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Decent afternoon tea in Toronto?

merlot143 Nov 21, 2006 06:31 PM

With the cold weather and all, I've been wanting to sit down to a long afternoon tea. I used to go to the Intercontinental Hotel on Bloor, but they stopped serving tea. The Windsor Arms, I understand, is great, but they're super-busy esp. on weekends. Any other recommends? Thanks.

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  1. nummanumma RE: merlot143 Nov 21, 2006 06:35 PM

    don't let anyone talk you into the red tea box, fgs. I cannot imagine where you could find more pretentious, RUDE, fake-accenty people. Honestly i took a gf from NS there this summer and I was mortified by their behavior.

    2 Replies
    1. re: nummanumma
      charxchar RE: nummanumma Dec 19, 2006 04:52 AM

      who has fake accents? han and man (proprietresses)? they are from singapore, so they have weird pseudo-brit accents!

      1. re: nummanumma
        pgfuzz RE: nummanumma Sep 22, 2007 05:01 PM

        Had a bad experience as well. Cupcakes tasted like laundry detergent. Quite expensive.

      2. andreas RE: merlot143 Nov 21, 2006 06:42 PM

        That's a disappointment. I buy my green and white teas at the red tea box and have always found the sales assistants helpful and friendly.

        I was planning on taking my wife there for afternoon tea this weekend. You've made me rethink that plan.

        2 Replies
        1. re: andreas
          fickle RE: andreas Nov 21, 2006 07:30 PM

          I had the opposite experience at Red Tea Box. I was there Sat Nov 4th and we had incredible service despite the fact that they were super busy. We were there for quite a while, from 12:30 to 3pm. They gave us a lot of space to sit back and enjoy our tea and lunch. I will definitely be returning. The soup sampler was fantastic. Maybe I just have good service karma?

          1. re: fickle
            nummanumma RE: fickle Nov 21, 2006 08:44 PM

            I really really should have good service karma, believe me! Maybe I had a one-time awful experience-

        2. kawarthagirl RE: merlot143 Nov 21, 2006 08:11 PM

          We went to Epic on the weekend - it was good. Not great. But good. When I reserved, I mentioned it was my husband's b-day and they brought an extra cake on a separate plate wtih happy birthday written in chocolate on the plate... nice.

          1. andreas RE: merlot143 Nov 21, 2006 08:52 PM

            Can you book at The Red Tea Box or should we just turn up early enough to get a table?

            1 Reply
            1. re: andreas
              Food Tourist RE: andreas Nov 21, 2006 09:10 PM

              They don't take reservations, and will scare you into coming at off-peak times. I found the Red Tea Box servers friendly but inefficient and very slow in responding to immediate needs.

              At Windsor Arms, if you want to relax and not feel rushed, book ahead for the 3:30 seating, not the 1:30 seating. They take reservations, which are usually needed on weekends.

            2. p
              Phoenix RE: merlot143 Nov 22, 2006 01:45 AM

              Try La Tea Da, a small but lovely tea room on Queen Street East in the Beach. The do a full cream tea, or you can just get their scones (yum) and tea. The food is great and the atmosphere is fun and not too formal, although the cups are definitely china. Of course they serve tea and scones with wonderful jams and clotted cream, and a great array of teas.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Phoenix
                wordsworth RE: Phoenix Dec 27, 2006 10:44 PM

                I looked attheir website and amazingly they don't seem to know the difference between afternoon tea and high tea! This does not inspire confidence.

                1. re: wordsworth
                  Kasia RE: wordsworth Dec 28, 2006 02:24 PM

                  the owner is from the caribbean and perhaps not as bothered by the distinction. the above posted described the food - is that not more relevant? it is a tea house, with very good offerings - from the selection of teas, to the little sandwiches, to the really excellent scones. there is usually a special soup available as well.

                  1. re: Kasia
                    DylS RE: Kasia Jan 1, 2007 02:01 PM

                    It is not, however, a distinction to be ignored. For many of British extraction, calling afternoon tea high tea is like our calling supper breakfast. If you see they're calling it the wrong thing, you might hesitate to venture inside and try it.

                    That aside, I agree La-Tea-Da serves a wonderful tea, with delicious (never enough!) house-made sandwiches and scones, in a pleasant, unstuffy atmosphere. (They could lose the omnipresent Dufflets pastries though and find a decent alternative.) It's also guy-friendly, which is a change from many tea places that veer towards frilly ladies-only, even if unintentionally.

