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Ratings and reviews

RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere
About
A grand tradition for over a century, the world renowned Fairmont Empress has served England's most beloved ritual of afternoon tea to famed royalty, celebrities and dignitaries alike. Reinvigorated in our timeless, sophisticated Lobby Lounge, Tea at the Empress will continue this quintessentially Victoria experience. Home of the Empress cake, which showcases an extra special customized chocolate developed by our Executive Pastry Chef AJ Thalakkat and experts in France, Tea at the Empress is among the world's best unique tea experiences. To complement our house-made signature Empress scones, pastries, clotted creams and strawberry preserves with fresh lavender from our rooftop herb garden, are
PRICE RANGE
C$78 - C$118
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Lunch, Drinks
CUISINES
British, Canadian
FEATURES
Seating, Parking Available, Street Parking, Valet Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Reservations, Full Bar, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service, Live Music
Reviews (1,326)
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LanguageEnglish
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Traveller rating
619
306
205
100
53
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Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Save your $$$$…place is grossly overpriced . My wife and I were the in March 2020. $187.00 plus tip for one pot of tea and a tower of little sandwiches that had the physical mass of less than two McDonald’s Happy Meal cheeseburgers. We left...the place starving. The pianist was so loud that we couldn’t hear each other talk. Walked through there again yesterday (Feb 2024) and saw that nothing had changed except for the pianist. He’s older and still noisy. We’re going to try the tea at the Bouchard Gardens…a way less expensive….with other options for those looking for more than the tea sandwiches.More

Date of visit: March 2023
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Yes it’s expensive. Think of it as a theater ticket with incredible food and service! My husband and our good friends have traveled the world. We seek out unique places and experiences. Each of our tea selections were delicious l. The china is gorgeous. Service...impeccable. The food!! The most perfect scone. Followed by tea sandwiches and a marvelous array of desserts. We took home a lot and delighted in the leftovers. Really fun.More

Date of visit: February 2024
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Reviewed December 23, 2023 via mobile

I am writing this while I am sitting down for tea at the Empress. It’s December 23rd and i decided to treat myself to a seaplane flight over to Victoria for the day to finish Xmas shopping. You just have to do Empress afternoon tea…it’s...a local tradition. Everything is great. Lorne my server is chatty and fun, the teas offered are creative and seasonal ( I had their Xmas Plum spice and Roobois marizipan teas), the scone was warm and the clotted cream thick, and the sandwiches tasty and sweets delicious. My only fault is that for the price, you don’t get as much as other teams that I have done all over (especially in the UK). Only one scone instead of two. Again, afternoon tea is not a full meal, and you do feel full after leaving. Maybe I am being overly critical but this service isn’t cheap and I expected a bit more.More

Date of visit: December 2023
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Reviewed November 6, 2023

Such a wonderful experience! From the Scones with clotted cream & jam, delicious Tea sandwiches and decadent deserts. The staff is attentive, knowledgeable and engaging, they answer your questions and make great suggestions. Thank your time, and enjoy every second. Try to get a window...table to see the harbor and walk through the huge lobby.More

Date of visit: October 2023
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Reviewed October 17, 2023 via mobile

My mom and I enjoyed our first high tea experience at The Empress. To sum it up, it was a very wonderful experience. Our waiter was so nice and attentive. The china was absolutely gorgeous. The tea selections were abundant. The ambiance was lovely with...a pianist playing in the background. We are both vegan and the vegan options were quite nice although we felt that we received less on our plates than neighboring non vegan people had, and for $95 per person, that was a bit disappointing. The other thing that was very disappointing was the attire that people were wearing. On the website it states a very specific dress code with a statement saying you would be turned away if it wasn’t adhered to, so we were thrilled to dress up and get fancy with other people, unfortunately many did not adhere to the dress code but were still there in their jeans, sweat pants, sweatshirts, baseball caps and other very casual attire. Normally we would not care about people’s attire, but if The Empress has gone as far as to put it on their website then it should be adhered to or else what’s the point of anybody dressing up. In my opinion, it kind of spoils the fancy experience.More

Date of visit: October 2023
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Reviewed October 8, 2023 via mobile

I really wanted to enjoy this time. We last enjoyed afternoon tea at the empress in 2012. Snagged a reservation two months in advance as I knew we’d be in Victoria to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We were seated promptly and our waitress was so...kind. But the ambience of being seated with a giant plant between us and in our faces as close to the exit of the room was far from enjoyable. We did our best to move it but it felt silly rearranging the decor at the empress so we folks see each other and not have leaves touching our heads. On top of that, the food is just very overpriced. Ham and cucumber and egg salad and chicken salad sandwiches. At $100 per person, it felt extremely overpriced for the quality of the food and the ambience didn’t match the experience I remember.More

