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Tea at the Empress

COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this property is taking.Read more
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Mon., 06-14
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What you can expect during your visit
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Hand sanitiser available to guests & staff
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Socially distanced dining tables
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Tables disinfected between guests
Read more
Updated 21-03-30 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Tea at the Empress
Updated 21-03-30 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.

Ratings and reviews


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  • Where to Find the Best Food in Victoria BCkellystilwell.com


US$64 - US$97
British, Canadian
Reviews (1,245)
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Reviewed November 7, 2020

My 7 year old granddaughter and I had afternoon tea today at the lovely Empress Hotel and I have to say it was absolutely outstanding. I had mentioned in my reservation note that it was my granddaughter's birthday treat. I am so impressed that every...singe team member wished her a Happy Birthday -- from the hostess desk, to our main server to the food server. In addition, they included a Happy Birthday inscription in chocolate on her dessert tray. It was a very busy Saturday service and yet everyone took the time to authentically speak to her and remember this detail. That's pretty incredible in my books! In addition, the two teas that we tried were both delicious and we loved the details like the gorgeous china and the tea timer. The food, of course, was beautifully presented and delicious. Our tea time was 4 pm so we watched the sun set over the water in the most beautiful room in Victoria. Thank you Fairmont and thank you to the incredibly hard-working team in the tea room especially during these challenging times.More

Date of visit: November 2020
Reviewed September 21, 2020

I enjoyed every minute of it. the assortment of sconces and appetizer sandwiches and a pot of tea to your desire. To be shared with family and friends or coworkers is something every lady must do sometime in their life.

Date of visit: March 2020
Reviewed September 15, 2020

We did the take out Tea, which they have on Saturday and Sunday. Pre-ordered online but you can order at the Empress. We sat at the upper lobby in comfortable chairs by a window looking out at the harbour. Was a wonderful treat!

Date of visit: September 2020
Reviewed July 9, 2020 via mobile

Decided to make reservations in advance to ensure we would get a table. Upon entering they took our temperature, hand sanitizer was there to use and all staff had masks. Social distancing was in place and it was very clean. We had a window table...(requested). There are several interesting teas to choose from. We shared ours so we could try them both. We had a mixture of delicious tea sandwiches (cucumber, smoked salmon, curried chicken, red pepper artichoke and baby shrimp). The scone with clotted cream and jam was very tasty and we also had five sweet desserts. We decided to get a glass of bubbly to go with it. Our server Marlene was friendly and accommodating. We came out feeling full. So glad the Empress is back open.More

Date of visit: July 2020
Reviewed July 1, 2020 via mobile

3 of us were having drinks on the patio outside, not the tea. There doesn’t seem to be a listing for that. The drinks are good but expensive, the dessert my friend had she really liked. We stayed for a second drink and had 2...orders of chicken wings. 6 for $20. Pricey and not that good. But Heh, “ it’s The Empress” looking at the harbour on a nice sunny day. Location, location, location. Our waiter Lorne was attentive and very friendly. He made the visit!More

Date of visit: July 2020
Reviewed May 21, 2020

My mother and I had a fantastic time having afternoon tea at The Empress. The journey from Washington was totally worth it as we both love going to tea rooms and this was such an amazing splurge. I thouroughly enjoyed the comfortable seating and the...tea selection was astounding. I got the Rose Congou Emperor and let me tell you, it was the best tea I have ever tasted. I have never been able to drink tea without creme or sugar but this tea I was able to drink with no add-ins what-so-ever. When the 3 tiered display came out I was awe struck, everything looked so good, and tasted even better. I could not keep a smile off my face and although this sounds weird, I am an emotional person so I began to tear up because of how magical the experience felt. The servers were extremely helpful and so kind and the live piano was beyond beautiful. The only complaints I would have have nothing to do with the actual place itself or the servers, it has to do with other customers. My mother and I read that there was a dresscode but a couple was sat next to us that was wearing baggy shorts, t-shirts, and tennis shoes. I would not have been bothered by this if they had been polite people but they were rude to their servers and were absolute slobs. The staff were nothing but polite to the couple none the less which just makes The Empress even better in my eyes. The other thing was a group of 8 or so people sitting behind my mom at a long table, obviously having afternoon tea as well, but about half of them looked under the age of 10 and a few of the kids kept running around the table making noise. I bring this up because again, the staff was so polite when asking them to please calm their children down and handled the situation wonderfully. I highly reccomend Tea at The Empress no matter the occasion and I will definitely be going back there as soon as I can. And one last thing, their china and tea sets are absolutely to die for. I wish I could afford the beautiful designs.More