                    1. re: Kasia
                      Leslieville RE: Kasia Jan 4, 2007 02:56 PM

                      I think if you check, you will find that the owner of La Tea Da is not Caribbean, but is 3rd. or 4th generation Canadian, and even then not from the Islands. It's a fine distinction, but one that is very important to the people concerned.

                      1. re: Leslieville
                        Kasia RE: Leslieville Jan 4, 2007 03:57 PM

                        that is an important difference, of course. i'm pretty sure i got that info from a Now review ages ago, as i've never talked to the owner about it. sorry about that.

                  2. re: Phoenix
                    Solie RE: Phoenix Apr 5, 2008 01:34 AM

                    La Tea Da is so disappointing.
                    I've been there about a month ago.
                    I saw they serve clotted cream on their website, but they don't.
                    I asked for it, but the lady answered me that clotted cream is served on special occasion and they charge more money in that case!!!
                    They shouldn't have said that on the website!!!
                    It seemed quite expensive compared to the quality.

                  3. Food Tourist RE: merlot143 Nov 22, 2006 02:05 AM

                    Recent post on afternoon tea.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Food Tourist
                      Food Tourist RE: Food Tourist May 23, 2007 05:58 PM

                      Finally went back to the Windsor Arms for tea at 3:30 on Victoria Day! New chef, so menu has changed almost completely. Date squares are gone. Now, scones (raisin or lemon) are huge monstrosities topped with sugar. All 3 sandwiches (asparagus, salmon with roe, and chicken) are rolled pinwheel-sushi style. Goat cheese tart, marzipan, hello dolly square, fudge brownie, berry tart, etc. are all decent enough but we had to fight over or split desserts as only two of each dessert topped the sole three-tiered tray (but there were 6 of us). Luckily, there were extra "sushi" sandwiches. Delicious "Passion and Envy" and "Tibetan Tiger" teas. Fine strawberries with sweet cream. Impressed with "local" Greaves jams; completely unmemorable clotted/devon cream. Absolute best part was the impeccable, professional service by Nakul, who has worked there for years.

                      Compare to our stellar food experience at King Eddy in April: excellent salmon/shrimp sandwich, good variety (five) of sandwich styles and shapes, and enough dessert for everyone to try everything. Plum compote starter and only one strawberry and cherry tomato disappointed. Lady Grey wore on me, so I switched to green. Service was impeccable but brusque. Our group were seated in the main dining room instead of lobby so it lacked a bit of atmosphere.

                      1. re: Food Tourist
                        auberginegal RE: Food Tourist May 24, 2007 05:36 AM

                        thanks for the review! how did you like the scones at WA compared to the King Eddy?

                        1. re: auberginegal
                          Food Tourist RE: auberginegal May 24, 2007 03:39 PM

                          King Eddy's were better!

                          1. re: Food Tourist
                            Amber RE: Food Tourist May 24, 2007 06:16 PM

                            Really? Is that because Windsor Arms changed their scones? I went to Windsor Arms in January and King Edward in March, and Windsor Arms were much better hands down. I remember them being a bit fluffier and tastier.

                            1. re: Amber
                              Food Tourist RE: Amber May 29, 2007 04:20 PM

                              Windsor Arm's scones lack butter and are a bit bready.

                              1. re: Food Tourist
                                Amber RE: Food Tourist May 29, 2007 06:35 PM

                                But that's a personal preference. What I'm wondering is if you think under the new chef they've become significantly less tasty... because I'll likely go again this summer and I'll need to brace myself to avoid massive disappointment if their scones have gotten worse. :(

                    2. m
                      merlot143 RE: merlot143 Nov 22, 2006 02:19 AM

                      Thanks for the recommends. I should mention I considered Epic last week, but the atmsophere was so un-tea like, I decided against. However, their lunch buffet was still being served, and THAT looked pretty good (eg. porcini-crusted roast beef).
                      I went to the Four Seasons last year. I liked it, but didn't love it and didn't think it was worth the price. The highlight was the white bread served for the sandwiches -- melt in your mouth!!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: merlot143
                        Food Tourist RE: merlot143 Nov 22, 2006 07:40 PM

                        merlot143, you're the first person on this board to have enjoyed the sandwiches at Four Seasons! You must have excellent karma. When I went, the sandwiches had been sitting out so long that the bread was dried out on the outside edges.

