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Jan 18, 2008 03:55 PM

ISO inexpensive high tea or bakery/cafe for this Sat. afternoon

I am in search of an inexpensive location for high tea (Windsor Atms, King Eddy, Four Seasons are too expensive) or alternatively a bakery/cafe. Downtown or Midtown locations preferred. Thanks in advance.

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  1. Inexpensive high tea is tricky; I don't know of a venue for that. But I like Patisserie La Cigogne, on Bayview south of Eglinton, north of Millwood. It's small, but cheerful. Beautiful baguettes, croissants, lattes, chocolates, etc. And you can get brunch or a light lunch, too. I am there almost every Saturday morning for a latte, a newspaper, and a crepe.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Maimonides

      I like Cigogne for the French patisserie/cafe setting. I also like Bonjour Brioche - if you can tolerate the perils of sit-in dining there (numerous posts on this board about that). Jules on Mt. Pleasant has such good pastry, quiche and sandwiches but only a few tables. There is also Rahier on Bayview (they have pastries, quiche and sandwiches also, and more tables than Jules). Note these are all very casual places, though.

      For afternoon tea (avoiding the what is "high tea" debate), the other 2 places I haven't seen mentioned in this thread are the Royal York and Red Tea Box. Of these places I've only had afternoon tea at the King Eddy and very much liked it. Based the article at this link, the Old Mill might be the least expensive of the bunch:

      You probably already saw this past thread:

    2. What do you consider inexpensive? If $17-20 is ok with you then I definetly recommend The Old Mill. You do need reservations though, I think. For that money, you get a choice of several teas, and a tower of get 3 tea sandwiches, 1 fruit tart, 1 shortbread cookie, and a scone with little jars of greaves jams and devonshire (sp?) cream. Honestly, I initially didn't think it was that much food, but I was stuffed afterwards. It was in a really old room, and it was a really nice experience.

      1. What about La-Tea-Da on Queen Street east in the Beach? I don't have the Adress, but it's in the phone book. Nice place, casual and comfortable.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Leslieville

          I've been to La-Tea-Da once before (, they were pretty good, I loved their blueberry scones (made in house) and their pastries (from Dufflet)... The owner was incredibly friendly and really made the experience that much more enjoyable. Afternoon/High Tea whatever you wanna call it is $16 - $22

          You could always go straight to a Dufflet Pastries outlet for tea and baked treats which would be almost the same thing, minus the frilly ambiance and scones for a lower price.

          Old Mill was cheap I guess, but the food and tea were pretty bad imo. The scones were flat little greasy pucks, like a baked pillsbury instant biscuit type of concoction, and the tea was pretty unspectacular. It came bagged, the supermarket variety... I think it was Typhoo.

          Red Tea Box on Queen West across from Dufflet has a Tea Bento special for $17 (if I remember correctly) if you go between 11-2. They have some really amazing sandwiches and pastries (but stay away from the buttercream rose cake or any of the pretty little fondant cakes in the front, they're stale). Their version of afternoon or high tea is rather fusiony, but really amazing. If you go there make sure they're open coz they're closed for months or weeks at a time throughout the year and I've been really disappointed and p'od in the past. They don't take reservations, and the service is slower than my 70 year old grandma walking up the stairs. Also, prepare to be bewildered by lukewarm melon flavoured water refills in a glass instead of hot water for your teapot.

          One of my favourite relatively cheap places is the Victorian Garden Tea Room out in Etobicoke (sort of outside your preferred area, sorry) . Traditional tea in a super frilly uncomfortably girly setting with painted indoor murals of a garden, complete with a functioning indoor fountain and creepy victorian dolls in the gift shop in the front. They have a nice selection of tea, and very tasty mini sandwiches and tooth achlingly sweet petit fours. They make their own clotted cream and jam and their cranberry and apple scones are defintely worth the trip out there.

        2. Windsor Arms Hotel has a tea room. I had the high-tea with scones and snacks + a glass of champagne 18 months ago - cost $27/per less if you have it without champagne.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cacruden

            The price has gone up since then - I think the afternoon cream tea with sparkling wine or sherry is now $32. They have also remodeled and not for the better. It's an interesting "look" but not what I want from afternoon tea. The room is now quite modern looking and a bit cold. The dominant colours are white marble and deep purple. It's a bit odd...