caro) y como experiencia estuvo bien, hasta allí. Comparado con el precio la comida no vale lo que cobran, simplemente es para decir "estuve alli". No fue nada espectacular, el servicio estuvo bien, nos recibieron bien, sólo que sentimos que después el mesero se olvidó de nosotros hasta que no trajo la cuenta sin habérsela pedido. En general fue agradable pero no vale lo que cobran, dudo mucho que regresemos pero sólo para experimentar estuvo bien, no lo recomendaría

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J
Vancouver
13 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely. Yummy. Beautiful space. Interesting stories and history. All of the tastes are quite exquisite.

K
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It was a wonderful experience for my 10 yr old niece! The service was perfect.

OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My best friend was visiting from Boston. We had wonderful service the food was delicious and tea was great!! My only complaint was that the piano was very overpowering so would suggest it would be preferable to have it not as loud.

TH
Boise
2 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful experience, delicious food, service was outstanding.

YZ
Houston
16 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

@$68 per person, the experience was mediocre at the most. Ambience is the only plus I can think of. Do not recommend it.

LB
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Absolutely loved the service and the ambiance! Tea selection was incredible- loved the sandwiches and scones- our table was not as impressed with desserts! Overall- great experience!

OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

I never give 5’s unless life changing meals. I was skeptical about spending $200 on tea and a light lunch. It however exceeded my expectations by a long shot. Service was unparalleled, the tea was exciting, the food was unique, and views were fantastic. Definitely suggest this stop for a world class experience..

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience4

Pretty room but food was not good. Disappointing for how expensive it is. Would not recommend or go back.

OT
Anchorage
3 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience4

The ambience was amazing but the food was meh. And the tea was too. I wish that I’d saved $30 and had gone to one of the other spots...

T
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall3food5service5ambience2

If you are looking for true high tea from a food, tea and staff standpoint this is your place! Otherwise seeing people attend such a classy establishment in ripped jeans, showing their stomachs is awful. Especially when the website says "smart casual" for dining. Threw off the luxury and experience of a Fairmont hotel and high tea.

PR
Central Coast
10 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A great way to spend Christmas Day! The Empress is quite impressive especially during the holidays!

R
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It is a great experience and if you have never experienced "High Tea" and all that it comes with, you will not be disappointed. The tea tastes amazing and they pair it well with little snacks that come with the high price.

OT
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

perfect!elegant!warm!

CF
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a most excellent server. He was entertaining and informative. The food was delicious.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall3food4service5ambience5

The initial check in was less then memorable. We were seated in a less then desirable location. Our server quickly upgrade us to a window seat and made our experience a five star. Thank you.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience5

Tea was great

OT
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Not worth $82 per person but nice service.