                      2. a
                        auberginegal RE: merlot143 Nov 22, 2006 01:10 PM

                        Windsor Arms can be busy, but you should try anyway (unless you are afraid of it being too noisy with a lot of people). i was there a couple weekends ago, there was a bridal shower party in the main room, but it wasn't that noisy sitting in the adjacent room. their scones were heavenly.

                        i've also enjoyed afternoon tea at the King Eddie.

                        1. dinin and dishin RE: merlot143 Nov 22, 2006 01:31 PM

                          I really enjoyed the tea at the Windsor Arms. It was exactly what I expected it to be. It is relaxing and unrushed because they have a set seating time. Thus others aren't coming and going as you relax.

                          I also tried the Four Seasons, but won't be returning. It is in the lobby bar, and completely misses for ambience (IMHO). The food was good, but not nearly as relaxed.

                          I've got the King Eddie and Royal York next on my list. Be sure to let us know what you pick and how it goes.

                          1. j
                            jcanncuk RE: merlot143 Nov 22, 2006 09:20 PM

                            It's really ironic, I know, but I have had GREAT afternoon tea at the Vintage Tea House on Locke St in.....Hamilton! I know, a total shocker, but seriously, at $15 pp with vintage tea cups and pots, a cute atmosphere (in a Victorian house with antique dining tables) , and AMAZING scones (hot!) with Devonshire cream, good jam, good tea, good, fresh sandwiches, good squares, it's worth the trip to the Hammer!

                            1. m
                              merlot143 RE: merlot143 Nov 23, 2006 04:05 AM

                              I'm surprised I'm the only one who liked the sandwiches at the Four Seasons. Maybe I had luck that day. The fillings don't stand out much -- it was something dainty and expensive -- but the bread was really lovely. I've also had tea at the Old Mill, and the sandwiches there have been dried out.
                              Much as I'm in the mood for tea, I'm not ready to drive to Hamilton.

                              1. s
                                Scruncheons RE: merlot143 Nov 24, 2006 12:20 AM

                                I've enjoyed the King Eddie, especially the option that includes a galss of sherry! Not proper, I'm sure, but good. I want to try La Tea Da.

                                1. i
                                  ignatius RE: merlot143 Nov 24, 2006 04:28 PM

                                  i've been to the king eddie and windsor and hands down windsor wins. windsor has excellent service, food and atmosphere....i found the king eddie to be lacking in all three (the service especially was not nearly as hospitable as the windsor). aaaand, they gave us crappy clotted cream and re-used lil'jam pots...boo!

                                  1. v
                                    voracious RE: merlot143 Dec 28, 2006 10:29 AM

                                    Had a funny experience at Lah Tea Dah the other day. We asked for cream with our tea and the server told that they didn't serve cream on the grounds that tea was "traditionally" served with milk. Pretty snooty for people who think "high tea" consists of sandwiches, scones and pastry! What is it about serving tea that addles people's minds? I've had some stunning experiences at Red Tea Box, both good and bad. Last time there I tried to get an extra shortbread cookie out of them (they served two cookies, and there were three of us) and they said we would have to order an entire additional tea service. We had spent over $60, and the shortbread cookie was one square inch. The food is divine, though.

                                    1. b
                                      balthazar RE: merlot143 Jan 4, 2007 01:42 PM

                                      Try the King Edward hotel on King St. Very nice tea service (both the food & the staff).

                                      I just wish you could order those little scones on their own, with that Devonshire cream... my waistline is expanding just thinking about it. Sigh.

                                      1. Webdude RE: merlot143 Jan 4, 2007 06:47 PM

                                        Our two daughters like to take my wife out for tea (usually with the help of daddy's wallet) on mother's day. So we've explored a few joints around the city and beyond.

                                        One that we enjoyed was the Old Curiosity Tea Shop on Main Street in Markham (www.cuppa.ca/teashop.htm). Polite and unobtrustive service, a nice but not overwhelming selection of tea and munchies, and a very (although admittedly manufactured) Victorian ambience. The servers all dress in white aprons and wear those funny hats.

                                        The food was good, as I recall, and quite a pleasant experience all told. Reservations highly recommended.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Webdude
                                          chancombrink1 RE: Webdude Sep 13, 2007 08:28 AM

                                          yeah, we went, too, last year a couple of times. And it was nice. a good alternative for people who want high tea in the 905 and don't want to venture too far for it. The service was excellent - the server really explains the different kinds of tea to you and lets you take in the aroma of your selection. The ambience is a little campy but I appreciated the effort all the same. We went in with a stroller but had to fold it up and leave it out front as there is precious little room in there. The food was good but nothing too memorable. The good thing here is that if you don't feel like having a full service tea but your tea companion does, s/he can order the full set and you can order something small. No other tea places that I 've been to in toronto does that.