Date of visit: October 2023
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed September 30, 2023

Tea at the Empress is a classic "thing to do" while in Victoria. The tea room is gorgeous and the tea service is classic. The scones, sandwiches and desserts are delicious, and the variety of tea is staggering. Service is crisp and friendly (and our...waitress even had a British accent!) To be sure, it is expensive, but if you want cheap tea and a scone go to one of the local Starbucks!More

Date of visit: September 2023
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Reviewed September 16, 2023

We celebrated our anniversary at the Empress and had such a lovely experience. Definitely go on an empty stomach, or expect to take home most of your desserts!

Date of visit: August 2023
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Reviewed September 3, 2023 via mobile

Amazing, elegant, decadent, I could go on. Arguably the benchmark of taking tea. If you haven’t ever experienced a truly authentic high tea, then you should start here. Classic Victorian service. Fun for the whole fam.

Date of visit: September 2023
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Reviewed August 27, 2023

A real treat. My adult daughter and I went for a 115 reservation. It appears to book early so get a reservation. The ambiance is classic with subtle live piano music in the background. The decor is superb. The waiter gave us a menu outlining...the tea choices and the food that would be served. He described the process the whole way through so we knew what we were supposed to be doing. My daughter and I chose a different tea and had no complaints about our choice. A previous negative review mentioned that they had to beg for cream. Actually it was put on the table automatically before we even got our tea. That review also mentioned the waiter pouring the tea. We poured out own. As well, that review complained about the clotted cream. It taste just as good as the clotted cream I had in Britain during tea. There was a lovely assortment of scones and finger sandwiches as well as desserts. We couldn't eat all of it and took the extra treats home in a box. The whole experience was a highlight of our trip.More

Date of visit: August 2023
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed August 9, 2023 via mobile

This was such a memorable experience and one of the highlights of our trips. They are very accommodating to little ones with the Princess // Prince tea offering. I can see why this is such a tradition and hoping this becomes a tradition for us...too.More

Date of visit: August 2023
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed August 6, 2023 via mobile

We had a reservation for 4 for afternoon tea at the Empress. They seated us at a comfortable table for 4 right on time. Our server, Loren, was experienced, friendly, and helpful. We had 4 different teas, which he kept fresh and managed the brewing...process. His associate who deliver the 3 tiers of goodies explained what they were and suggested order of consumption. We were not hurried and the experience was superb. Clearly a bucket list event.More

Date of visit: August 2023
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Reviewed August 5, 2023 via mobile

Lovely setting overlooking the Harbour, waitress was friendly and the tea set was pretty, the jasmine and oolong tea was good and the tea timer was useful. But…the sandwiches were dried out and the sweets were old. Not worth $215 nor was it up to...an Empress standard.More

Date of visit: August 2023
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed August 5, 2023

Beautiful tea room. Impeccable service. Food was delicious and beautifully presented. Tea was lovely. Large tea pot I drank over 8 cups and there was still some left. They provided a tea timer.

Date of visit: August 2023
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed August 4, 2023

Huge disappointment. Was supposed to be a special treat for our granddaughter’s 10th birthday. Made reservation 3 months in advance, spoke with concierge on arrival about the 6 of us wanting a specific space for this special high tea and stopped by the reception for...high tea at the Empress two days before our reservation reiterating the importance of making it special event. Arrived on the 3rd of August to be seated at a small low round table with not enough space to even hold the food trays and tea warmers at the same time. Could only pick three teas because there was not enough room on the table!!! $600.00 dollars for two kids and four adults. This was supposed to be a memorable experience for our granddaughters birthday…. It sure was…. squashed together in the middle of the room with not enough room to even eat and drink our tea properly. So disappointing horrible experience. Total waste of time trying to organize what was supposed to be a very special event. 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻More

Date of visit: August 2023
Helpful?5  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
Karen P
March 27, 2023|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from 288julietm | Reviewed this property |
You can make a reservation on Open Table.
2
Votes
brandeev
October 9, 2021|
Answer
Response from MontySpi | Reviewed this property |
This price includes the pot of tea, sandwiches, and desserts. The portions are not large, but there are many, diverse, things to eat.
0
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TEA AT THE EMPRESS, Victoria - Updated 2024 Restaurant Reviews, Menu & Prices - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Tea at the Empress

Yes, Tea at the Empress is taking precautions against COVID-19. A full list is available within the "safety precautions" section of this page.

Tea at the Empress is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 3
  • Atmosphere: 4.5