Tea for two and two for tea? Yes please! During my recent visit to Ottawa during Winterlude, my friend Jenna and I cleared our afternoon schedules for a High Tea date inside Zoe's Lounge at The Fairmont Chateau Laurier. We were reduced to squealing like 10 year-old girls at a fancy tea party when the stunning Grand Tea Stand (above) finally arrived at our table.
The dessert tier with a Fruit tartlet, Opera Torte and a Victoria Sponge Cake nicely contrasted each other. They were not overly rich, but light and complimentary to the tea. I hate leaving afternoon tea feeling stuffed and it really was the perfect quantity of food with all the right flavours.
My favourite of the trio was definitely the raspberry Victoria Sponge Cake with its fresh and fruity filling. I also loved the fondant that covered the cake and it reminded me of a petit four. The Opera Torte is made with layers of almond sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup with ganache and coffee buttercream. If you love a mocha chocolate cake, you'll feel like you've died and gone to cake heaven.
We started with the Seasonal Fresh Fruit Martini (left) and White and Dark Chocolate-Covered Strawberries with Gold Leaf. This all must be healthy if we're eating fruit right?
The Royal Tea option ($39) is definitely worth the upgrade with fancy open-face sandwiches like Smoked Brome Lake Duck Breast on Toasted Baguette Chokecherry Thyme Jelly, Atlantic Smoked Salmon on Pumpernickel with Fresh Cream Cheese and Capers, English Cucumber with Truffled Goat Cheese and Micro Sprouts.
The smoked duck breast was by far my favourite. It reminded me of a thick prosciutto in texture, but with a delicious smoky flavour. The smoked salmon was beautifully presented with a thick ribbon of salmon on dark and chewy pumpernickel. If you're feeling celebratory, add a glass of Moet Brut to your tea for $16.
Cranberry Scones were perfectly flaky and buttery. I always eat these first, while they are still warm and can soak up all the cream. It's my sort of winter comfort food, especially when you're inside a sun-filled hotel lounge like Zoe's.
Scones smeared with Devonshire Cream and Homemade Jam - oh yum. Do the Brits actually eat this everyday? If so, I'm moving across the pond.
Our lovely server and the old wooden tea cart that was pushed over to our table. Jenna and I were able to smell all the different teas and our teapot was prepared in front of us. I ended up choosing an apricot white tea and Jenna went with the classic Fairmont breakfast blend.
The Fairmont Chateau Laurier will also be hosting a special Centennial Tea starting April 26th until the end of 2012 to commemorate their 100th anniversary. They will be serving the original tea menu from the hotel's original opening. I would LOVE to see what everyone was eating back in 1912.
Afternoon Tea at The Fairmont Chateau Laurier, Ottawa Ontario - Canada
Served Daily from 2-5 pm and from 12-5 pm Saturday/Sunday
1 Rideau Street (613) 241-1414
Loved This? See all the other places we suggest for High Tea from The hug Tea Tour