                                          1. re: chancombrink1
                                            genie81 RE: chancombrink1 Mar 14, 2009 03:12 PM

                                            Anyone happen to remember the price for afternoon tea at Old Curiosity?

                                            1. re: genie81
                                              jinglotte RE: genie81 Apr 12, 2011 01:39 AM

                                              Afternoon tea for 2 people is a total of $38 + tax + gratuity

                                        2. l
                                          LaGoulue RE: merlot143 Apr 1, 2007 04:52 PM

                                          This is kind of an old thread, but in case you or anyone else looking for afternoon tea information happen to check in, Langdon Hall out near Cambridge does an excellent afternoon tea. I've tried the Windsor Arms, the Red Tea Box, the King Eddy and Taylor's Tea Room in Dundas and Langdon Hall knocked them all into a cocked hat. Langdon Hall is a beautiful big mansion, the former summer home of an American magnate and now an extremely posh and elegant little country hotel. The hoi polloi nevertheless may take afternoon tea there and eat in the restaurant, which is also supposed to be quite good. Reservations are almost always necessary, which is a little bit of a drag and cuts down on spontaneity, but the service is warm and unaffected, the tables are suitably low for the ritual, the scones are meltingly proper, the clotted cream genuine, and the room beautiful and classic....they also serve it outside overlooking their gardens weather permitting. You can also get some very nice add-ons like sparkling wine, sherry or a selection of Ontario cheeses, and the price is about the same as most serious teas in Toronto (i.e. $27.00 for the basic tea+sandwiches+savories
                                          +scones&cream+pastries). The only flaw is the muzak on the sound system: one thing I really admire about the Windsor Arms is that there is *no music* at all in the tea salon because tea is an aid to conversation.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: LaGoulue
                                            tp24 RE: LaGoulue Apr 10, 2008 09:07 AM

                                            This sounds wonderful! Thanks!
                                            For anyone else interested...here's the Langdon Hall link:

                                            1. re: tp24
                                              pâté chinois RE: tp24 Apr 10, 2008 02:17 PM

                                              DH and I were just at Langdon Hall for his birthday a couple weekends ago, based on LaGoulue's recommendation and we loved it. Great food, great atmosphere, appropriate pricing. We want to go back and have more of that chicken curry sandwich on curry and raisin swirl brioche!

                                          2. red dragon RE: merlot143 Apr 1, 2007 05:49 PM

                                            DH and I have yet to try this place, but perhaps you'd like to view the website:


                                            It's the Old Curiosity Tea Shop in Markham and they even dress like the olden days.
                                            Let me know what you think.

                                            1. v
                                              voracious RE: merlot143 May 24, 2007 04:22 PM

                                              Has anyone tried the afternoon tea at the Park Hyatt? I've been given a gift certificate to the spa there and wonder if it would be a good idea to make a reservation for tea afterwards.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: voracious
                                                ace123 RE: voracious Sep 13, 2007 06:48 PM

                                                Not sure if Park Hyatt has afternoon tea. Pls call to confirm.

                                                1. re: ace123
                                                  mzmcgee RE: ace123 Sep 15, 2007 02:55 AM

                                                  Anyone got the good on the Fairmont Royal York high tea vs. King Eddie? Most reviews I've heard favour the Fairmont.

                                                  1. re: ace123
                                                    LTL RE: ace123 Oct 14, 2008 08:23 AM

                                                    Park Hyatt does offer afternoon tea (listed on their website). Has anyone tried it?

                                                    1. re: LTL
                                                      babybluepowder RE: LTL Jul 30, 2010 08:00 AM

                                                      Yes. I found the quality of the food to be very good. The tea room is more on the modern/art deco side.

                                                2. m
                                                  minmix RE: merlot143 Sep 15, 2007 05:14 PM

                                                  Has anyone been to the Old Mill for the afternoon tea. Was thinking about taking my aunt, but havent heard anything about the place. The website looks nice though.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: minmix
                                                    mzmcgee RE: minmix Sep 15, 2007 08:13 PM

                                                    I went there for an out of control brunch one weekend. It was amazing, but they sat us at a very dark table, worth it to request the ones by the windows with your reservation. They had a bit of everything, one round buffet table for seafood, hot entrees, waffles, you name it they had a table for it. My favorite was a cream creole bisque with lobster...RRRRowwrr. I'm sure they put on a good spread for tea. They also had a steel drum player, I don't know why.

