Things I Love About Afternoon Tea:
- Getting a little dressed up for the occasion
- Sitting around a table laid with beautiful china and cutlery
- Eating dainty pastries and delicious scones
- Contemplating the correct way to pronounce “scones” (s-KOHNs? s-KAHNs?)
- Speaking in hushed tones and feeling very important. Pinkies raised.
- Ordering champagne in the middle of the afternoon, to accompany the tea.
- Perhaps getting a little tipsy and no longer speaking in hushed tones, but still feeling very important
- Eating one too many skahns, and no longer feeling very important, but feeling very full
- Feeling very full, while still continuing to finish off those pastries (it’s afternoon TEA, it hardly counts as a meal!)
ShoppingExercise is now necessary – perhaps walking from the tea room to the shops?
Things to Know About Afternoon Tea:
- High Tea and Afternoon Tea are not the same thing! High Tea, traditionally, is actually more like dinner. It’s a “heavier” tea seating, at which meat is typically served. Afternoon Tea is normally what we think of when we imagine a “tea party” – it includes little cakes, pastries, and scones. It can also be referred to as Low Tea.
- There are 3 types of Afternoon Tea:
Cream Tea: Tea, scones, jam and cream
Light Tea: Tea, scones and sweets
Full Tea: Tea, savouries, scones, sweets, and dessert
- Most tea rooms now also serve bubbly along with tea, which is absolutely essential
- Afternoon tea can be enjoyed by all! Not just ladies who lunch 🙂
I love the Tea Room at the Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto. It’s sophisticated without feeling snobby, the location is great (a stroll down Bloor Street post-tea helps to burn off those skohns), and the quality of the tea itself is wonderful.
My mom is especially picky when it comes to Afternoon Tea, and the Windsor Arms has her approval! Although, she does point out that it’s “not what it used to be” – when she would visit back in the 80’s, she said that the room itself was set up more intimately, with musicians softly playing beautiful classical pieces as tea was served. Does that sound like a fairytale, or what?!
The Windsor Arms still serves an impeccable tea today. The scones are perfect (in my opinion), and they serve four, which is quite generous! Alongside them there is clotted cream, and two types of jam. There are also mini sandwiches and mini pastries. The tea menu has many varieties, but my favourite is definitely the “Tibetan Tiger” – chocolate bits, vanilla, organic rooibos and black tea.
We decided to forgo lunch and have our tea at 1:00 PM instead, and I don’t think we ended up leaving until around 2:30. It’s so relaxing, and the service is great. Our server was knowledgeable, friendly, and always made sure we had everything we needed.
The Windsor Arms is our go-to spot, but next month we’ll be trying the Afternoon Tea at MoRoCo Chocolat in Yorkville. I have high hopes because their pastries are sooo yummy!
Do you enjoy a good afternoon tea? Do you have a favourite tea room in Toronto? Let me know :)! xo