Dainty sandwiches, towers of treats, bowls of luxurious cream, pots of sweet jam, and cup after cup of tea: Afternoon tea service is for many the ultimate in elegant eating experiences.
Fortunately Vancouver comes through with several options for the fancy meal--though many mistakenly call it "high tea," which isn't frilly or upper crust at all. Whether you're looking for something casual and charming, or with high polish and fine china, there are many cafes, restaurants, bakeshops, and tea houses that put out excellent afternoon tea spreads.
Here are 14 essential places for afternoon tea in Vancouver. Take note of this when you're planning special occasions like Mother's Day, bridal showers, baby showers, girls' day out, and more.
One of Vancouver's most storied hotels continues to pour a mighty fine tea service, with a twist, year after year. At Notch 8, the Hotel Vancouver's restaurant, tea is a themed affair--it's been everything from Grimm Brothers' fairy tales to Hollywood glamour or board games--with the theme switching out every few months. Always a sumptuous feast, Afternoon Tea at Notch 8 is definitely a special occasion tea time. Reservations are strongly encouraged.
Address: 900 West Georgia Street
Tea service is Neverland's specialty. The tea shop offers several kinds of tea service, including a Tipsy Tea for grownups, Tinkerbell's High Tea for children, tea with champagne, and can modify their service for all sorts of dietary restrictions.
Address: 3066 West Broadway
Head to this Heritage Victorian home in Yaletown for a memorable and charming tea service. The French pastry shop offers a classic Afternoon Tea with all the trimmings, and is an ideal place for special gatherings, like bridal showers or birthday celebrations.
Address: 847 Hamilton Street
Tea service scales epic heights at the post TWG Tea Salon on West Georgia. This immersive tea boutique takes enjoying tea to the next level with their menu of tea-infused savoury and sweet eats, as well as their themed and seasonal tea set menus.
Address: 1070 West Georgia Street
Kerrisdale's darling Adonia Tea House focuses on delivering an authentic afternoon tea designed to help you relax and satisfied. Available as a full tea, half tea, Royal tea (with a grown up beverage), or modified for dietary restrictions (vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free), Adonia is a delightful escape for tea lovers.
Address: 2057 West 41st Avenue
Where better to sip on cups of tea and nibble on delicious eats than at Vancouver's Van Dusen Garden? Truffles, the cafe at the venue, offers an afternoon tea on a "first-come, first-served" basis for two or four people. The tea includes: French macarons, coconut macaroons, shortbread, petit fours, chocolate truffles, scones, croissants, a daily sandwich, raspberry jam, honey and clotted cream.
Address: 5151 Oak Street
Tea at this tony downtown hotel is steeped in tradition. This weekends-only Traditional Afternoon Tea (2 to 4 pm) is served fire-side, where you can get cozy in plush seats, and feast on their sandwiches and pastries as the refined folks do.
Address: 845 Hornby Street
Open for over 20 years now, the Secret Garden is definitely an intimate oasis for tea fans in Vancouver. Run by a duo of sisters-in-law, Secret Garden often works seasonal ingredients into their various tea service menus. "High tea" (an Afternoon Tea) is offered three times each afternoon, and can be served vegetarian, too.
Address: 2138 West 40th Avenue
Kerrisdale's Rose House is a beloved spot for a "spot of tea" that's been open for about five years now. They offer a Prince William tea service, a smaller Little Prince, and a Petit Four option (the latter a simple affair of tea and sweets). They also do waffles, sandwiches, salads, soups, and pasta.
Address: 5687 Balsam Street
You'll find full afternoon tea service on Sundays at Butter. This pastel dream of a baked goods shop offers two seatings, with bottomless tea, finger sandwiches, quiche, scones, and plenty of sweet treats. You can also book up to 22 guests for a real tea party.
Address: 4907 Mackenzie Street
Tea service at the new-ish lounge at the Westin Bayshore can take you East or West. Either journey is definitely not your typical afternoon tea, thanks to an infusion of whimsy and departures from the norm. Wafts of cotton candy, shiny boxes packed with treats, and high-end ingredients make this tea experience unlike any other in Vancouver.
Address: 1601 Bayshore Drive
Straight from Paris, Ladurée's two Vancouver shops (one on Robson, one inside Holt Renfrew) offer an elegant Afternoon Tea that, mais oui, features their signature macarons. Nibble on French goodies, like financiers, madeleines, and petite croque monsieur sandwiches, while sipping on tea.
Address: 1141 Robson Street
Address: 737 Dunsmuir Street (inside Holt Renfrew)
Take note if you want to do a afternoon tea for a large group. The Shangri-La Hotel is currently offering tea service only for groups of 10 or more, held in the private dining room of Market by Jean-Georges, and can be arranged by contacting their catering team directly (via e-mail email@example.com or phone 604-661-3326).
Address: 1115 Alberni Street, 3rd floor
Mount Pleasant's La Petite Cuillère ("the little spoon") is a tea time hidden gem. They offer tea service in several iterations, from one that is all savoury, to an all-sweets, to varying sizes of full tea service, as well as a children's tea. Plus, they've got bottomless tea to sip on, and their "high tea" option is part of the Mealshare program, so your tea time can also do some good for children in need.
Address: 55 Kingsway