                                                    1. re: minmix
                                                      merlot143 RE: minmix Sep 15, 2007 08:21 PM

                                                      I had afternoon tea there several years ago. The tea service was fine, and the setting of the patio restaurant was lovely. The sandwiches and scones were decent, but nothing memorable since I can't remember much about it. It wasn't pricey, though.

                                                      1. re: merlot143
                                                        pescatarian RE: merlot143 Sep 15, 2007 08:31 PM

                                                        Isn't there a place at Bloor, just East of Islington that serves afternoon tea? I know there was a place there at one time. Is it still there? Has anyone been lately?

                                                      2. re: minmix
                                                        icey RE: minmix Apr 7, 2008 12:33 PM

                                                        I've been to the Old Mill for afternoon tea and I quite enjoyed it...however, I haven't been anywhere else, so I don't have anything to compare it against. I however, have never found my sandwiches dried as an earlier poster stated. I love the fact that they give you 2 little Greaves jars each....1 marmalade, and 1 jam. I LOVE Greaves jams. I did not like the clotted/devon cream, but I'd never had it before, so I don't know if I didn't like the cream in general, or I didn't like the one offered there. The scone was good, so was the shortbread cookie and the sandwiches (cucumber, salmon, and a forgot the 3rd), but I found the fruit tart just meh. But for the price you pay ($20 approx), and the ambiance, I will definetly return.

                                                      3. LovelyAsia RE: merlot143 Sep 16, 2007 12:04 PM

                                                        I have heard good things about High Tea at the R.S. McLaughlin Estate in Oshawa... and the setting is said to be lovely - you get to have tea in the historic home of the founder of GM in Canada.


                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: LovelyAsia
                                                          mzmcgee RE: LovelyAsia Sep 22, 2007 03:26 PM

                                                          We filmed there once.. that is a very beautiful spot.. worth the trip. But unfortunately we had the film catering, so I can only vouch for atmosphere

                                                        2. p
                                                          pgfuzz RE: merlot143 Sep 22, 2007 05:03 PM

                                                          Windsor Arms and the King Edward Hotel are good. Did not enjoy the Royal York Hotel.

                                                          1. BokChoi RE: merlot143 Oct 26, 2008 08:50 AM

                                                            C5 now offers afternoon tea that is quite tasty. Food-wise, I am sure it is currently the best in the city.


                                                            1. w
                                                              woodsey RE: merlot143 Oct 27, 2008 05:31 PM

                                                              madelein's cherry pie and ice cream for a less formal tea. house made treats too!
                                                              1087 Bathurst Street
                                                              Toronto, Ontario
                                                              M5R 3G8

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: woodsey
                                                                babybluepowder RE: woodsey Aug 9, 2010 09:51 PM

                                                                About a year ago, a friend brought me to Madelineès Cherry pie and Ice cream for a birthday. There were four of us booked for Afternoon tea. I recall the food was really good and decided to bring a friend for her birthday. When I called to book reservations I was appalled by the answer to my request. Apparently the rules had changed such that a min of 10 people were required for Afternoon tea which I was fine with but the lady still continued to talk....so she continued on the phone that If I still wanted afternoon tea I would have to book it for 10 people even if only the two of us wanted tea. I was shocked by this answer so I clarified this by asking if she meant that I would still pay for 10 people even though only the two of us showed up and the lady on the phone said correct. Who in their right mind would do that, nevertheless give an answer like that! So I asked her if that was what she meant and she mad when she answered back by saying that she wasnt going to cook for 10 people and have only two of the serviing paid for. It wasnèt worth it for her. Well, after that phone call, its not worth it for me ever to go there again! How rude!!! Too bad, cuz the food was pretty good. Very dissapointing.

                                                                1. re: babybluepowder
                                                                  red dragon RE: babybluepowder Aug 14, 2010 05:30 PM

                                                                  Wow, that is shocking. It would seem business is really bad for them to impose such ridiculous rules! I've had afternoon tea at the Four Seasons, but that was years ago and I'm not sure how it would be now.

