The Fairmont Hotels takes high tea very seriously. Having already experienced the full Fairmont high tea experience at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier (check it out here!), when the lovely ladies at the Fairmont Royal York asked us to their Holiday High Tea, we were there with jingle bells on our feet! We spent the day braving the Christmas crowds trying to get some shopping done and then headed over to the Royal York to rest our tired feet and enjoy a well deserved spot of festive tea.


High tea at the Royal York is served in the Library Bar with cushy leather chairs to sink into and dark wood shelves stuffed with books. In the evening, the Library Bar is the type of place where I could picture Sean Connery’s Mr. Bond sitting at the bar drinking a vodka martini! During the day, however, the Library Bar is full of ladies who lunch (or tea) and lots of bubbly.

Row of treats lined up like soldiers and ready to be swept away to every table.

I’ll show you to our table…a cozy nook, perfectly set for tea.

Start off with a glass of champagne to celebrate your hard day of shopping.

It is Christmas, of course!

Our noses tickling with bubbles, we turned our attention to the most important decision of the afternoon, our tea choices!

Might I suggest the Creamy Earl Grey? Traditional, steadfast and the choice of starship Captains everywhere.

Jessica was more adventurous (from her lilac hair to her tea) and went for the Jasmine Gold Dragon Organic Midnight. A light feminine jasmine tea perfect for sipping.

Purple hair, don’t care!

The Ontario Ice Wine tea and Choco Chip Banana Bread also peaked our interest – if you try them let us know how they taste!

Once our cups were poured and prepped to our satisfaction, plates of perfect sandwiches appeared as if by magic…A well run high tea is almost better than magic and takes the type of experience  and knowledge that you can really only find at places like the Fairmont hotels.

With a flurry our tower of treats arrived.

The Royal York does high tea old school (which really is the only way high tea should be done). The servers will announce and explain each treat with relish while the anticipation builds!

High tea is the perfect excuse to eat desserts during the day. Each bite is small enough that the calories don’t count!


Feeling very lady-like, we devoured every bite.

Jessica and I traded gossip as much as we traded notes on the food. We both agreed that the warm scones were the absolute best…drizzled with honey or dolloped with cream. The Royal York serves whipped cream with high tea whereas the Chateau Laurier is more traditional with clotted cream.

The best part about high tea is that you can take your time. High tea is a luxurious experience and is meant to be enjoyed slowly.

Jessica and I were happy to escape the hustle and bustle of the city just outside the window.

Eventually, we had exhausted our gossip as well as our teapots. We took some time to marvel at the Christmas decorations covering every inch of the hotel.

The Royal York is a Toronto institution and leans in when it comes to Christmas time. Holly adorns every hallway and the spectacular Christmas Tree twinkles and sparkles attracting visitors from all over.

Now this is a Christmas Tree.

We couldn’t resist a few “touristy” shots for Trade and Charm’s Christmas Card!

But you’ll just have to go see for yourself!

The Fairmont Royal York offers high tea on Saturdays and Sundays in the afternoon (find out more here). The Holiday High Tea is a special indulgent treat for any lovely person in your life – Moms would absolutely love the experience! If your weekends are booked full until Christmas, the Fairmont Royal York is offering a New Years Day high tea … I would suggest the 2 p.m. seating for our party go-er readers!

xx – Lauren

ps. Make a reservation before you go!