Welcome to The hug (hip + urban girl) Tea Tour! We will be showcasing our favourite high tea places here in this column and will leave no teapot left unturned. So follow along on our tour as we snap pictures of mini-sandwiches, mouth-watering pastries and the grand tea stand. Our next stop is High Tea at the legendary Royal York Hotel in Toronto.
The Royal Tea Experience ($60) is one of those divine experiences to share with your best friend, sister or mom. It's definitely a treat or an occasion to celebrate while indulging in an ultimate tea party. I brought along my sis and we had a great time catching up over glasses of Moet champagne and smoked salmon and caviar canapes. Warning: do not event think of eating anything beforehand! You will be stuffed from what essentially is a five-course luncheon. Afternoon Tea ($35) at The Royal York is also available and is the same experience without the bubbles and fancy canapes.
First Course: Seasonal Berry Cocktail served with a fresh baked crumpet that is drizzled in Grand Marnier butter, perfectly melted and oozing. I picked it up and it was sticky - it's really a fork and knife type of thing. The servers are all trained tea sommeliers and have completed a three week course for certification. If you're unsure on which tea to pick, do ask for suggestions and let them know what you usually like.
Afternoon Tea has been served at The Royal York since it opened in 1929
The Grand Tea Stand: Choux Pastry Swans, Chantilly Cream and Fresh Fruit Clafouti
Desserts: Chocolate Crunch Flourless Cake and Royal York Honey & White Chocolate Madeline. The hotel has their own herb garden and bee apiary on its rooftop. The honey used is all made on-site. Tours of the roof are available seasonally.
The Scones: House Baked Royal York Cranberry Scones, Devon Cream and Preserves. The warm, dense scones broke apart perfectly and let out a steam of warmth. The devon cream spread on easily and was a little piece of heaven.
Fondly referred to as 'The Turtle' by the service staff, a stack of freshly made scones are kept warm for guests.
Traditional Finger Sandwiches: P.E.I. Lobster and Mango salad with Tomato Carpaccio, Celery Cress & Saffron Brandy Aioli was my absolute favourite of the afternoon. Nova Scotia Smoked Salmon, Cucumber, Arugula Cress & Caviar was also a hit. Smoked Turkey Breast with Aged Manchego, Arugula Cress, & Apple Chutney with Dried Cranberries. Ontario Brie with Niagara Apple, Strawberries, & Peach Preserve. All designed by Chef David Garcelon.
Afternoon Tea is served on weekends only on Saturdays from 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Sundays from 12:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. in the Library Bar located next to the Imperial Foyer. The room is traditional, yet cozy and enhanced by a live guitarist strumming some relaxing easy listening. We recommend a good nap after a fabulous tea like this.
High Tea at The Royal York Hotel, Toronto - a Hip + Urban Girl must-do!
Loved This? Read about some of the other stops we have already made on our hug Tea Tour!
Photos by: Amy Ng