My birthday and my husband’s birthday are respectively on October 10th and October 11th. Each year we celebrate on October 11th as we never celebrate birthdays in advance – only on the day or after it.
Last year we went to Grouse Mountain and had one of the scariest experiences ever. We made the mistake to take a 15 minutes open chair lift ride to the top with our daughter and we realized it is very dangerous for her.
So, this year, we decided to do something less nerve-racking for us and have afternoon tea at The Fairmont Hotel in Downtown Vancouver.
I wanted to try this experience for some time now and our birthdays seemed like the perfect occasion.
There are several good places to have afternoon tea in Vancouver. After a careful research, we choose to go to the Fairmont Hotel in Downtown Vancouver for two main reasons – the hotel is located in Vancouver Downtown and easily accessible, and the tea room is on the 15th floor of the hotel and offers amazing views of the city’s skyline. Two seatings are offered daily at 12:30 and 2:30 and we booked a table for the 12:30 one.
The menu offered a huge variety of black, green, white and herbal teas. I choose the Canadian Mist blend (a combination of strawberry and lemon herbal tea) and my husband’s choice was Egyptian Camomile.
First, we started with Honey Yoghurt Panna Cotta – a vanilla cream with fruits. Then, we had mushrooms and goat cheese tartlet and a crab cake.
The tower was brought in shortly after that. All the treats were made in house at the pastry shop of the hotel.
At the bottom level were chicken and egg salad sandwich, smoked salmon with crackers, and beef mini-sliders.
At the second level were the pastries, two of each – strawberry charlotte, chocolate petit four, apricot cake, and black currant macaron.
At the top level were a variety of scones, house made blueberry preserve and butter.
Tea for the little ones
There was a separate menu for the little “Princesses and Prices”. It included bubble gum tea, mushrooms and goat cheese tartlet and a crab cake, and a separate tray with scones, blueberry jam, lemon jelly, ham and cheese and egg salad sandwiches, and a big cookie.
As a whole, the experience was amazing and exceeded my expectations. The afternoon tea is undoubtedly a delight for all the senses. The atmosphere of the hotel itself was very luxurious and contributed to us having a great time and enjoying every minute from the beginning to the end. The dining room “at the top” was so classy and stylish without being old-fashioned, and in combination with the amazing views made our experience so enjoyable.
The History of the English Afternoon Tea
The Portuguese Infanta Catherine de Braganza, the wife of the English king Charles II, brought to popularity the tea in England. Two centuries later, in the 19th century, The Duchess of Bradford, introduced the tradition of having afternoon tea as she was she had a feeling of hunger before dinner. At that time, it was common for people to have two main meals a day – breakfast and dinner. The Duchess included a light snack with the tea and it was served between 4 and 6 pm. Later, she would invite her friends to join her for the afternoon tea.
Soon this ritual gained popularity amongst other ladies from the high class. They served the tea on low tables around 4 pm which gives it the name of “Low Tea”. The middle and lower class accepted the ritual as well but they served the tea around 6 pm and and it included more variety of foods to replace dinner. The tea was served on a high table (the dinner table) from where comes the term „High Tea”.
Location: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
900 West Georgia Street
British Columbia, Canada
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