1. White Heather Tea Room, Victoria
Photo, Jenny (Chih Yuh) Cheng
While tea at the Fairmont Empress is renowned (and you should probably try it once for the experience), locals know that White Heather Tea Room serves afternoon tea at half the price and is equally as delicious. The tea room offers three sizes of tea, so you can accommodate for individual budgets and appetites: The Big Muckle Tea ($40), The Not So Wee Tea ($37), and The Wee Tea ($26). They also offer a made-to-order gluten-free option ($40). The White Heather is smaller and cozier than other places, so be sure to reserve a spot ahead of time.
2. Neverland Tea Salon, Vancouver
Photo courtesy of Neverland Tea Salon
Everyone and their mother in Vancouver seems to talk about Neverland, and for good reason. The owners are passionate about what they do, and they’ve pulled the best parts of their high tea adventures into their tea salon. Prices start at $22 for TINKERBELL’S High Tea for kids and go up to $48 for their TAKE ME TO NEVERLAND Bubbly High Tea. They also offer a Tipsy Tea menu. Regardless of which tea set you choose, enjoy their all-you-can-drink tea and vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free/dairy-free options.
3. Brasserie Kensington, Calgary
Photo courtesy of Brasserie Kensington
While high tea at Brasserie Kensington is served on traditional tiered serving stands and fine china, the food takes a more experimental approach. As their tagline says, “This is not your grandma’s high tea… but your grandma is welcome to come!” Featuring bites such as duck rillette banh mi and passion fruit gelee, be sure to bring along the adventurous foodie in your life. As with most high tea services, reservations are required beforehand, and Brasserie will ask you about dietary preferences when you call. It’s served every Saturday and Sunday at $35 per person. For every high tea purchase, $1 is donated to a local charity.
4. Café Linnea, Edmonton
Photo, Sarah Hervieux
Although it’s the highest-priced high tea on our list at $65 a ticket, Scandinavian and French cuisine–inspired Café Linnea makes their monthly high teas an event. Using locally sourced ingredients, their menu (which changes each month) includes creative twists on traditional finger foods, and patrons rave about the surprising savoury foods — from raw oysters to daikon snacks. To top it all off, the restaurant is also beautifully designed with Scandinavian simplicity.
5. Little Bird Patisserie & Café, Saskatoon
Photo via @littlebirdpatisserie/Instagram
It seems like the high tea craze hasn’t really caught on in the Prairies yet (or the East Coast, for that matter), but a spot in the Paris of The Prairies is helping to set the trend. The popular Little Bird Patisserie & Café, famous for its cruffins and macarons, offers a reservation-only high tea every Sunday. Their high tea is moderately priced at $35 a person. However, note that they currently cannot accommodate any dietary restrictions.
6. Windsor Arms Hotel, Toronto
Photo courtesy of the Windsor Arms Hotel
In a city with so many options, from the hip, Instagram-worthy Kitten & the Bear to the luxe Shangri-La, the Windsor Arms is the perfect mix of chic and old school. The hotel has hosted its traditional afternoon tea service since 1927, and it doesn’t look like it will go away any time soon. Prices begin at $38 per person on weekdays, go to $45 on weekends, and increase near holidays.
7. Prince of Wales Hotel, Niagara-on-the-Lake
The Drawing Room at the Prince of Wales Hotel features beautifully plated food, a luxuriously furnished room, and fresh-cut roses — there’s a reason they liken themselves to an indoor “whimsical garden party.” They now host a candlelight tea service in addition to their regular afternoon tea. Starting at $36 per person, the menu also allows for upgrades (if you’re feeling particularly fancy, why not add a Canadian cheese plate and top it all off with a mimosa?).
8. The Vanitea Room, Ottawa
Photo courtesy of The Vanitea Room
The Vanitea Room is a gorgeous tea salon in Ottawa with “a modern day afternoon tea” ($45) available daily from 12–4:30 p.m. They offer a vegetarian set, and gluten-free or vegan sets are available if reserved 48 hours in advance. There are also additional “champagne diet” options (bottomless mimosas or bellinis, anyone?) available Wednesday through Sunday. Enjoy the menu as you admire the opulent interior.
9. Salon de thé Cardinal, Montreal
Photo, Daniel Francis Haber
Montreal has no shortage of afternoon tea spots, but when it comes to eclectic ambiance, Cardinal definitely stands out. With 1920s décor and antique finds for their dishes, you’ll feel transported to another time and place. Open Thursdays through Sundays, go admire their chandelier, baby grand, and velvet couches as you enjoy tea for two ($40), or choose your own à la carte tea and snacks.
10. Birkinshaw’s Tea Room, Coffee House & Restaurant, Amherst
Photo, Eleanor Bradbury
Named after the grandfather of one of the owners who was a butler for English aristocracy, Birkinshaw’s has old-school charm and more. They serve a range of afternoon teas, such as their classic Birkinshaw, their Maritimer tea made with regional produce, and their global fusion Passepartout tea, to name a few. When reserving full tea services, you’ll need to leave a 30 percent deposit. In addition to serving full afternoon tea, they also have daily cream teas (scones and tea) available.