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Sep 17, 2007 11:54 AM

Windsor Arms turns Purple?

I took the SO to Windsor Arms for afternoon tea and we were shocked by the reno of the inner room. This room was very pretty before (old fashioned drawing room chairs, flowery wall paper , lacey curtains) but now it's full of purple velor short arm chairs, lavender painted walls, and gauzy dark purple curtains.

And the icing on the scones was the icing sugar... not a fan of how they added icing sugar (it's really messy and the scones imo are sweet enough). Plus they changed the recipe so while before they were very light tasting, now there's a powdery aftertaste -- perhaps they added too much baking powder or didn't mix the dough thoroughly.

Next time I'll go to King Eddie.

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  1. I always enjoy afternoon tea at the King Eddie. Plus, i really, really love their sovereign ballroom-one of my favourite room's in Toronto.

    1. My friends and I had lunch there during Summerlicious- I don't recall any purple at all then either. We loved the traditional, elegant decor.

      We have reservations for tea later this month- I think I'm going to pop in and take a look around and also pick up one of their scones to try just in case. You have me worried as this was always my favourite place for tea and I'd hate to think that it's not the same :o(

      5 Replies
      1. re: czthemmnt

        The Courtyard Cafe looked the same as usual. The outer tea room was about the same (I think they changed the chairs, but it wasn't a mutilation)... but the inner tea room with the fireplace was horrible. I tried to find a link on their website to send a comment but all I could see were pictures of how it used to be... *sigh*. I overheard a neighboring diner complain that it now looks like a bordello. OUCH.

        I hope they've rectified it by the time you go back...

        1. re: Amber

          Here is a pic I took last week while we were having afternoon tea at Windsor Arms. They did indeed have a makeover. Not sure if I like it or not. But it is very different.

          1. re: simonahenzel

            i don't even know who the chef there is anymore..michael pataran was going to be there..but perhaps he saw these rooms were a sign for him to exit...sigh...loved his work....where is he now?

            1. re: chiuchiu

              Did not James Chatto mention on his blog that Michael is heading to Barbados to work at a resort?

              1. re: OnDaGo

                I did head over to the WA on Tuesday after work to see this new tea room for myself, and I was really taken aback by the new decor. It's awful. This is just my opinion, but it looked cheap. I can't believe someone feels this is an improvement. For me, having tea is not just about the tea itself, but about the ambiance and atmosphere and I could not see my friends and I enjoying the experience in this room that looked like Barney exploded all over it. So I cancelled our reservations.

                P.S. I asked if we could have the tea in the Courtyard Cafe instead, and was told no. Too bad.

      2. I took a friend to afternoon tea there on Saturday and I agree totally. I have been there many times over the years and really enjoyed the quaint, pretty, slightly stuffy atmosphere. The food wasn't innovative, but it was tasty and the service was great. This time, I just couldn't get over the reno. I sat facing the inner room and couldn't get past the black/purple paint and tacky fireplace. And the floor is now white marble. I'm sure that this is easier to clean, but it's so cold looking. And I agree with the comment regarding a bordello. The outer room isn't as bad, true, but it has also been done over. The level of service has also gone down...and they have switched the tea cups to Royal Prince Albert all-in-one's with a saucer and tea plate. Not only does this pattern always look cheap to me, but as the nibbles are too big for one bite, I need a plate I can cut on. We were also brought one large pot of tea instead of the usual one pot per person. Yes, we all ordered the same tea, but the larger amount of tea got cold faster than the small pots with cozies did...and equated to two cups each instead of about four in an individual pot. As to service, we watched the waiter bring a three-tiered tray to the table beside us, neglect to mention what was in sandwiches, and then served all of the sandwiches at once - six apiece. Given the tiny size of the "plates" this was unattractive and didn't allow for choice. When he served us and began to shovel food, I asked him to stop, mentioning that one of us didn't like fish. He didn't think to point out the smoked salmon in some of the sandwichs and seemed offended. Then he left, taking the serving tongs with him, so we were left using hands.

        I am aware this is a bit of a ramble, but I was quite disappointed...I really doubt I will be there again either. So - where else is good for tea? The King Eddy was mentioned - has anyone tried the Old Mill or even The Red Tea Box? How about Avenue at The Four Seasons? I need a replacement...

        1 Reply
        1. re: morrigan

          did you find the scones to not be as tasty as they used to be, as mentioned by Amber in the original post? the scones were my favourite part!