Best Afternoon Tea Service in Vancouver? You Make the Call!

Vancouver afternoon tea services

Afternoon tea at Shangri-La’s Xi Shi Lounge

Love for afternoon tea usually begins in childhood. When I was a kid, we had an annual high tea tradition: my mother, my best friends and their mums all got together for tea once a year. After dressing up together, we raced through the tiny, crust-less sandwiches on the bottom tier to earn the scones and, finally, the fancy-pants cakes at the very top. It was all about the ritual; the conversation facilitated by bottomless pots of tea was a bonus.

As an adult, I have Vancouver friends who still love an afternoon tea get together. These days, the catching up comes first, the scones come second. But we still take the food and atmosphere seriously.

What are Vancouver’s best spots for a spot of afternoon tea? I’ve tried a few, most recently afternoon tea at the Xi Shi Lounge in the Shangri-La Hotel (1128 West Georgia).  Continue reading:
Best Afternoon Tea Service in Vancouver? You Make the Call!

Tea for Mother’s Day 2012 – Special Afternoon Teas for Mother’s Day 2012 Vancouver

Afternoon Tea at the Castle at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Photo: MB Digital / Air Canada enRoute

Mother’s Day Brunch is a great way to treat Mom to a meal on Mother’s Day (May 13), but it may not be suited to all moms. I’m a mom, and, if your mother is anything like me, the one thing I’d love for Mother’s Day is to sleep in.

Luckily, there’s a wonderful alternative to Mother’s Day Brunch that lets Mom sleep in and still provides delicious food and a chance to celebrate: Afternoon Tea for Mother’s Day. This year, Vancouver has several special Mother’s Day Teas to choose from, from High Tea at MOV to a jazz-lovers tea to tea-plus-massage-and-a-mini makeover at Whole Foods (yeah, even Whole Foods is getting in on the Mother’s Day action this year).

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Tea for Mother’s Day 2012 – Special Afternoon Teas for Mother’s Day 2012 Vancouver

Afternoon Tea at VanDusen Botanical Garden

Afternoon Tea at Truffles Cafe, VanDusen Botanical Garden. Photo: Dana Lynch

Afternoon teas—tea served with a light repast of scones, pastries, sweets and sandwiches—have been enjoying a renaissance in Vancouver. Modeled on traditional European teas yet incorporating our own unique Vancouver flare and flavour, there are many fantastic local afternoon teas to choose from, from the old-world style at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s Tea at the Castle to Afternoon Tea at Provence Marinaside in Yaletown to a new afternoon tea at one of Vancouver’s most beautiful locations: the VanDusen Botanical Garden.

Truffles Cafe, located inside VanDusen Botanical Garden’s new visitor centre and overlooking the Garden’s famous Livingstone Lake, debuted their new Afternoon Tea on April 2. Value priced at just $28 for two people or $50 for four, Truffles Afternoon Tea includes a three-tiered tray loaded with sweet and savory goodies as well as a choice of tea selections, including VanDusen’s own private-label black tea, which was blended for the Garden by the Secret Garden Tea Company in honour of the visit of HRH Duchess of Cornwall in 2010.

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Afternoon Tea at VanDusen Botanical Garden

Sakura West Coast Tea Service celebrates Vancouver’s Cherry Blossoms, from April 2

Sakura West Coast Tea Service at Urban Tea Merchant. Photo credit: Taraneh Ghajar Jerven

It’s soon time for the 2012 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, April 5-28, celebrating the beauty of spring under Vancouver’s 37,000 frilly cherry trees. And what’s a celebration without food and drink?

You’ve probably heard about the SakuraB bento boxes available for pre-order and pick up at the Cherry Jam April 5, and the tasting opps at the Sakura Days Japan Fair April 7-8 at VanDusen Botanical Garden.

Here’s a quieter, more exclusive cherry blossom foodie event: The indulgent Sakura West Coast Tea Service at The Urban Tea Merchant, starting April 2. Situated on Alberni, Vancouver’s mini Rodeo Drive, the Tea Salon at Urban Tea Merchant is offering a platter of Japanese-inspired, sweet and savory delicacies that pair with their fragrant, festival-themed Sakura! Sakura! green tea with cherry blossoms by TWG Tea.

Find out more about the Sakura West Coast Tea Service menu, and The Urban Tea Merchant’s cherry tree courtyard after the jump. Continue reading:
Sakura West Coast Tea Service celebrates Vancouver’s Cherry Blossoms, from April 2

Afternoon Delight: Afternoon Tea at Provence Marinaside

Afternoon Tea at Provence Marinaside. Photo © Dana Lynch

Afternoon Tea—a tea service plus light fare, usually involving scones and creme fraiche—is one European import that has been enjoying a renaissance in Vancouver for a few years now. Several restaurants and hotels offer truly high-end Afternoon (and High) Teas—Tiny Bites has a great list here that includes Bacchus Restaurant and the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s Tea at the Castle—but my favourite choice for casual Afternoon Tea at a fantastic price (just $20 per person) is Afternoon Tea at Provence Marinaside.

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Afternoon Delight: Afternoon Tea at Provence Marinaside