                                                              2. m
                                                                madgeis RE: merlot143 Jul 31, 2009 01:28 PM

                                                                I know this is an old post, but I would like to mention that I had a TERRIBLE experience at the Windsor Arms in August 2007. I don't know if they have fixed things since then, but this was so bad that I will never go back. They were in the middle of renvovating and had changed their beautiful decor to everywhere purple (very disturbing). The service was inexperienced, The tea arrived while we were still drinking our champagne, you could see and hear the renovations going on (not conducive to a relaxing experience) and when I emailed the hotel to complain, I received no reply. I forwarded the message on and on until finally I got a response from the president who basically accused me of lying. I don't know why he thought I would waste my time writing if it wasn't true, but I found the whole thing so badly handled that I would never set foot in that hotel again. Even though I used to love it.

                                                                1. l
                                                                  lamaranthe RE: merlot143 Aug 15, 2010 12:31 PM

                                                                  Kind Eddie - Much more than decent. See http://www.dine.to/profile_features.p...

                                                                  1. r
                                                                    romeschica RE: merlot143 Apr 13, 2011 08:13 AM

                                                                    I had afternoon tea at Park Hyatt and Old Mill Inn.

                                                                    The atmosphere and service at Hyatt was very appropriate. I found their sandwiches to be a bit stale though. There was probably 2-3 groups besides us that day. I will try to dig up some pics for this.

                                                                    The audience at Old Mill the day we went was much older and the room was packed! I thought the sandwiches/tea/experience was decent.

                                                                    I really want to try Windsor Arms!

                                                                    Old Mill
                                                                    21 Old Mill Road, Toronto, ON M8X 1G5, CA

                                                                    Park Hyatt
                                                                    Toronto, ON, Toronto, ON , CA

                                                                    Windsor Arms
                                                                    18 St Thomas St, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: romeschica
                                                                      jinglotte RE: romeschica Apr 13, 2011 12:42 PM

                                                                      Good to know that Park Hyatt also provides afternoon tea service! How was the desserts?

                                                                      Windsor Arms is a really good choice! Everything's fabulous, but make sure to make reservations :)

                                                                      Park Hyatt
                                                                      Toronto, ON, Toronto, ON , CA

                                                                      Windsor Arms
                                                                      18 St Thomas St, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

                                                                      1. re: jinglotte
                                                                        romeschica RE: jinglotte Apr 13, 2011 12:51 PM

                                                                        Okay, finally managed to get a pic, we went there two summers ago so unfortunately I have this only:

                                                                        http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid... - it shows the sandwiches and dessert (now that I think of it, I can't remember what was for dessert). What was not shown was the scones with clotted cream which we finished off beforehand.


                                                                        1. re: romeschica
                                                                          jinglotte RE: romeschica Apr 13, 2011 03:46 PM

                                                                          Thank you romeschica! York's desserts always impress me...I'm gonna go soon, when school ends~ and will post the photos!

                                                                          1. re: jinglotte
                                                                            romeschica RE: jinglotte Apr 15, 2011 08:52 AM

                                                                            Just found this on Spotlight toronto - very appropriate!



                                                                    2. l
                                                                      lylaa RE: merlot143 Aug 1, 2011 04:55 PM

                                                                      Today, holiday Monday, had lovely afternoon tea at Park Hyatt. Affordable, $26 each for full tea (sandwiches and desserts). All were very tasty, and the desserts seemed more plentiful than other afternoon teas I have been to. Also, all was visually appealing! Another plus, is that sandwiches came first, and then the 3 tier dessert platter, so it encouraged us to proceed slowly and enjoy ourselves. Good service, attentive.

                                                                      It was our teen's birthday, and we notified them of this when we arrived. As we were finishing, they arrived with a small plates with 2 small desserts for each of the three of us, a piece of white chocolate with "Happy Birthday" written on it, and a candle. No charge! Much appreciated by all of us.

                                                                      I have been to Windsor Arms, Royal York and C5 previously for afternoon tea. I did not like Royal York, food looked great but the desserts had no taste. Prior to this, my favourite was Windsor Arms, which was fully booked today. I am glad we had the opportunity to come to the Park Hyatt. We will return.

                                                                      Park Hyatt
                                                                      Toronto, ON, Toronto, ON , CA

                                                                      Windsor Arms
                                                                      18 St Thomas St, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                      1. re: lylaa
                                                                        Food Tourist RE: lylaa Aug 3, 2011 11:36 AM

                                                                        I agree. Park Hyatt Annona afternoon tea is the best value and best-tasting afternoon tea in Toronto.

                                                                        I just had afternoon tea for the same price at Birks Cafe par Europea in Montreal and it pales in comparison.

