By: Natalia Dziubaniwsky
Everyone has to experience Afternoon Tea at least once and the Omni King Edward Hotel is certainly a classy place to do it.
A time-honoured tradition, the King Edward Hotel has been serving afternoon tea since the 1920’s. Guests can enjoy tea inside the Victoria room or in the lobby, which is truly fit for royalty with its plush purple velvet couches and oversized chess pieces.
Starting off with a glass of sparkling wine
As the server describes the variety of notes and tastes of selected teas, you are encouraged to take your time breathing in the aromas of the provided samples. Teas range from soft, subtle scents to bold, layered ones. Samples are left on the table for guests to peruse and come to a decision at their leisure.
I settled on the spicy and full-bodied Taj Spiced Chai Tea, a complex blend of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, pepper and cloves from the Tea Leaves brand. I was very pleased with my choice! Once a selection is made, a 3-cup tea pot is brought to your table and allowed to steep for a few minutes before your first cup is poured for you into a lovely piece of Jasper Conran china.
Afternoon tea wouldn’t be the same without some delectable nibbles. Their menu changes seasonally and all their pastries are made in house. There are a few options to choose from depending on your appetite and personal tastes: savoury, sweet or a combination of both.
A nice presentation, their winter savoury finger sandwich plate includes peppered beef with watercress and horseradish cream, smoked salmon and mango with pickled vegetables, toasted sesame and wasabi mayonnaise, chickpea hummus with curried carrot, raisins and almonds, egg salad with lemon and dill, chicken Waldorf with apple and celery.
I generally have more of a sweet tooth, which was satisfied with bite-sized pastries. The blood orange posset was the star of the plate and I am glad I saved this one for last. Also included was a chocolate mint macaron, vanilla bean and berry cream tartlet and a layered chocolate chestnut cake slice.
All menu options include scones served with Devonshire cream (a little dollop of heaven!) and house made spreads. I indulged in Ontario strawberry jam and apple brandy butter. In addition to tea, beverages include alcoholic steeped and iced teas, sparkling wine and champagne, along with sherry and ports.
Afternoon Tea should be an experience to slowly sip and savour. I appreciate that guests are able to stay as long as they wish and are not rushed out to accommodate more patrons. Afternoon Tea at the Omni King Edward can accommodate up to 108 people and is served three days a week on Friday and Saturdays from 1:30 to 5:00pm and Sundays from 2:30 to 5:00pm.