Royal Champagne Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Palliser
I've never been a big fan of hot drinks, but after picking up just about all of the viruses my son brings home from daycare, my mother-in-law's Flu-Busting Ginger Tea has been my go-to remedy! Now that I actually like tea, I thought it would be fun to get dressed up and go for high tea with a girlfriend, because who doesn't love tea sandwiches and sweets? After seeing pictures of the launch of the Royal Champagne Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Palliser on Instagram, I knew that it would be the perfect time to go.
After calling to reserve a seating, I needed to decide what to wear! The website says that the dress code is smart casual. My friend Kala practically lives in dresses so I knew this would be right up her alley! Before leaving the house, my husband commented that I looked like I was going to Sunday church, which I think is the vibe I was going for? Once we were seated, Kala pulled two pairs of lace gloves out of her purse, which were an amazing addition to our outfits! If we go ever go back again for high tea, I think we need to step up our game and wear fascinators!
The menu was prepared by Chef Darren McGrady (who is the former chef of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry), to commemorate Prince William and Kate's royal visit to Canada. The menu included four tea selections, but we decided to try tea from the Fairmont specialty tea list: the apple spice for me and the vanilla chai for Kala. We let it steep for several minutes as we were advised by our server, and then we sweetened it with the provided crystallized sugar sticks. Mine tasted like apple cider in tea form! We were then presented with a three tier stand. The bottom tier held six different sandwiches: two fish (salmon and shrimp), two meat (chicken and roast beef), and two veggie (jam and cheese). Kala was the perfect person to do this with because she doesn't eat fish and I don't eat meat! I absolutely loved the Atlantic Salmon Gravadlax Sandwich and Kala loved the chicken and roast beef sandwiches; however, she wasn't a big fan of the Sage Derby (cheese) with Tomato Sandwich, but that's because she's basically allergic to anything healthy! The middle tier was my favourite. The vanilla scones were out of this world! They were served with clotted cream and fraise des bois compote, but we went straight for the butter. The top tier held a variety of sweets - from cookies, to tartlets, to four different types of cake! The Earl Grey Fruitcake was our least favourite but everything else was absolutely delicious. We quickly gobbled up just about everything and then realized we should get a picture! As you can see below, we saved the Chocolate Birthday Cake for last!
The Royal Champagne Afternoon Tea is definitely quite pricey at $45 per person plus tax, but it is an experience that you will likely never forget and you will be able to say you had the same birthday cake eaten by every member of the royal family since Queen Victoria! I feel like I should start celebrating my birthday twice a year like Queen Elizabeth II, in order to get two cakes! If you are interested in attending the Royal Champagne Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Palliser, you can call the Fairmont Palliser directly at 403-260-1219. They offer seatings daily between 12 and 4 pm. The Royal menu will be available until November 30, 2016.