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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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Wed, 05-18
Travel safe during COVID-19
Visit our Travel Safe hub to see how we're helping you make more informed travel decisions during COVID-19.
What you can expect during your visit
  • Hand sanitiser available to guests & staff
  • Daily temperature and symptom checks for staff
  • Socially distanced dining tables
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Tables disinfected between guests
  • Floors marked for social distancing
Read more
Updated 22-04-19 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Tea at the Empress
Updated 22-04-19 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.

Ratings and reviews


Mentioned in

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


US$61 - US$92
British, Canadian
Reviews (1,269)
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Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

Average but no great experience for the price. The staff were prompt, the tea was good but the food was only average. The environment is okay and might have been improved on a busier day with more people and energy. Overall, nothing to praise, nothing...to damn.More

Date of visit: May 2022
Reviewed 5 days ago

I confess I had not heard of this before a friend informed me of wanting to experience this as a birthday gift. So I asked about this on the Vancouver forum, and the kind TA contributors assured me it will be a worthy experience, especially...for my friend's circumstances. They were right: it was a fabulous experience overall for our group of 5. I made a reservation via the Tea at the Empress website, and thanks to a tip, specified a table setup, not a sofa & low table setup. Everything went smoothly. Our group of 5 received wonderful & friendly service from Guy, and we each ordered a different tea, allowing us all to sample each other's. The food tiers came, and we all exclaimed how pretty the presentation was. We dined for the full 2 hours and enjoyed every morsel. Because it was a special celebration, we did not bat an eye at the cost--just chalking it up to a grand experience of the tea in a lovely & historic setting. Priceless memories made. Go and enjoy, and make it your own experience to remember.More

Date of visit: April 2022
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

On our 3rd visit to Victoria, we finally decided to experience "High Tea at the Empress" and ... disappointing. Why? Service wasn't attentive enough nor sandwich bread or salmon fresh enough for the amount invested. Ambiance, however, is grand.

Date of visit: April 2022
Reviewed April 8, 2022 via mobile

Go for your own reasons but accept that it won’t be a shared experience. The couple with young kids cleaned a very runny nose with the napkin and told him to blow his nose on it. I wore heels and my companion was the only...gent in dress shirt and tie. The server was gracious but acted as if we didn’t understand the basics of a simple tea service. Humour him as it can’t be easy. The other family behaved as if they were in their own living room (Dad in denim). Understand that you will have to create your own ambience (don’t look now there’s someone scooping behind her dog outside your window) just accept that you have no control over how lovely your visit is. The hotel is not responsible for how people behave. If seems no one understands what is expected. I saw no evidence of a shared social contract featuring the most basic civility. The beauty of architecture, timing, light and a sense of ceremony is wasted on people who blow their nose on table linen. I’ll save my money and make my next tea party a Zoom call. The hotel is as wonderful as I remember but go as a group maybe.More

Date of visit: April 2022
Reviewed March 28, 2022

Staff were attentive but discreet, the tea selection and food was excellent, the gluten free food selection was just okay. Overall it was a lovely experience, in a gorgeous setting.

Date of visit: March 2022
Reviewed March 26, 2022

Three long time friends having a mini reunion after missing each other for over 2 years. We were staying 1 night at the Empress, didn't want to hustle all over Victoria, so decided we had to do Tea at the Empress. Loved the actual tea...itself. Three of us each ordered a different type and there was enough in each pot for at least 3 cups of tea if not more so we all got to sample each others choice. The setting was quite lovely with nice background music (live piano playing). The scones were good as were the finger sandwiches, with the chicken being declared top notch by all of us! Where the tea slipped was the sweets. The macarons were perfect and the chocolate tea tart was meltingly good. The red velvet cake was fairly tasteless and the banana financier was simply too sweet. Service was excellent without being intrusive. I have read there are "better" teas to be had at less cost but as were staying at the Empress we wanted to have the experience at least once. We were able to sit as long as we wanted and the ambiance was such that we could converse easily (even though we are old and hearing challenged lol) If you are looking for excellent food then go elsewhere but if you are looking for a setting that is bright, airy, charming, elegant with no hustle and bustle then the Empress is for you.More

Date of visit: March 2022
Reviewed March 26, 2022 via mobile

Great but too pricey for the offering. At $90 per person you get a pot of tea, 1 scone + jam/cream, 4 very small sandwiches, 1 tiny quiche and 5 small desserts. Assuming the pot of tea is $10 of that it’s basically $7.50 per...item. So I found myself asking “was X item worth $7.50?”. I know that sounds idiotic when at the Empress for high tea but I cannot help myself value is still value. I only thought it was worth that cost for about 50% of the items. Overall I think a cost of $75 for adults and $50 for kids would a reasonable value equation. All that said we enjoyed it and the wait staff was great.More

Date of visit: March 2022
Reviewed March 23, 2022

We celebrated our anniversary with tea at The Empress hotel, we were shown to. Table in a corner by the window with a view of the harbour, ordered tea from the choice of about 18 different blends. The China is very pretty and the cake...stand arrived with sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, plus lots of small delicious looking cakes. It was very relaxing. There was a piano in the background, a little too loud for us. We weren’t rushed and really enjoyed our little celebration. Staff were very friendly, helpful and did a wonderful job. We would do this again.More

Date of visit: March 2022
Reviewed March 14, 2022

Whether this is value for money is a difficult question. It is ludicrously expensive, but the setting is great, service spot on, and it's a lovely experience particularly if you want to pretend you know anything about different types of tea. The food was good,...although a couple of the sandwiches were just OK, but we had as much as we could sensibly eat. So we left much poorer, probably won't go again in a hurry but we are glad we went.More

Date of visit: February 2022
Reviewed February 19, 2022

For the $89 per person price plus tax, we were very underwhelmed with the finger sandwiches, scones and desserts. For a decent cup of tea and the food that is offered, should be around $50 per person. Anything more is gouging.

Date of visit: February 2022
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
October 9, 2021|
Response from Monty S | 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.
Vana G
January 26, 2020|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from ixtapa2015 | Reviewed this property |
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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