This past weekend I got to do something that I have been wanting to do for a long time – go for Afternoon Tea. I wanted to make sure that my first time doing this was done proper so I did some research and came across The Prince of Wales in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
The Prince of Wales is not just a tea room, it is a historical hotel built in 1864. After multiple name changes, it was finally crowned The Prince of Wales in 1901 in honour of the 1901 visit of the Duke and Duchess of York, who were later crowned King George V and Queen Mary. In 1997, the Prince of Wales was welcomed into the Vintage Hotels family, which also includes Queens Landing, Pillar and Post, Moffat Inn, Millcroft Inn & Spa, and the Parlour Inn.
The hotel is regal elegance, with decor that makes you feel as if you are living in the era of Downton Abbey. I did not stay the night and therefore am unable to review the guest rooms, but judging by the photos on the hotel website, it looks like an experience in itself. Let’s move on to the reason why you have clicked on this post – to hear all about their Afternoon Tea.
Afternoon Tea is served in the Drawing Room of the hotel between 12pm and 5pm, with a candlelight tea also being offered between 7pm and 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights. I kid you not, sitting down for Afternoon Tea at this hotel was like being a part of the cast of Downton Abbey. I felt so important and posh; it must be what the Queen feels like every afternoon 😀 ! The room itself, takes you back in time with the formal dining furniture and the crystal chandeliers. The tea sets are Wedgwood Bone China which adds to the elegance.
Upon seating, the waitress asks which Afternoon Tea package you will be choosing as there are a few different options, seen in the photo above. We chose the Royal Tea as we wanted a nice glass of sparkling wine. The waitress brought out our sparkling wine and indicated that she would let us have some time to chit chat and sip our wine before she put the tea on. Before we knew it, the scones, treats, and sandwiches were brought over on a tier. Let me warn you, you may think that it’s not enough food for your party and you might be tempted to order the cheese plate. DO NOT ORDER THE CHEESE PLATE. The food provided is more than enough and we didn’t end up finishing it and were thankful that we didn’t order the cheese plate as it would have led to more food waste. Also, they offer to-go boxes for all the food that you don’t finish.
You choose your tea from a beautifully lit box that the waitress brings to your table. You are able to open each jar and smell the teas (my favourite thing to do), and don’t worry, they obviously don’t brew the tea from these jars. You have a selection of caffiene-free, black, white, and oolong teas in a variety of flavours. I opted for the Peaches and Cream white tea which I must say is delicious and refreshing. My mother chose the Chai tea, which she loved so much she ended up buying! You are each brought over your own bone-China pot of tea and let me tell you, it’s A LOT of tea – which is a good thing. The food was so delicious; the scones were my favourite, especially with the cream cheese and jam. There were egg and spinach quiches, turkey and cranberry sandwiches, cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, cream cheese and salmon sandwiches, and a lovely selection of treats which included an apricot bar and a brownie.
I am so glad I chose the Prince of Wales as my first Afternoon Tea destination. The experience was luxurious and everything I had imagined. I will definitely be back here in the near future to experience it again.
Have you ever had afternoon tea?