Hi Frugalistas! This week’s midweek postcard comes from Canada. But I’m not returning to Quebec and all that lovely Quebecois culture. Instead, I’m heading to Ottawa this week for some afternoon tea. Regular readers will know how much I love afternoon tea. So when I was in Ottawa with my great friend, Vanessa, from Turnipseed Travel it was a given that afternoon tea would be on the agenda. And of course, there’s only one place to have afternoon tea in Ottawa – the Fairmont Chateau Laurier.
Afternoon tea at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier is served in the chic Zoe’s Lounge. It is just like an English conservatory complete with potted palms and big windows. It’s a calm, cool environment. Arriving mid-week, it is not busy.
Menu choices are straightforward – the Chateau Laurier Afternoon Tea, with or without champagne.
Having made our orders for food, it’s time to consider the tea. There is, of course, a separate tea menu. There is a choice of black teas, green teas and tisanes. Our tea orders are taken by the Tea Sommelier, who can also advise you to help you choose the perfect one for you, just like any good sommelier. Then the theatre commences as the Tea Sommelier makes our pots of tea at the table. It’s grand, and not an experience I’ve seen elsewhere.
Then of course, it’s onto the food. Our “first course” is very English, but with a Canadian twist – ice wine marinated strawberries with whipped cream. Traditional, light, and delicious.
Finally it’s time for the 3 tiered cake stand to arrive. And again, it English all the way: sandwiches (smoked salmon, cucumber, curried chicken, roast beef), scones complete with homemade jam and cream, and then….sigh….. the cakes…..
Everything is beautifully cooked and attractively presented. Service is polite, unobtrusive and refills on the pots of teas aren’t a problem.
It’s a traditional English Afternoon Tea served in a traditional English setting, in that most Canadian of institutions – a Fairmont Hotel.
Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier is a relatively budget friendly CAD42. A glass of French Champagne is an extra CAD23. There is also a children’s menu for the Little Prince or Princess in your life. It’s one of the great things to do in Ottawa regardless of how long you are staying there.
The Fairmont Chateau Laurier is in central Ottawa, just a few minutes walk from the fun and interesting Byward Market – where I can definitely recommend the Beaver Tails!
Author’s note: we paid for our own afternoon tea on this visit (well, actually Vanessa treated me, being the lovely friend and kind hostess she is).