                                                                        1. re: Food Tourist
                                                                          voracious RE: Food Tourist Aug 3, 2011 02:15 PM

                                                                          I'm so glad to hear about Annona's tea -- I've been wondering whether it's a good option. Will definitely check it out.

                                                                          I recently went to tea at the King Edward Hotel and was disappointed. Nothing was too terribly wrong, but it was served in the lobby where generic piped-in music makes it feel like a cheap chain hotel, and the decor is similarly unsuited to the age and majesty of the hotel. I know people have complained at being seated inside the restaurant, but IMO that would have been preferable. An over-priced and chilly experience.

                                                                          King Edward Hotel
                                                                          37 King St E, Toronto, ON M5C, CA

                                                                          1. re: voracious
                                                                            Food Tourist RE: voracious Aug 3, 2011 03:25 PM

                                                                            Both times I've had tea at King Eddy, I've eaten in an inside room (restaurant or private party room). I can't imagine enjoying tea in the lobby itself!

                                                                        2. re: lylaa
                                                                          voracious RE: lylaa Dec 26, 2011 08:08 AM

                                                                          Finally got out to Annona at the Park Hyatt -- you are right, it's wonderful! And not very busy, considering it was right before Christmas on a Friday. An interesting assortment of sandwiches, good scones and a sizeable pot of cream -- not real Devon cream I think, but at least not the dime-sized portion you often get. The desserts were really fresh and plentiful enough that we had to take some home with us. There was a good selection of teas and I had one I really liked: a smoky variety called BC Forest tea that was similar to lapsang souchong but perhaps even smokier. I've been trying to track it down online but so far haven't been able to find it.

                                                                          Service was friendly and attentive and we were given a "Christmas present" of Annona cranberry conserve to take home with us. I think this will be our new go-to spot for tea. Delightful.

                                                                          1. re: voracious
                                                                            prima RE: voracious Nov 3, 2012 07:45 AM

                                                                            Has anyone had the tea at Annona recently? Are any of the newly opened luxe hotels serving tea?

                                                                            1. re: prima
                                                                              bluefirefly RE: prima Nov 3, 2012 05:36 PM

                                                                              The Ritz Carlton serves afternoon tea on both Saturdays and Sundays from 2-4pm in their Deq Lounge.

                                                                              1. re: bluefirefly
                                                                                prima RE: bluefirefly Nov 3, 2012 10:21 PM





                                                                                Has anyone tried the $24 afternoon tea at T-Buds? http://www.blogto.com/restaurants/t-b...

                                                                                1. re: prima
                                                                                  julesrules RE: prima Nov 4, 2012 05:35 AM

                                                                                  No. But what a bizarre post. She didn't have the google-fu to come up with 'tisane'? And I can't even tell if she actually tried any of the tea or food.

                                                                                  1. re: julesrules
                                                                                    prima RE: julesrules Nov 4, 2012 09:00 AM

                                                                                    Agree, it is bizarre. Haven't heard of anyone pronouncing or spelling "tisane" as "tossane" before, either!

                                                                                    I do like that T-Buds is offering a $9 cream tea, as well as the $24 multi-course afternoon tea.

                                                                                    It appears that all meats served at T-Buds are halal. I'm guessing this is the only place serving afternoon tea, halal brunch and halal crepes in North Toronto. And probably the only place serving lamb patty crepes south of the 401. http://t-buds.com/menus/savoury-crepes/

                                                                                    1. re: prima
                                                                                      julesrules RE: prima Nov 4, 2012 09:40 AM

                                                                                      It does sound interesting. The savory crepe batter with spelt & buckwheat sounds good, and I like that they suggest tea parings. It's off my beaten path but may work for a weekday outing with my DD. Thanks for pointing this one out :)

                                                                                2. re: bluefirefly
                                                                                  Food Tourist RE: bluefirefly Nov 19, 2012 04:32 PM

                                                                                  Has anyone tried the afternoon tea at The Ritz yet? How much does it cost?

                                                                                  I noticed people having tea at the Shangri-La lobby lounge recently. Not afternoon tea, but still 68 choices of actual tea.

                                                                                  1. re: Food Tourist
                                                                                    ggom1 RE: Food Tourist Nov 19, 2012 07:06 PM

                                                                                    I've been to the Ritz. We had the $38 basic tea; from what I remember the two higher levels only differed by the inclusion of a glass of champagne and they cost quite a bit more. Nothing we had at the Ritz really stood out for me, but everything we ate was pleasant, the service was very good, and there was so much food everyone was stuffed, plus we packed some up. From what I remember it was pretty standard afternoon tea fare, except for little tweaks like instead of an egg salad sandwich there was an egg salad canape.

