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Bacchus or Fairmont for afternoon tea?

v
vegan73 Feb 27, 2013 01:44 PM

We normally go to Bacchus and enjoy it very much because it's quiet and not crazy in there but I've been thinking of trying something new. Having been to the Empress for tea I suspect that The Fairmont will also be busy but I wanted to have opinions from people who have been recently. Our trip is at the beginning of April. Thanks :)

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  1. k
    kinnickinnik Feb 27, 2013 02:13 PM

    I was very disappointed with the tea service at the Fairmont Vancouver. Sandwiches were served after sitting out too long so they were drying out and sweets were overly sweet (the scones were rather good though). Perhaps the other Fairmonts offer a better experience.

    I recently had a terrific afternoon tea at the Urban Tea Merchant. Really delicious foods made with various tea infusions. The Westcoast menu is a nice change from the usual. Very large selection of TWG teas. Top notch service.
    http://www.urbantea.com/pages/afterno...
    They say a 90 minute seating. We overstayed that but were not rushed out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kinnickinnik
      v
      vegan73 Feb 27, 2013 04:32 PM

      i do worry a bit about the seating timing because we're going to be having tea at the end of a long hiking day (after showering and changing) so i know i don't want to be rushed. we rarely stay longer than 2 hrs but i hate feeing rushed. i'll go check that link. thanks.

    2. b
      betterthanbourdain Mar 9, 2013 04:16 PM

      Urban tea will have the best selection of teas. Fairmont with a slight edge in food program.
      Both IMHO better than Bacchus.
      The room at the fairmonts trumps all the other.
      I know how you feel about feeling uneasy when you want to relax and not feel pressured or rushed.
      Fwiw, if you decide on the fairmont make a reservation. It sells out.

      1. w
        watashi Mar 10, 2013 03:08 PM

        Just had afternoon tea at the Fairmont on the weekend. Although the room is nice, it's very busy at the hotel on a Saturday. There's a bustle with people coming and going, tourists, shoppers, guests for weddings etc. It's definitely not a calm, peaceful atmosphere.

        I found the service at the Fairmont really lacking. After being seated, it was a full 15 minutes before anyone even acknowledged our table. I told the waiter that we had noted in our reservation that one of our guests was a vegan. I had an excellent email exchange with their reservations/guest services person a few weeks before who said they'd happily provide a vegan selection. But when I reminded the waiter, he blankly said "It might be noted somewhere, but I didn't see it." Anyway, it wasn't a problem. They made some vegan sandwiches (basically just veggies atop bread. My friend said they could have used some hummus or some sort of spread on them to up the flavour and moisture a bit), and instead of petit fours, there were a couple slices of a fudge cake. So there was no variety at all in terms of vegan sweets. The regular tea was fine. Pretty standard, nothing outstanding. The scones were good. They took a really long time to bring out the food as well. That was okay because we were there to chat, but it was so long that you really started to notice it. We arrived for a 4pm tea and didn't leave until 6:30 pm. So no worries about being rushed out because the service is very slow. For $38 pp, I feel like there are better teas with way better service in the city. Secret Garden's tea spread is superior for sure.

        2 Replies
        1. re: watashi
          b
          betterthanbourdain Mar 11, 2013 02:08 AM

          I'd agree on most of those points. The way the room is laid out service can be slow. I wasn't impressed with the service but thought it was adequate.
          They have vegan and gluten free sushi. The food here is very inconsistent. I see the effort but possibly due to trying to please everyone, the quality suffers. Too bad as they source some of the best ingredients available.

          1. re: watashi
            g
            Georgia Strait Mar 11, 2013 12:12 PM

            Fairmont Hotel Vanc - tea - yes the room is fantastic and i also agree that it get get quite buzzy/busy in there too - but the table service is appalling - i agree that you can talk to a really professional person when you call to make res (the concierge desk is really good at that hotel) ... but the follow-thru at the tableside is for sure going way downhill. Dirty tables left uncleared for a long time (who wants to sit next to a rubbish heap like that?) --- they don't know what the menu items are (type of sauce, does it contain dairy, etc) --- just basic waiter skills that one would expect at an expensive and known hotel. From what i have heard, it's a union issue - i don't know what their concern is - but maybe there is some work-to-rules or some thing happening - it is such a shame to have such disappointing service in what could be a great venue.

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