Tea at The Empress

4.5
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2520 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 2520 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
4.7
Ambience
3.8
Value
Noise · Quiet
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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R
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience3

Food was really good. They made accommodations for my nut allergy, but the replacements weren't very exciting- banana bread, chocolate loaf, etc. I really loved the old decor they used to have. Its modern now and nice, but tea is an old time tradition and the older decor went along with this theme. Once we got served, it was great. The choices for tea have changed. Used to be that many were included in the cost, now it's only 6.

A
Anchorage
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The food was amazing. Two of our party have gluten allergies, and they have a entire separate gluten free serving, so you don’t have to worry. The gluten free selections were excellent. Ambience is great and the staff was wonderful. It is a bit on the pricey side, but worth it for a special high tea.

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience3

Nice and the food was good but we don’t believe it was worth $82 a person good .

OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall1Food1Service1Ambience3

Horrible experience. Service was slow and impersonal. Felt way overpriced for what we received. Be warned.

KL
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Pricey but worth it for the experience and amazing food/tea. Also, they had an entire dairy free menu which was phenomenal!

GM
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience3

Me and my friend are very disappointed not only in the service at the Empress but also the tea was lukewarm it was to hot at all. The reputation of the Empress is so well known that we are very disappointed in our experience. Also the room was not at all like the pictures online and the ambience was very high class.

s
Seattle
10 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3Food3Service5Ambience3

service was great but otherwise nothing else stands out. tea was nothing you couldnt get at a specialty store, bite selections mediocre. saved by the great server who made the experience more palatable for me. try it one time so you can say you did it

LB
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

A good way to pamper yourself. Good food, good service and comfortable atmosphere. A little pricey for the average person but good for a special treat.

A
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

It was an amazing experience. I will definitely recommend this.

NS
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Tea at the Empress was a truly exceptional experience. I was quite spoiled by my waitress Manon.

D
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience3

Fun experience, the price is a bit high for it. Like mentioned the experience in itself is worth a try and the food was very good. And the server, Wayne, was lovely

KK
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We had a Wonderful afternoon, with a beautiful view of the water front, Food was delicious. The server was friendly and made us fell comfortable. We would recommend this as a must to do in Victoria.

GF
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

While we enjoyed our tea very much we find it expensive compared to other tea experiences in Victoria

BB
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Very pricey ...but a necessary splurge when visiting Victoria 😏

AC
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Absolutely amazing experience. We had a large party and they accommodated us super well.

BJ
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

such good everything!
if you’re like me and sweets are entirely your thing alternate the sweets amongst the rest of the dishes as it’s a bit sweet overload to do them all at the end.
The rose tea has a bit of a soap like feel to it but not in taste. next time i try the orange pekoe. sooooo good

KP
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

My friend and I take each other to High Tea every year on each of our birthdays and it is always a wonderful experience. Fantastic service, food, and atmosphere!

a
London
1 review
Dined on January 29, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Extremely good service

JB
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

The tea was lovely, but we had a cringe-worthy moment. When our tea was done Brewing, our waiter reached into the pot to grab the tea bag, and sort of wrung it out against the inside with his bare hands. I looked over at my friend at the table, while she looked at me, both of us thinking are you kidding me? No tongs at the Empress? It was absolutely gross. But we were there for a 98th birthday, and neither of us wanted to spoil the moment by complaining.

JY
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience3

Enjoyed our afternoon tea. Cost, a wee bit heavy. Will do it again.

KM
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

My fiancé and I had such a wonderful experience having tea at the empress. It was our first tea time, but the server explained the experience, his tea recommendations and helped us feel so welcome! The tea was the best I’ve ever had. Will definitely come again if I have the chance to visit Victoria in the future!

OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

10 Year Anniversary Trip.

D
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
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 on January 12, 2020
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 on January 11, 2020
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.