Since Mother’s Day is once again fast-approaching, I thought I would re-share my round-up of the best places for afternoon tea in Toronto. If you’re looking to get a reservation for Mother’s Day – STOP whatever you’re doing and call now! Places book up extra fast and if you can’t get the Sunday, consider meeting on the Saturday instead. Enjoy!
One of my favourite traditions for Mother’s Day is going for afternoon tea in Toronto with my sister and Mom along with Paul and his Mom. It’s a nice way for our parents to get caught up and a fun way to spend the afternoon together. We usually spoil our Moms with a small gift as well – see our 2014 + 2015 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas & Guide. But the point is – our presence together is the present and it’s the small, yet precious moments that we will look back on and cherish.
Having toured and tasted my way through the tea rooms of Toronto, I proclaim these to be the best places for afternoon tea in the city:
The Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto – Best tea menu and ambiance definitely goes to Shangri-La Hotel. Afternoon Tea is served in their stunning lobby with a long modern fireplace as its centrepiece. All of the servers are level one certified tea specialists. Two are currently training to become tea sommeliers through the Tea Association of Canada which requires eight levels of certification!
Shangri-La offers a selection of 68 premium teas sourced from around the globe, including a few exclusive blends as well. Teas can range anywhere from $7.50 per pot to $70.00 per pot, so choose wisely!
Read more from my recent visit to The Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto.
The Ritz Carlton, Toronto – Most beautiful presentation goes to the modern grand tea stand at The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Toronto.
Everything arrived in a round little bookshelf. The sweets included a pistachio macaron, chocolate madeline, a mini red velvet cupcake, white chocolate truffle, chocolate raspberry cake and croquembouche. The pastry chef really outdid herself on this one and deserves a round of high-fives. The strategy here is take a bite out of everything because it’s almost impossible to finish it all.
Make it a whole day – read more from my recent visit to The Ritz Carlton Spa!
The King Edward Hotel, Toronto – The beloved King Eddy wins the award for Best Scones in Toronto by a landslide. I knew something was uniquely different and exceedingly special. Firstly, the scones are not too dense or dry, but a nice light consistency and hey – if it’s good enough for the Queen of England, it’s good enough for moi.
The recipe was created by John Higgins, the former executive Chef of The King Edward Hotel before he took up his new post as Director of The George Brown Chef School. Higgins served his delicious scones to the Queen while he was the chef on The Royal Yacht Britannia and The King Eddy uses the same recipe today.
The Royal York Hotel, Toronto – Best sandwiches? The Royal York Hotel, but make sure you upgrade to The Royal Tea Experience. 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 at The Royal York is also available and is the same experience without the bubbles and fancy canapes.
The Windsor Arms Hotel, Toronto – Most creative sandwiches goes to The Windsor Arms Hotel for their crustless sushi-like creations. I sampled baby green with asparagus, cucumber salsa and chive cream cheese and smoked salmon and caviar. The bread is incredibly soft and the ingredients were so fresh and light.
When ‘doing’ afternoon tea, a ridiculously poufy, over-the-top and dramatic hat is a must! The Windsor Arms offers a rack of fun tea hats (right) to wear during your visit. A donation of $5.00 is required for the rental with the money being given to a charity in Toronto. It makes for memorable photos with your friends.
Happy Mother’s Day!