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High Tea in Toronto?

habibti May 3, 2010 10:01 AM

Hi there,

My mom is newly back to Canada from living overseas and I'd love to take her to High Tea somewhere downtown. Only requirement really (other than a great experience) is that it would be on a weekday.

Sorry if this is an overdone thread, I tried to run a search with no luck!
Thank you!

  1. e
    Elfinn May 3, 2010 10:26 AM

    The Windsor Arms has a great high tea, in a beautiful room with a fireplace.

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

    9 Replies
    1. re: Elfinn
      Fwagra May 3, 2010 06:03 PM

      They don't do high tea at the Windsor Arms.

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

      1. re: Fwagra
        jlunar May 3, 2010 07:00 PM

        They certainly used to. Did they stop? It's still on their website:

        1. re: jlunar
          Teep May 3, 2010 10:13 PM

          I think what Fwagra is saying is that they don't do "high tea", which is an informal dinner including cold meat. Sandwiches and scones are served at "afternoon tea".


          1. re: Teep
            Fwagra May 4, 2010 06:56 AM

            Yep. Sorry for being cryptic/bitchy about it.

            1. re: Fwagra
              jlunar May 4, 2010 07:28 AM

              OHhhh.. * light bulb*

            2. re: Teep
              habibti May 5, 2010 06:43 AM

              Thank you for the great tips, and the education on the difference between high and afternoon tea! My intention was indeed 'afternoon tea'.

              1. re: habibti
                blinknoodle May 5, 2010 07:59 AM

                I've been to the Royal York for afternoon tea. I thought it was a but pricy for what you got. The tea was great, though.

                1. re: blinknoodle
                  Aleta May 6, 2010 11:18 AM

                  This thread reminds me of our last visit to London and tea at the Dorchester Hotel. That year, they had won 2nd place in the Tea Guild's yearly competition. It was very relaxing, the service was excellent, the sandwiches and other savoury foods were so delicious, of course there was a very good selection of teas... They kept asking us if we wanted "seconds" (or "thirds"!) of anything. Oops, reminiscing.

                  We used to love the Windsor Arms afternoon tea when the hotel first re-opened. It wasn't so crowded back then and the quality of the food was quite good. I liked their use of different fine China teacups. Unfortunately, as they became more popular, the service declined and customers were rushed. I haven't been back in years. Hopefully, it is still good.

                  Two other places I've tried more recently are The Old Mill Inn (not downtown but in a very quaint setting, if you have a car and the time to enjoy it) and the Four Seasons Hotel. The Four Seasons is more modern and of course, the service is excellent. It's also very expensive. Maybe more than the other 2 hotels.

                  Here's a link to the Four Seasons' afternoon tea menu.

                  I guess I should bite the bullet and try the Royal York and King Ed; then I'd be able to give a fair assessment of downtown Toronto's big afternoon tea establishments.

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

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

                  1. re: Aleta
                    towojo May 11, 2010 03:09 PM

                    My daughter and I went for a pedicure and afternoon tea at the Windsor Arms today. This is the second year for an annual spring tradition. Last year we went to The Old Mill. We found the Windsor Arms to be great and well worth the $30.00 each for the Full Tea.

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

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

      2. TorontoJo May 3, 2010 10:19 AM

        You might have better luck if you search for "afternoon tea" rather than "high tea" (which is a common misuse). Also, after you do the initial search, on the search results page, change the "sort by" from "newest" to "relevance". One of my pet peeves about the search function.

        But to actually answer your question, I would go to afternoon tea at the King Edward hotel. :)

        If you want a more cosy, eclectic experience, you might look into La Tea Da or the Red Tea Box.

        Red Tea Box
        696 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1E7, CA

        La Tea Da
        2305 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E1G7, CA

        1 Reply
        1. re: TorontoJo
          munchieHK May 4, 2010 07:02 AM

          Yes, until I came to Canada, I thought 'high tea' was something you got in an Amsterdam coffeeshop. I've never heard the term used in England, except by really old people, and they use it for a meal in the early evening, not tea and scones.
          Many Brits also use 'tea' to mean dinner. You must understand that tea is so integral to the state of being English that it permeates all aspects of life. The Chinese also use it to denote meals. 'Yum Cha' just means 'drink tea', but it means 'eat dim sum' in reality. Tea is a very powerful force in certain nations. People have died for it and the English certainly live for it. It definitely seems to predominate in Nova Scotia still, but no so much in Ontario, or am I wrong?

        2. y
          yashyanthi May 3, 2010 10:15 AM

          The following articles might help. I know of people who've had the high tea at King Eddy but that's only on the weekend. I hear Casa Loma offers high tea but youmight have to look online/call them



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