Last Updated on June 28, 2022
For years my sister and I have talked about having a weekend away at the Fairmont Empress hotel in Victoria, BC. and taking in the high tea experience. The iconic Victoria Fairmont Empress opened its doors in 1908. Recognized as one of the Top 21 Iconic Hotels in the World by National Geographic Traveler and honoured with Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Award for Top 10 City Hotels in Canada, you can be sure that a fantastic hotel experience awaits you.
Canada’s Castle on the Coast is a perfect starting point to explore Victoria. The Fairmont Empress was recently restored and the style pays tribute to its iconic history while keeping up with modern luxury. We found the hotel staff very friendly, the decor very elegant and pretty, the room simple but very cozy and comfortable. And, you definitely cannot beat the location right across from Victoria’s Inner Harbour.
We brought my seven-week-old daughter Olivia with us for the weekend and she had a fantastic weekend of “firsts”. Olivia had her first time in a hotel, first high tea, first swim in the pool, first ferry ride and first city trip. She was such a chill little traveller that I’m sure she will have the travel and adventure bug just like my other children do. Olivia probably also didn’t mind having all the attention to herself for a couple days, either.
A grand tradition for over a century, the Victoria Empress has served England’s most beloved ritual of afternoon tea to famed royalty, celebrities and dignitaries alike. High Tea was really fit for a queen. We couldn’t stop smiling throughout the whole experience, we felt so relaxed, welcome to take our time, and the waiter was fantastic. All of the tea offerings were delicious. The house-made signature Empress scones were especially delicious, as were the pastries, clotted creams and strawberry preserves with fresh lavender from their own rooftop herb garden.
It also brought a smile to our faces to watch the other tea-goers shower dolled up Olivia with love. Olivia looked so sweet in her dress and was happy to have a nap on one of the chairs as she listened to a pianist play beautiful songs, including Disney’s Wish Upon A Star. Describing tea time as a magical time, and now memory, is really an understatement.
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 Fairmont Empress. (Source)
I’ll let the photos do the rest of the storytelling:
The Fairmont Empress Hotel
High Tea At The Empress
Our stay at the Fairmont Empress was exceptional — definitely a getaway we will consider again when we need a quick recharge from the busy Vancouver city life. After all, it is just a short ferry ride away from home.