tea in victoria

September 16, 2013 |  Category:   dining out life travels








Our days in Victoria right after the stormy weather on the coast were all sunshine and warmth. Leaving the country for the first time to Canada might not be so much of a culture shock, but the excitement for the kids as they handed over their passports at the border was no less a milestone, and the adults in our travel party got to trade all our less than pleasant border crossing stories.


We only had three days in Victoria and one of the things we wanted to do was go to Butchart Gardens and do the afternoon tea service. It isn’t as fancy or formal as the tea service at the Empress Hotel, but it’s half the price which actually nudges it towards the realm of “reasonable”, relatively speaking. The kid’s tea menu was better too, for the record, for pickier eaters as it had a bit more kid friendly sandwiches, like grilled cheese. Afternoon tea was a splurge, but who doesn’t love towering platters of food?? And it’s a lot more food than you think. The sandwich platters alone consisted of 6-7 varieties per person, along with cookies, cakes and scones. Nobody in our party could finish it all except for Mark (as usual), and his consistently fast metabolism, despite age, remains one of the biggest mysteries (mine used to be fast and I also used to be able to eat embarrassing amounts of food, but no longer. wah.)

The garden grounds itself are quite beautiful, but since it’s about an hour away by bus from the city, it’s pretty much a whole day activity. We boarded a city bus, though you can charter cushier tour buses for the ride, but given our short stay it was a nice way to see some of Victoria outside the city. On a related note, we chose not to bring our cars on board the ferry to Victoria from our departure point in Port Angeles. We didn’t want the hassle of driving and parking and the city is totally walkable, particularly if you’re only there a few days.

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  • Jen September 16, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Hi Jenna, we’re been meaning to go to Victoria, probably next summer, so for future reference could you recommend the place you guys stayed at? Normally we stay at airbnbs but have a feeling the airbnb options there would be limited. And maybe we’ll give a formal afternoon tea a shot. While in England we did our own version of afternoon tea – meaning we shared one pot of tea and a scone each in the afternoon. I know it’s not the same, but we still had a good time.

    • Jenna September 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      Hi Jen! We just stayed at the Marriot Victoria inner harbor. I didn’t have any criteria other than using credit card points to book the hotel. It was close to everything and very nice though.

      • Jen September 18, 2013 at 11:33 am

        Thank you!

  • Carol September 16, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I’ve never been out West, which is criminal really. So glad your kids’ first exotic country was Canada 🙂 My first exotic country was USA, naturally.

  • Samantha September 16, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    I lived in Victoria for a year and it still holds a little piece of my heart. I’m glad you enjoyed your stay! Butchart really is beautiful.

  • Kiana September 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Those sandwiches and cakes look amazing! I would be so nervous to serve a pastry to your husband btw. Does he critique other bakers’ foods being a pastry chef himself?

    • Jenna September 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      Ha, actually, we don’t get invited over to dinner very often for that very reason 🙁 Not because he critiques everything (he doesn’t!) but because most people are intimidated to cook for him.

  • Erin September 16, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Looking forward to more photos of Victoria! I was so excited when I saw your photo on Instagram and realized you were in my hometown 🙂

  • Rami September 16, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Ah, my home town! You were there at such a great time of year. It is pretty consistently sunnier than Seattle and Vancouver.

    My favourite place for afternoon tea is about an hour out of the city in the opposite direction: Point-No-Point, beyond Sooke. It looks out over the end of the Ympic Peninsula. They also are an inn, with beautiful grounds that go down to the rocky shoreline. There are cabins and a variety of accommodations. One would need to go by car. There are also beautiful parks along the same road, well worth visiting, China Beach, Mystic Beach, and French Beach being favourites.

    Sounds like you had such a beautiful west coast trip!

    • Jenna September 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      That sounds wonderful. We’ll have to look into that for future travels. thank you.

  • Rami September 16, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Sorry … *Olympic Peninsula

  • Patricia September 17, 2013 at 5:39 am

    Awwww….those photos bring back wonderful memories. My dad used to take us camping in the summers up to Comox and Courtenay, and we would always stop at the gardens for tea on the way back to the U.S. Hope the weather stays beautiful for you!

  • Addie September 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Afternoon tea is my favorite! Definitely a splurge, but worth it once a year or so. Beautiful photos!

  • C September 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Come to Quebec city next time!!! It’s about 9-10 hours from Brooklyn and you will enjoy our latin way of life! It will be my pleasure to give you some advice and place to go!!! IT’s a lovely city with and without kids! By the way i love reading you blog! my best!

    • Jenna September 17, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      I do want to go to Quebec City! I’ve been there before but years ago passing through when I was camping. It’s on our list though! Would love recommendations.

      • Clara September 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm

        Let me know and it will be my pleasure. Winter can be wonderful for you and your girl. i live in the historical and old part of the city and since the last 20 years the center of the city has change a lot!!! my best!

      • Clara September 20, 2013 at 1:08 pm

        Let me know and it will be my pleasure. Winter can be wonderful for you and your family!!! my best!