I had not visited Canada since 2017, so I’m hardly up-to-date when it comes to afternoon tea in the new world. I’m glad I was able to try a couple, starting with the Park Hyatt Toronto:
The Setting ★★★★☆
The Park Hyatt Toronto is located in the upscale neighbourhood of Yorkville, a stroll away from the University of Toronto and the Royal Ontario museum.
The hotel underwent 4 years of extensive renovations and reopened in September 2021. Needless to say that the hotel looks and feels brand new.
The Joni Restaurant ★★★★☆
Afternoon tea is served in the Joni Restaurant, a modern restaurant located on the hotel’s ground floor.
The atmosphere feels very intimate and the venue is isolated from the lobby and offers plenty of privacy. guests who enjoy natural light will be a tad disappointed as the restaurant is located in the middle of the building.
We were very lucky and got to sit by the chimney, arguably the nicest spot for afternoon tea. The chairs and sofas are very comfortable and at the perfect height for a comfy afternoon.
The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★★☆
The tea is supplied by the Sloane Tea Company, a Toronto-based supplier with a strong presence in North America. There are three teas recommended for each course (savoury and sweet) though I suggest starting with a green tea such as the Sencha green, and finishing with a stronger variety such as the house blend black tea.
There are 15 teas and infusions on offer, more than enough variety. Each guest can choose two teas, with an extra pot costing 7$. The tea is loose-leaf and packed in a tea bag, which lets you control the strength of the brew as recommended by the staff with the help of an hourglass.
15 teas (7 black, 3 green, 1 oolong, 4 infusions); coffee
Tea brewing method: At the table.
The Savouries ★★★★☆
The afternoon tea starts with five savouries, each is very imaginative and flavourful:
- Foie gras cone in a honey tuile topped with a Haskap berry
- Smoked Salmon tart with pickled shallots ♥
- Cucumber rosette tart with crème fraiche & lemon thyme ♥♥
- Crispy polenta cake with ricotta & prosciutto
- Shrimp roll with herb mayo & old seasoning
I really appreciate it when chefs take the time to design something unique instead of relying on run-of-the-mill sandwiches.
The Cakes & Sweets ★★★★★
The Park Hyatt Toronto afternoon tea skips the scones (at least stricto sensu, as those would traditionally be served with jam and clotted cream). Still, you won’t be leaving hungry as the sweet selection is more than generous.
- Blood orange Gelée flavoured with rosé
- Einkorn Scone topped with crème fraiche & strawberry
- Chocolate & marshmallow S’mores ♥
- Peach melba & vanilla ganache Tart ♥♥♥
- Baba au Rhum topped with strawberry & chamomile
- Peaches filled with passion fruit jelly
- Pistachio & Mandarin petits-fours
The peach melba tart is the star of the show: the slightly crunchy base gives it a most pleasant mouth feel 🙂 Each cake is a pleasure for the senses and I couldn’t find a single fault with either of them.
The Service ★★★★★
The service is courteous, friendly and efficient. The Joni restaurant team delivered flawless service through and through.
Below is a video detailing the contents of the Park Hyatt Toronto afternoon tea:
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★★
The Park Hyatt Toronto afternoon tea may be expensive (200$+ for the full experience including taxes and tips) but if you are looking for a fancy treat involving good tea and food, look no further.
The tea selection is decent, the food is fantastic and the service is flawless. The Joni restaurant may feel a bit cold to some due to its dark tones and modern atmosphere, though I appreciate the overall vibe and the Joni restaurant staff is so nice and courteous that it feels warm after all. Also, try to sit next to the fireplace 😉
+: The Joni restaurant
+: Good tea selection
+: The creative savouries
+: The tasty and beautiful cakes
+: Excellent service
-: No scones
-: Cannot be enjoyed alone (2 people min)
-: Expensive, even for Toronto