Tea at The Empress

4.4
1327 reviews
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CAN$51 and over
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Afternoon Tea
Top tags:
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Special Occasion
  • Scenic View
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 Chef AJ Thalakkat 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.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Afternoon Tea, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
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Hours of Operation


Lunch: Daily: 11:00am - 5:30pm
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Phone number
(250) 389-2727
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Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Smart Casual
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Executive Chef
Morgan Wilson
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Neighbourhood
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Cross Street
Government & Belleville Streets
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Parking Details
self parking or valet is available
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Counter Seating, Fireplace, High Tea, Non-Smoking, View, Wine
What 1327 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
Food
4.5
Service
4.5
Ambience
3.5
Value
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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C
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Wonderful service, food, and environment. Completely worth the experience.

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MC
Toronto
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 3

They sat us at the back of the room at 3 pm facing the windows with sun in our eyes. The portions were much smaller than any English or Toronto High Tea. There was not a wide tea selection and you had to pay extra for certain teas, which doesn’t make sense because they already charge $78 for virtually no food. Despite the room being lovely I felt like I was practically in the hallway. Would not recommend.

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C
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

What a wonderful experience! The service was perfect, the food delicious, and the view was gorgeous. Although it is expensive, it is well worth it to go - an experience not to be missed. I enjoyed it so very much and the memories will remain with me forever. Also, make sure to visit the shop and buy the tea you picked out to drink. 💕

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KA
Sacramento
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Wonderful experience once again a highlight of our trip especially celebrating my birthday!!

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Z
Charlotte
10 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2Food 2Service 4Ambience 3

I was underwhelmed by the Tea at the Empress. Although the service was great the whole experience was less than expected.

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JS
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

The atmosphere, finger food, tea and service was fantastic. Worth the price? No... but I definitely recommend going at least once to experience high tea at one of Victoria's stunning hotels.

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LS
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I requested window seats a month ago, then I got there I mentioned the importance of it again as I was there with my 91-year-old parents. Their first time there and I suspect their last at 91, the concierge at Q made a note of it. Then I went down 10 minutes early and they said should be fine but we only sit at 11 sharp. We got there and there was a line and we didn’t get window! Real shame.

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LA
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My friend and I had a lovely afternoon on Sunday. The food was absolutely delicious and I left the table full but not stuffed. We were not rushed to finish and felt very comfortable to leisurely drink our tea after eating. My only recommendation would be to have one less dessert item and one more entree. That's just my personal preference. This was the highlight of our visit to Victoria - thank you for making it such a memorable event!

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EW
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

A most memorable experience! Tea flavors outstanding. The food was delectable! Everyone should have this experience at least once in their life!

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LM
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The one thing I wanted to do for my birthday was have afternoon tea at The Empress after a friend recommended it to me. It did not disappoint! From the staff, to the tea, to the ambience, to the food, it was so charming and so elegant. I felt like I was in another world for that hour and a half.

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JP
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Tea at the Empress far exceeded our group's expectations. We enjoyed the food, tea and atmosphere very much. Highly recommend!

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DJ
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Wonderful tea as always! Perfect treat while on vacation.

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W
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My husband and I very much enjoyed our tea time at The Empress. I really feel like you get your money’s worth for the quality of food and tea and for the quality of the experience. The servers are well-educated on the menu and provide outstanding and quick service. The atmosphere was lovely as well. There was quiet chatter amongst guests and gentle piano music in the background. Everything around us what beautiful to look at it.

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LD
Seattle
7 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

We knew it was going to be a bit expensive going into this and it was for the experience as we had never been. The service was very good, but they surely could do this service with the tea and food they do for half the price easily. We did enjoy ourselves and it was beautiful inside and gardens outside were just gorgeous!

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CM
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing and unique experience! We recommend it!!!!

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EN
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

Resting on its laurels. I had tea there as long as 40 years ago and it was more genuine with more food and more ambiance. Sad to say I will have tea somewhere else the next time I am in Victoria

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OT
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We took a couple out for their Anniversary. The teas is amazing!

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JH
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Tea was lovely. We had many teas to choose from, some were an upgrade for a charge though.
The Fairmont was able to accommodate our request for a portion of our group to have an all vegetarian option for the high tea which was nice. Those choices as well as the regular tea menu were delicious.

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S
Detroit
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

One of the most enjoyable teas we have been to. Excellent tea selection and ginger foods.

