One of my all-time favorite food traditions is afternoon tea. What’s not to love? A leisurely few hours, spent enjoying a selection of sweet and savory bites, accompanied by a cozy pot of tea – divine!
But when it comes to taking tea during the holidays – that’s simply magical! Snuggling up with a steaming cup and tasting the sweet spices of the season, while surrounded by Christmas carols, sparkling lights, and snow falling outside – heavenly!
While afternoon tea is indeed a British tradition, the practice has spread throughout the world. Here in the corner of the globe where I live – the Pacific Northwest – divine afternoon tea services can be found throughout the metropolitan areas, and make a perfect respite from an afternoon of holiday shopping!
I’ve gathered a list of some of the best Christmas themed afternoon teas in the Pacific Northwest. The next time you find yourself in the area – whether for the holiday season or not – why not reserve yourself a table at one of these fine establishments and indulge in a luxurious afternoon tea?
Victoria, BC area
The Empress Hotel
When it comes to tea in the Pacific Northwest, Victoria, BC is at the top of the list. And in Victoria, THE place to have tea is at the Empress! (The Empress is actually where I had my first afternoon tea, many, many moons ago!)
Tea has been served in the lobby lounge of the Empress Hotel for over a century. For the holiday season, the scrumptious selection of treats includes seasonal favorites like mini-Christmas fruit cakes with marzipan butter frosting, and candy cane macaroons.
The Butchart Gardens
The Butchart Gardens is a magical experience any time of year, but during the “Magic of Christmas” celebration in the month of December, it truly becomes a winter wonderland! The expansive gardens are filled with lights and songs, and the beautiful dining room features a seasonal afternoon tea complete with cranberry spice cake trifle, eggnog flan, mincemeat tarts, and other tasty goodies.
Venus Sophia Tea Room
Though not nearly as well know as the Empress or Butchart Gardens, the Venus Sophia Tea Room is making an excellent name for itself in the Victoria area. The quaint tea room is the perfect oasis to escape the bustle of holiday crowds in the city.
With fresh, handmade, seasonal treats featuring local ingredients, like cranberry mascarpone pinwheels, organic chai scones, and Linzer tarts, all served with a pot of signature loose leaf tea, the Venus Sophia is a must-visit for afternoon tea during the holidays.
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
The elegant Fairmont Hotel chain has afternoon tea down to an art. And at their Vancouver location, they feature a fun North Pole Express afternoon tea experience. Offering house-made yummies like eggnog panna cotta, festive pastries, and special treats just for kids, this is the perfect Christmas afternoon tea for the whole family.
Snuggly velvet chairs, warm cherrywood accents on the walls, a cozy fire, and seasonal goodies all make afternoon tea at the Wedgewood Hotel a perfect retreat from a cold, December day in Vancouver.
Secret Garden Tea Company
Get away from the holiday crowds at the adorable Secret Garden Tea Company. With tasty bites like house roasted turkey and triple cream brie sandwiches on walnut bread, noel sugar plums, and festive cranberry cakes, the holiday high tea at the Secret Garden is a must!
Seattle, Washington area
The Olympic Hotel is another one of the Fairmont chain, and true to form, offers an excellent afternoon tea. Twinkly chandeliers, elegant surroundings, and of course, delicious holidays treats define this Seattle Christmas afternoon tea experience.
Queen Mary Tea Room
Claiming to be the oldest independent tea room in America, the Queen Mary has been a Seattle institution for decades. Step out of the blustery Seattle weather into the quaint, Victorian style tea room, and enjoy a holiday afternoon tea complete with Christmasy goodies like iced gingerbread and cranberry orange scones.
Get away from the city and into the snow covered foothills of the Cascade Mountains at the Salish Lodge. The view of Snoqualmie Falls is reason enough for the drive. Take in the view, then settle in for a cozy afternoon tea loaded with handcrafted goodies featuring local ingredients, like Salish honey bee cakes, frangipane tarts, and Christmas tree cupcakes.
Hotel deLuxe, with its classic, Hollywood golden-age feel, specializes in afternoon tea with a grownup twist – craft cocktails featuring tea-infused spirits. For the holidays, they take it up a notch, with seasonal tea blends, a live pianist and, of course, Christmassy cocktails!
The Heathman Hotel
At The Heathman Hotel’s Headwater Restaurant, you’ll find something a little different – a Russian style tea experience. Enjoy this afternoon tea surrounded by lush decor and twinkling holiday lights.
The usual sweet and savory bites are replaced with Russian favorites like pierogi, Kiev tortes, smoked and kippered fish, open-face rye sandwiches, steopka cakes, Bird’s Milk tortes, and Georgian khachapouri.
Where are you favorite spots for a holiday afternoon tea?
I would love to know! Please share in the comments below…
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