Date of visit: August 2019
Reviewed April 17, 2020

But it's a very interesting way to spend an afternoon and do something you'd not do on too many occasions, at least in the states. Yes, it is expensive but to have tea and finger food where the Queen once partook is worth it in...my book. Excellent service adds to the experience that in total was one of the most memorable things we did on this trip! Next step is to stay at the Empress for a couple of nights.More

Date of visit: January 2020
Reviewed March 2, 2020

For $82 plus tax and tip you get a pot of tea, some small sandwiches, a small piece of quiche, a scone, and several pastries. (I would have preferred a greater number of savoury offerings.) Everything tasted fine, the service was excellent, and a piano...player provided a pleasing background of popular music. The view over the harbour is very nice. The lobby has lost some of its character, however, because the portraits of royalty have been taken down. All in all, for that kind of money patrons should get something more special.More

Date of visit: March 2020
ManagerEmpress, General Manager at Tea at the Empress, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2020

Thank you for the great review! We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed Tea at The Empress. Please know that all of your comments are important to us and will be shared amongst our leadership team for review. We hope to have the pleasure...More

Reviewed February 22, 2020 via mobile

We had high tea at The Empress to celebrate the 84th birthday for my grandmother-in-law as one of her bucket list items. Everything was perfect! Atmosphere, experience, food, tea, and service was amazing. You choose different teas (Grand Bazaar Spice was the best)to have for...the table while enjoying tasty tea finger foods. Going in hungry, we thought the foods would just be enough to be considered a snack, but we surprisingly were so full that we struggled to finish the desserts. I would highly recommend having tea here for the experience and the memories. Bonus note: The Queen and Diana had both been there for tea! I will definitely be back.More

Date of visit: February 2020
ManagerEmpress, General Manager at Tea at the Empress, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2020

Thank you for the wonderful review! We are so delighted to hear that you and your family enjoyed Afternoon Tea with us. We will certainly pass this lovely feedback onto our team. We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you all back again soon....More

Reviewed February 22, 2020

Although the atmosphere is more casual than I expected, the service and ambiance was nothing short of high society. The room, the furnishings, the architecture, the live piano and the 5 star service make for a truly memorable experience. When even your 9 year old...grandson is impressed, you know they are doing something right.More

Date of visit: February 2020
ManagerEmpress, General Manager at Tea at the Empress, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2020

Thank you for the wonderful review, Ray! We are so delighted to hear that you and your grandson enjoyed Afternoon Tea with us. We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you both back in the near future! Sincerely, Shannon Hamilton Food & Beverage Coordinator

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Questions & Answers
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Vana G
January 26, 2020|
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Response from ixtapa2015 | Reviewed this property |
Vana G
January 26, 2020|
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Response from andrewjmorehouse | Reviewed this property |
We upgraded ... I figured it was a special occasion and we never done tea before so why not. After tip I spend about $150.... it was so good I didn’t even feel bad or regret it. Now that I’m thinking of it I’m ready to go... More
September 19, 2019|
AnswerShow all 17 answers
Response from TheItineraryOfLife | Reviewed this property |
We spent 1.5-2h. Enjoy the ambience and do not schedule anything after your tea.
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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