High tea is the best bloody experience to come out of England since David Beckham’s right foot, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and J.R.R Tolkien. Luckily the British tradition has made a permanent place in Canada! Do you ever have those days where a boozy brunch or brief coffee catch up just isn’t enough of an experience with your BFF? Need something a little bit extra? We’ve been there! Rethink your typical, and do like the Brits do! Class it up (or sass it up) and go to High Tea!
On our recent adventures in Ottawa, Lauren and I enjoyed a classy AF High Tea experience at the exceptional Chateau Laurier. You can get all kinds of tea experiences in big urban centers in Canada like Toronto, but we opted for the classic royal treatment instead of the “new age” Millennial “trendy” high teas. You really can’t go wrong with white-glove service!
Why should High Tea be on your list of Mother Day presents, birthday gifts, or treating your BFF to a fancy day out? Not only do you get to dress up and eat and drink in a super posh room, the entire experience was made for girls like you. Everything – EVERYTHING – from the tiny sandwiches and sweets, to the perfectly prepared teas – is picture perfect. Think of cute on steroids. This of steroids on steroids. You get the picture.
Whether or not you’re a “tea” fan, you’ll enjoy this. From oolong to chamomile, there are all kinds of tea to choose from, and I promise you will find something that tickles your fancy. You might go for the tea and the sandwiches, but you’ll come back for the experience.
The Fiarmont Chateau Laurier’s service from the initial hostess greeting, to the last bite of sweets, was superb. A little sparkle in each servers eyes, we could tell this was something they actually enjoyed hosting. If you’re looking for a one of a kind, top notch experience for Tea Service, you really can’t go wrong with Fairmont hotels… The Chateau Laurier truly treats you to that royal experience.
A few High Tea staples that you need to be on the eye out for. If you don’t get these watchouts, you might be on an inauthentic experience, so make sure you book through one of the below options, or have read reviews from a trusted source! Don’t get dupped!
First, a tea without scones is like a meal without a fork. Not allowed!! Homemade scones and clotted cream is a seriously addicting combo. One taste of the thick, sweet, and delicious clotted cream on warm scones will have you asking for seconds (or thirds…). Lauren was simply drooling over the Chateau Laurier’s homemade scones and cream! She has some serious thoughts on clotted cream and jam – and kindly demonstrated how it should be applied.
Second, the food at High Tea should be served on tiered platters – no exceptions. If you go somewhere and they plate the food and desserts together on a tray, or regular plates, you might be duped with an inauthentic High Tea experience. The sandwiches and desserts should be plated separately! We don’t cross swords (lol)! Desserts on one plate, finger foods on the other.
Third, you and your guests should each get their own tiered platter, cups, tea, and tea pot. This is key! Having an individual setting adds a lot to your experience! Jessica doesn’t share food!
Fourth, you should be able to smell your teas before you choose one. We had an amazing gentlemen explain all the teas and choices we could have, and let us sample a few flavours before making our final decision! The entire experience is supposed to be relaxing, so don’t by any means feel rushed.
Finally, the correct order when eating on a tea tray is to eat the savories first, scones next, and sweets last… however, I am okay if you’re a “save the best for last” kind of gal. For me, I loved the little finger foods, so I ended up sampling the sweets before finishing off with the smoked salmon. Unsurprisingly, Lauren saved her desserts for last, of course.
To end… don’t think this is just a female-oriented experience. Yes, there were a lot of ta-ta’s there, but in all honesty? It’s an experience that our male readers can treat their wives, mothers, or girlfriends too. These kinds of experiences gives you time to talk, time to be happy with each other, time to enjoy each other’s company, time to laugh at the silly sandwiches, time to dress fancy, and time to try new things… together! Lauren and I had each other for company, but we both agreed, High Tea is something that our husbands would probably really enjoy (even if they didn’t admit it!).
Sugar and spice and everything nice are what us girls are made up of, right? Well they’re also the ingredients for a fantastic High Tea experience. If you’re in the Ottawa area, do yourself a favour and book the royal experience at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier.
Live in the six? I listed the best experiences you can have in Toronto (and trust me, I tried them all). Don’t go to the super trend/hipster ones…. Stick with the classics, and you can’t go wrong!
Stay beautiful, and drink 3 cups a day!
Best High Tea’s in Toronto (IMO):
- Library Bar at the Fairmont Royal York
- Casa Loma
- The Omni King Edward Hotel
- The Windsor Arms Hotel