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 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 prepare house-made signature Empress scones, delectable pastries and tea sweets daily, reflecting locally sourced ingredients to ensure an authentically memorable experience. From the original blend of The Empress Tea created specifically for 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 Fairmont Empress.


The Empress blend is a selection of seasonal, quality teas, created exclusively for 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. The Empress blend of tea is available for purchase in the Fairmont Store located in the hotel and adjacent to the Tea Room.


Click here  to view our current menu for Afternoon Tea.


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.

Hours of Operation

Tea Service starts at 12:00 p.m. daily with the last seating at 3:45 p.m. We recommend an hour to enjoy your Afternoon Tea experience.


As renovations continue in our Afternoon Tea Room, it is necessary to relocate Afternoon Tea temporarily January 4 to May 14, 2016. The usual Empress Afternoon Tea service and experience will temporarily relocate to the Upper Lobby above the Reception Lobby.

These modifications to dining options are short term to allow the exciting renovation plans for Fairmont Empress to take place. We look forward to launching an exciting new restaurant complex to complement existing Fairmont Empress offerings. More information on the hotel renovation project is available here


January 1 to May 14, 2016 - $51.00 CAD per person.
May 15 to December 31, 2016 - $75.00 CAD 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. See the menu here.


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 warm, fresh honey harvested from the honeycomb of Chef’s honey garden. An additional CAD $30.00 per person, served May to September.

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.

Please Note

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

The Fairmont Store

The Empress Tea and the William Edwards china may purchased at the Fairmont Store located in the hotel 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. The Duchess had the 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
  • 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

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