                                                                                    1. re: ggom1
                                                                                      Food Tourist RE: ggom1 Nov 20, 2012 05:00 PM

                                                                                      Thanks. Most recently (April 2012) I had afternoon tea at MoRoCo. Quite satisfactory, no complaints. Price is higher than most but seemed like a better deal to get champagne rather than basic.

                                                                                      1. re: Food Tourist
                                                                                        Food Tourist RE: Food Tourist Jan 28, 2014 07:31 AM

                                                                                        MoRoCo afternoon tea prices:

                                                                                        Tuesday to Thursday
                                                                                        With champagne $48 Without champagne $40

                                                                                        Friday to Sunday
                                                                                        With champagne $63 Without champagne $55

                                                                                        A la carte prosecco is $10, they might not mean "champagne" literally!

                                                                          2. l
                                                                            letrell RE: merlot143 Jan 1, 2012 05:21 AM

                                                                            I've been to the Red Tea Box on 3 occasions each time hoping it would get better. Atmosphere is charming but the food is mediocre. What really sets this place apart from the rest is the incredibly arrogant and rude service.
                                                                            The sign in the window reads "No Outside Food, No Resevations for Parties of 6 or less and you can not stay longer than 1.5 hours." Um, hello? Why would I patronize a restaurant that treats me like dirt?" Never Again.

                                                                            1. t
                                                                              teeda99 RE: merlot143 Mar 15, 2012 01:45 PM

                                                                              I just came back from a tea at the Four Seasons with my daughter (10) and my mom. It was a so-so experience. I wouldn't want to do it again. So, I'm thinking of either going to the King Edward (which has the Jester's tea for kids) or the Windsor Arms. Which do you think we should choose? I

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: teeda99
                                                                                Food Tourist RE: teeda99 Jan 28, 2014 07:46 AM

                                                                                I can't see if Four Seasons offers afternoon tea, as their website dbar and Boulud don't seem to have a link to afternoon tea. Anyone know if they still serve it?

                                                                              2. prima RE: merlot143 Feb 4, 2013 07:29 AM

                                                                                Pipers Pub on St Clair W near Christie has started serving a Saturday afternoon tea, $16.99/person.



                                                                                1. Food Tourist RE: merlot143 Jan 28, 2014 07:18 AM

                                                                                  Update: Shangri-la offers $40 afternoon tea between 2-4:30 seven days a week. Requires reservation, in the Lobby Bar.

                                                                                  Other places downtown seem to be just weekends. Annona price has jumped up to $36, and Ritz-Carlton seems to be $40. Library Bar at Royal York Hotel is $39.50.



                                                                                  1. Food Tourist RE: merlot143 Feb 7, 2014 05:28 PM

                                                                                    Has anyone tasted the gluten-free afternoon tea at Windsor Arms? Is it as bad as other review sites deem it?

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Food Tourist
                                                                                      Food Tourist RE: Food Tourist Feb 10, 2014 11:02 AM

                                                                                      There is gluten-free at Ritz-Carlton.

                                                                                    2. e
                                                                                      evansl RE: merlot143 Feb 8, 2014 05:06 AM

                                                                                      Afternoon tea is inherently indecent. It proves that there is a sucker born every minute. I speak from experience. Over the years I have been dragged to the Windsor, Old Mill, Sweet Gallery, and several others. It is one of the mysteries of life that people are willing to pay $30 up for a few scraps of of often stale food in a fancy hotel. It is an even greater mystery that people are willing to do it in cafes with the atmosphere of a diner. The rapid spread of afternoon tea follows the rapid spread of sushi and tapas. In all these cases, restaurant owners have discovered that if you market small scraps of cheap food as an experience, you can really make a bundle.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: evansl
                                                                                        Food Tourist RE: evansl Feb 8, 2014 05:54 AM

                                                                                        Many times this is true. However, when my girls and I go out once a year for afternoon tea, it is a chance to be girly and dress up, and feel elegant. Many places we've tried in the past 1-5 years are quite decent. Some are better value for money and actually serve delicious food. I eat a lot. A lot. And I'm always full, and take home several pieces. That being said, I am sad to see the prices have gone up at our secret Annona at the Park Hyatt. See above.

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