Afternoon Tea in Victoria

  • Tea Cup
  • Afternoon Tea Victoria
  • Tea Lobby
  • Afternoon Tea



A time honoured tradition for over a century, the world renowned tea lobby of The Fairmont Empress has served England’s most beloved ritual and Victoria's grandest tradition of Afternoon Tea to famed royalty, celebrities and dignitaries alike. Surrounded by rich chintz fabrics, antiqued tapestries and rugs, elegant wing back chairs, vintage furnishings and hand-carved tables, the picturesque backdrop of the Inner Harbour provides the quintessential Victoria experience to all who grace Afternoon Tea.

Chef and Team serve hand-made signature Empress scones, delectable pastries and tea sweets prepared in house daily, reflecting locally sourced ingredients to ensure an authentically memorable experience. From the original blend of The Empress Tea created specifically for The Fairmont Empress, served in dainty William Edwards china and sterling silver service to the enchanting ambiance of the live piano, Afternoon Tea is an absolute 'must do' for all who visit Victoria.

Don't miss the most beloved ritual of Afternoon Tea in Victoria at The Fairmont Empress.

The Empress blend is a selection of seasonal, quality teas, created exclusively for The Fairmont Empress by the Metropolitan Tea Company. With components from Assam (thick malty and full bodied), Kenya (floral-like flavour and a golden coppery infusion), South India (superb fruity and sprightly flavour), Ceylon (airy, almost piquant flavour), and China (burgundy depth with light oaky notes), it is truly one of the finest blends in the world.

 Click here to view our current menu for tea


The Fairmont Empress is pleased to accommodate dietary needs including vegan, gluten free and diabetic. Please advise of all food allergies and dietary needs at the time of reservation.

Book our popular Afternoon Tea and rooms accommodation package:
Butchart Gardens & Afternoon Tea Package

Hours of Operation

Tea Service starts at Noon daily with the last seating at 3:45 p.m. We recommend an hour to enjoy your Afternoon Tea experience.
Evening Tea is also available starting at 7:00 p.m. with the last seating at 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from May until September. 

May 1, 2015 - September 30, 2015 - $63.00 CAD per person.

October 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015 - $49.95 per person.
Children 12 and younger may choose the regular Afternoon Tea menu at 50% off the adult price, or enjoy our Prince and Princess Tea Menu.

We have tailored our renowned Afternoon Tea to suit the tastes of our tiniest travelers. Children can now experience the grandeur and elegance of the famous Tea Lobby, and be made to feel like Princes and Princesses while participating in this coveted tradition. LIMITED TIME OFFER: January 3 and 4, 2015 join us for a special Paddington Bear Tea - click for more details.

Customize your celebration at Afternoon Tea! Our pasty shop will work with you to create a unique tier to match the theme of your celebration.
View a sample of the Bridal Shower Afternoon Tea menu or the Baby Shower Afternoon Tea menu.
Must be preordered, extra charges will apply. 

Complementing our world renowned Afternoon Tea, Royal Tea offers an additional tier of four local Salt Spring Island cheeses, a glass of tawny port and fresh honey harvested from the honeycombs of Chef’s honey garden.
An additional CAD $30.00 per person, served May to September.

Back by popular demand, BC resident senior's aged 60 years of age and over can enjoy Afternoon Tea for $29.95 CAD per person plus applicable taxes and gratuities from January 5, 2015 to February 25, 2015, Mondays - Thursdays. Reservations are recommended and proof of age is required when dining.

Dress Code

Dress code is casually elegant. Please no torn and / or ripped jeans, short shorts, cut off pants, beach wear, flip flops or baseball caps.


Reservations are strongly recommended however walk-ins may be available. Tables are held for ten minutes after reservation time.
For reservations and information, please call 250 389 2727 or click here to email us.


The Fairmont Store
The Empress Tea and the William Edwards china may purchased at the Fairmont Store located in The Fairmont Empress adjacent to The Tea Lobby. Also available online at


  • Afternoon Tea was started by the Duchess of Bedford in the 19th century when she had a "sinking" feeling in the afternoon. She had her chef prepare a little meal with tea, and soon it became known as Afternoon Tea
  • During the centennial restoration in 2008, the hotel's original Tea Lobby floor was replaced and the wood of the original floor was transformed into delicate Afternoon Tea tables; - one may say you're eating off the floor
  • Nearly 100,000 guests are served tea annually with an estimated 500,000 cups of tea
  • Although very popular and reservations are recommended, rarely are guests ever turned away from Afternoon Tea. Often the artful hand-cut glass dome of the Palm Court adjacent to the Tea Lobby is transformed into an additional Afternoon Tea space
  • Our Tea servers are some of our most tenured colleagues in the hotel with over 42 years of service
  • The most recent royal visitors to enjoy Afternoon Tea were the Emperor and Empress of Japan.
  • The Empress Tea China was originally presented to King George V in 1914 upon the opening of the Booth factory in Stoke-on-Trent, England. The china was first used by The Empress in 1939 for the Royal visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The pattern is now produced by William Edwards exclusively for The Fairmont Empress
  • The portraits in the tea lobby are King George V and his wife Queen Mary, who originally intended to wed his brother, Prince Edward, who died of pneumonia. The portraits have been in place since the hotel opened in 1908
  • The difference between high tea and afternoon tea? High tea is generally taken at 4:00 p.m., and was more of a "working man's" dinner and they included hot savory items. High tea is mistakenly thought to include champagne or sparkling wine, but this should be referred to as Royal Tea  
  • Notable guests have included Queen Elizabeth II, Rudyard Kipling, Shirley Temple, Spencer Tracy, Princess Margaret, Rita Hayworth, the King and Queen of Siam, Bob Hope, John Travolta, Barbra Streisand, Joan Lunden, Sarah McLachlan, Mel Gibson and Nelly Furtado  
  • The Empress Tea Blend comes from six estates, including Kenya, Tanzania, South India, Assam, Sri Lanka, and China

Please Note

For the comfort of all guests, it is requested that all mobile devices be turned off during Afternoon Tea.


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