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Afternoon Tea In Ontario

Henry James wrote: “There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” This winter, take a respite from the biting cold and spend a cosy afternoon indulging in sumptuous food and a pot of tea. Ontario offers visitors a variety of charming tea rooms to choose from. Bring along good company and settle in.
Located in Toronto’s fashionable Yorkville district, the Windsor Arms Tea room conveys all the elegance of Paris’ Left Bank. Their chic French-style tea room features majestic purple walls, opulent chandeliers and original fireplaces. Discrete waiters attend to your needs as they serve tea on Bernardaud’s Louvre china, laid upon pristine white tablecloths.
The Windsor Arm’s Full Tea includes dainty sandwiches of smoked salmon and salmon caviar, and baby greens with asparagus. Accompanied with perfect goat cheese and caramelized shallot tart, and fresh scones served with Devon cream. Save room for their mouth-watering selection of hand-crafted pastries and petit fours. The Tea Room has a selection of interesting loose leaf teas; from Russian Caravan to Sencha. In keeping with tradition, add a glass of sherry (or sparkling wine) to accompany your spread.
Situated on 200 acres of gardens and woodland, Langdon Hall is infused with old world charm and character. One hour west of Toronto , the luxurious English Country Manor serves High Tea their sunlit Conservatory where you can kick things off to a festive start with a glass of Pommery champagne.
Langdon Hall’s afternoon tea menu showcases local produce such as St. Jacob’s Style Apple Butter, and Forfar dairy cheddar sandwiches (accompanied with Branston pickle for an authentic British taste.) Tuck into a range of indulgent desserts, including whoopie pie, apricot sascher and red velvet cupcakes. A selection of fine loose leaf teas are sourced directly from organic farmers. With attentive service and a delightful country setting, afternoon tea at Langdon Hall is a sophisticated affair.
Named in honour of former Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier’s wife, Zoe’s Lounge takes the ritual of Afternoon Tea seriously. Located in the centre of Ottawa in the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel, Zoe’s Lounge is set in a light and airy atrium. Crystal chandeliers, white-linen service and piano accompaniment complete an atmosphere of elegance.
Fittingly, with nearby views of Parliament Hill, Zoe’s offers a uniquely Canadian High Tea. Their selection of home-grown morsels includes Alberta beef sandwiches with honey mustard and watercress, cured Québec duck breast with cranberry-apple compote, Canadian cheese board and maple sugar tartlet. Choose a maple-infused black tea or ice-wine infused tea to accompany. Their tea sommelier will take you through the choice of exotic teas available.
At Zoe’s Lounge, Little Princes – or Princesses – are also catered for. Their special menu of hot chocolate, ham and cheese sandwiches, and mini cupcakes is sure to please.
Toronto’s shabby-chic Queen Street West conceals a hidden gem. Like Alice in Wonderland, enter the whimsical entrance, through a pretty open courtyard, and into a converted coach house. The Red Tea Box features low-set tables covered in silk cloth, retro lamps and overstuffed chairs. Tea is served in Japanese cast iron tea pots, accompanied with mix-matched floral china cups.
Red Tea Box’s Asian-infused tea menus (beautifully served in bento boxes) includes the more traditional Mad Hatter’s Tea Party of sandwiches, smoked chicken wellington, scones and tea cakes; and Earl Green Tea Bento with orange apricot almond cake, chocolate pumpkin caramel tart, yuzu miso beef, and rice paper wrapped chicken and mushroom triangles.
Peruse the display of decadent fondant cakes and desserts (categorized in “chocolate” and “non-chocolate”). Chose from burnt caramel hot chocolate slice or vanilla rose petal white chocolate butter cream cake to accompany an impressive selection of black, green, oolong, white and herbal teas.
Muskoka is a favourite destination for visitors, with unspoilt lakes and rivers, towering pine trees and plenty of outdoor activities. Gateway to Muskoka , the town of Gravenhurst is home to the bright and informal Blue Willow Tea shop. Situated on the waterfront and surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Muskoka Wharf, the Blue Willow Tea shop has a relaxed and friendly ambience.
The Blue Willow serves a traditional English High Tea of mini quiche, an assortment of pinwheel sandwiches, fresh baked scones with Devonshire cream and a selection of homemade shortbread and cakes. Accompany this delightful selection with a choice of teas. Relax and enjoy the tranquility.
By Amanda Lee for MyOntarioInfo
December, 2010


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