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G
Western NC
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 5

Tea at the Empress has been on my bucket list for 10 years. It is SO expensive ($150 for two of us) that I expected an amazing experience. What we found upon arriving 5 minutes prior to our reservation was a dismissal by the hostess to the hall. She informed us she would notify us when she was seating the 1:15 group. We hung out in the gift shop for 15 minutes, but told her we would be there. She never came to get us and when we walked over at 1:30 she was seating a long line of people with a 1:30 reservation. We had a table by the window after we refused to be seated by the wait station. The manager floated around speaking to guests, but never came to our table and it was impossible to catch the eye of our waiter when we needed new silverware after the scone course. The food was an 8 out of 10 and definable not worth $75 per person. Oh, you had 6 teas to choose from and the other 12 come with an upcharge of $4-$10. Are they kidding?
There are plenty of lovely places in Victoria to have tea at half the price. Don’t waste your money, just take a stroll through the hotel.

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VH
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Having tea at The Empress was a dream came true for me. My friends and myself enjoyed the experience a lot!

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B
Atlantic City
31 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Was delighted to be able to have tea at Empress, is something everyone in Victoria should do. To celebrate being in a lovely city.

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J
Portland
9 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Got a window table and the service was perfect. My wife has food allergies, so she got a vegan High Tea. She loved it. Always a special place. We usuallyt go twice a year

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CR
Sacramento
4 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

A must attend in Victoria! We enjoyed the champagne, scones, sandwiches and yummy treats!!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Little pricey. Not quite what I expected. Noisy. Thought it would be more cozy.

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BS
Chicago
38 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 2Ambience 4

We went to Tea at the Empress knowing it would be outrageously expensive. I was still shocked at what you got for what you paid. Three of us went and all had the same reaction.

Having high tea is something we've done before in London, San Francisco and Chicago. It is always somewhat expensive

This one didn't have anything that wowed us - the scone and smoked salmon sandwich were the highlights.

Service was mediocre. The room is nice with someone playing a piano in the background and a view of the bay out the window.

If you've already had high tea someplace else, I suggest going to the bar and having a glass of bubbly there with a snack. Bar food and service were superior to that at tea.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Nice experience - enjoyed very much-beautiful hotel!

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C
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

The Ambiance and Service at the Empress Hotel for High Tea are outstanding and the food is good but
the value for overall Tea and what you get is very High and is NOT good value for the money.

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OT
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2018
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Overall very wonderful. Of course Afternoon tea is in no way worth $111 plus tip 🤪 but you are paying for the experience and atmosphere; the food is not comparable to that price level. Certainly a nice part of the vacation.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

A dream of my mine for a long time. Everything I hoped for and more!

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LH
St. Louis
6 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We celebrated my husband’s birthday. It was superb.

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WN
Kansas City
14 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Exceptional service and ambiance was wonderful. Great historical hotel and was a delightful event for my wife and I to partake during our anniversary trip to Victoria BC.

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MP
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 4Food 3Service 3Ambience 5

We were lucky that they were able to seat us an hour earlier than our reservation. Scones were great. We only liked two of the four sandwiches and two of the four desserts. Tea and ambiance were great. The acoustics were not good were we where sitting - could hear the couple behind us and couldn't hear each other. Service was just fair. However, if visiting Victoria, this is a classic thing to do.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 3Food 2Service 3Ambience 3

I was expected to feel more British English atmosphere, but it might be difficult to make such atmosphere with casually dressed tourists. Everything seems overpriced, too. I don't think I would come back, but would recommend tourists to go there just for experience.

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NN
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

High tea at the Empress was a dream come true for my husband and I. We had wanted to partake for many years and were finally able to. It was wonderful! Service was excellent. Food was extraordinary and beautiful. And the tea was magnificent.

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BS
Dallas
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

It was our first time at Empress and we had to experience High Tea. It did not disappoint. Wonderful experience and memory.

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YA
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 5

It was a pleasant afternoon but was lacking for such an amazing property/location. For approx 55 USD you had a choice of 6 teas. The other interesting one were extra. Insulting at that price not to include a quality tea. Excellent scones. Savories were delicious but sweets were overly sweet. Glad I did it for history sake but would not recommend.

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NB
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 4Food 3Service 5Ambience 5

The high tea experience at the Empress was delightful. The room is beautiful. The food was very good. It would have been nice to be able to smell the teas before choosing rather than just going by the write up. Some higher end teas (like this!!) offer that which helps in choosing. The service was excellent. Would definitely do it again some day.

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CC
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

Not what I had expected. Certainly the quantity of food in no way justified the price. Service was just the minimum required. No asking how we were enjoying the meal. All in all, a fairly average experience.

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BD
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

This was my second visit to The Empress, both were activities of a cruise vacation. I loved the tea and the stories that went with it - like the rose petal tea that Princess Diana favored. I bought some in the gift shop, just wish it came in small tea bags. I loved our table by the window overlooking the garden. The piano music was nice, I wish it was all classical. I've been to three teas including the Huntington Library and the Empress is still my favourite.

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