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Apr 16, 2007 09:52 AM

Is Afternoon Tea filling? Should I book lunch previous to tea?

I am planning a small luncheon and/or afternoon tea for my mother-in-law's birthday. I was first considering lunch, but then thought afternoon tea may be nice too. I've never had afternoon tea before, and am being told it is quite filling. I know my mother-in-law mentioned she would like to go in the past.
1) Do you think I need to set up lunch and tea (I will be paying for it all)? Or just do one or the other? If only one, which one would you prefer?
2) For lunch, JK at the Gardiner is all booked up. I am thinking the Four Seasons. Maybe Windsor Arms. Any thoughts? I'd like a very upscale resto/location, which is still busy.
3) For tea, Windsor Arms & Langdon Hall is all booked up, however King Eddie and Four Seasons are available. Which should I choose?

Your help is appreciated.

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  1. I find afternoon tea filling and would prefer it to a luncheon (there's just *something* about it that makes me very happy and peaceful). Generally I either make it early enough to be lunch (1:00), late enough to be an early dinner (4:30, 5:00), or I have a late breakfast/brunch if it's going to be around 3:00.

    1 Reply
    1. re: abowes

      I agree with abowes' timing recommendations. It is a very relaxed way to do lunch. I've only had tea at the Windsor Arms and the Four Seasons. I definitely preferred Windor Arms. The 4S holds it in the lobby bar and it just doesn't provide the same ambience. I've been meaning to try th King Eddie and the Royal York, so if you choose one of these, please post a review.

    2. i too prefer afternoon tea, and have always been comfortably full, or even too full (when I ambitiously ordered more than i should have!) :)

      I enjoyed tea at the King Eddie and did not have a good experience at Four Seasons, so King Eddie would be my choice.

      1. i have only had formal tea at the chateau laurier in ottawa (i suppose the royal york would be the toronto equivalent). it was very filling. there were set menus, and you picked the specific one. it was one tea tier per person. it came with an assortment of small sandwiches on one level, scones with devonshire cream and jam on another level, cookies and squares on another level.

        along with tea you could order a nice champagne cocktail or liquer. it was delicious and filling!

        1. If you go to the 1.30pm sitting at the Windsor Arms, you can skip lunch. If going for the 3.30pm sitting, you may want a good sized snack before hand.

          1. I've always found afternoon tea quite filling... lunch and tea might be a but much. When I've had tea, I usually have something to eat in the morning, followed by mid-afternoon tea. Depending on the time of day, I've been able to turn tea into an early dinner.

            I found tea at the Windsor Arms to be more pleasant than the one at the Four Seasons. The space at The Four Seasons feels exposed. As other writers have mentioned, it's held in the lobby. The Windsor Arms feels more like "an event." The King Eddie is lovely, however I found The Royal York a bit lacking. It' been years since I've been, but I remember thinking I would never return. It must've been unpleasant, because I've blocked it out. Not a good sign.

            My personal fave however is La Tea Da in the Beaches. The owner makes her own scones, and creme fraiche. It's an adorable, relaxed space... and in my mind, very well priced. It's not as fancy as a hotel tea, but it's a lot more fun and friendly. I also didn't need a reservation when I visited.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Lotus Seedling

              The woman who runs La Tea Da also makes her own sandwiches and soups, although the "petits fours", alas, like too many desserts in this city, come from Dufflets. Nevertheless, a delightful spot, even for guys, and always filling.