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“A must do”
Review of Tea at the Empress

Tea at the Empress
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Ranked #42 of 1,205 Restaurants in Victoria
Price range: US$29 - US$59
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: A grand tradition for over a century, the world renowned Fairmont Empress has served England's most beloved ritual of afternoon tea to famed royalty, celebrities and dignitaries alike. Reinvigorated in our timeless, sophisticated Lobby Lounge, Tea at the Empress will continue this quintessentially Victoria experience. Home of the Empress cake, which showcases an extra special customized chocolate developed by our Executive Pastry Chef AJ Thalakkat and experts in France, Tea at the Empress is among the world's best unique tea experiences. To complement our house-made signature Empress scones, pastries, clotted creams and strawberry preserves with fresh lavender from our rooftop herb garden, are 21 of the finest loose leafs teas available. Featuring our original blend of The Empress Tea and the exceptionally rare Tong Mu Phoenix Lapsang Souchong blend, the tea list is completely ethically sourced and certified by the Ethical Tea Partnership. Tea at the Empress is an absolute must-do event in Victoria.
Austin, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
110 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“A must do”
Reviewed 14 June 2014

Refinement, elegance, good food, and great tea (the special Empress blend was a real find and ranks a close second to our favorite, Earl Grey). Unlike High Tea at the Peninsula in Hong Kong (which is run like a factory, turning people over rapidly in a soulless process), there is more personalization here. It's still a business and the standardization is apparent, but we never felt rushed. In fact, we went twice, as my wife and daughter genuinely enjoyed it.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Paul-Michael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerEmpress, Manager at Tea at the Empress, responded to this review, 17 June 2014
Dear Valued Guest from Austin,

Thank you for writing such a lovely review on TripAdvisor. I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed your Afternoon Tea experience so much that you came twice! ‘Refinement & elegance’ are two perfect words to describe Afternoon Tea. For over 106 years the Fairmont Empress has worked tirelessly to refine the tradition of Afternoon Tea. Our Empress Blend tea is one element that we are most proud of, and I am so happy you consider it one of your favourites. Thank you again for taking the time to share your experience on TripAdvisor. We look forward to welcoming you back the next time you are in Victoria.

Warm regards,

Nathan Pearce
Director of Food & Beverage
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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913 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Don't waste your money”
Reviewed 10 June 2014 via mobile

Unless you just have to have the famous high tea. Cost was sixty dollars each. Food was mediocre at best. Much better teas elsewhere such as JaMes Bay. I was very very disappointed.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Npwalter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, California
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Neither classy nor elegant”
Reviewed 5 June 2014

This is a review of the Tea Room.

We came here with high hopes and expectations, well our fault I suppose as none of them were quite met. The reservation process was good, they took meal preferences quite seriously and made sure it was retained and clearly defined. However upon entering the restaurant, we felt it was nowhere near what was advertised. It is a glorified restaurant of the modern era. The tea was good, but it made no sense to have such large quantity of one tea per person. It would make a lot more sense to have smaller portions or a single serving cup and drop the price overall or allow the person to try more than one (like a tasting menu)

The finger sandwiches were very average. You could whip most of those up at home with little effort and end up with similar results. The bottle of jam can be found at Marshalls regularly and the waiter was just doing her job.

For the price, the experience was absurd. We have had several fantastic dinners with quality wine for a similar price. The tea is good, but you can buy the tea alone for 18.95 for 50g, which I am sure they are not using all of for a single tea pot. So you are hence paying 50 odd dollars for the finger sandwiches and tiny chocolate sized desserts that arent any good. This makes no sense whatsoever. I suggest anyone visiting Victoria, just pick up the tea in the store in the Empress if you MUST have the Empress blend, and save yourself the unnecessary pretentiosness that is the Tea room.

PS:Worth noting, your gift box is the house blend and not the tea you tried.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank conjurer16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerEmpress, Manager at Tea at the Empress, responded to this review, 8 June 2014
Dear Valued Guest from San Jose,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback on TripAdivsor. I am sorry to hear that your Afternoon Tea experience was not as memorable as we would like. We strive to provide the best experience and customer service that guests have come to expect of Fairmont Hotels. We are always very happy to serve our guests different varieties of tea throughout their meal should they wish to sample another tea off our menu. I will be sure to follow up with the culinary and service teams and ensure they receive your feedback. To clarify, the tea presented at the end of service in the gift box is the same tea we serve during Afternoon Tea. The Empress Blend is served exclusively in our tea lobby and sold at the Fairmont Store. Thank you again for sharing the feedback; I would be happy to discuss your experience further should you wish. I can be contacted at emp.socialmedia@fairmont.com .
Warm regards,

Nathan Pearce
Director of Food & Beverage
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Wonderful Experience with Mother In Law”
Reviewed 1 June 2014

Although the price was quite high, it was worth every penny. The experience we have had was wonderful. Every table in the tea room has a view of the beautiful Victoria harbour. The pastires and finger sandwiches were delicious. I love the cream that came with the scones. The tea was great. They serve them in a fancy pot and tea cups. You get a small tin of tea when you leave and there is also a souvenir shop near the entrance where you can buy more tea and tea pots etc. The Fairmont Empress is one of the best hotel in Victoria. If you have an extra $70, and want to try something different, you should come here. There were other guests that were wearing fancy outfits and hats while they enjoyed their tea.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank WhistlerPerson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saipan, Mariana Islands
Level 6 Contributor
326 reviews
208 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“An educational experience”
Reviewed 28 May 2014 via mobile

When friends come over for tea, I would mention to my wife toserve something to eat. I would get a blank look. After tea at the Empress she understands where I am coming from. Consider the cost an educational expense.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Chris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerEmpress, Manager at Tea at the Empress, responded to this review, 30 May 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your review on TripAdvisor. I am so happy to hear that your Afternoon Tea experience at the Fairmont Empress was helpful in understanding the tradition of Afternoon Tea. Our culinary team takes delight in creating the perfect menu to pair with our selection of teas. Thank you again for taking the time share your experience, we look forward to welcoming you back the next time you are in Victoria.

Warm regards,

Nathan Pearce
Director of Food & Beverage
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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