I had to treat my lovely hosts to a nice experience on my last day in Canada and chose to take them to afternoon tea at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. Let’s see how that went:
The Setting ★★★★☆
The Fairmont Royal York Toronto is located in the very centre of Toronto, on the southern end of the financial district.
The chateauesque building was completed in 1929 and was historically a railway hotel, formerly owned by the Canada Pacific Railway Company. The building is quite an impressive sight and has dominated the Toronto waterfront for years, being the tallest and then among the tallest buildings in the country.
The Clockwork Restaurant ★★★★☆
Afternoon tea is served in the clockwork Restaurant, a modern restaurant located on the hotel’s ground floor.
The venue is located in the lobby and yet the atmosphere feels very intimate, as there are plenty of greenery and flowers which isolate you from the people passing by.
The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★☆☆
The tea is supplied by the Lot 35 Tea Company, a Toronto-based supplier with a strong presence in North America.
There are 11 teas and infusions on offer, a somehow limited choice that is compensated with a certain originality. I recommend trying the Ontario icewine and the Oolong watermelon teas.
11 teas (3 black, 3 green, 1 white, 1 oolong, 3 infusions); coffee
Tea brewing method: In the kitchen
The Scones ★★★★★
The Fairmont Toronto afternoon tea does things differently as it starts the show with scones. I’m tempted to say, why not?! This way the scones get served warm and that’s how they should be 🙂
The plain and cranberry & walnut scones are good. They come with blueberry jam, whipped cream, and clotted cream. I would’ve preferred an extra jam but I’ll take it as it is!
The Savouries ★★★★☆
The savouries are decent but fairly ordinary compared to what I had at the Park Hyatt:
- Maple glazed ham Sandwich (Royal honey mustard, baby cress, Russian rye)
- Fogo island petite shrimp Quiche (Dill, chives, parmesan)
- House smoked trout rillettes Bun (Chive crème fraiche, pumpernickel)
- Citrus & thyme duck confit Croissant (Preserved lemon aioli, watercress, butter croissant)
- Cheese fingers Sandwich (Strawberry preserve, aged white cheddar, milk bread)
- Coronation chicken Roll (Basil, green apple, mango chutney, brioche roll)
The Cakes & Sweets ★★★★☆
I live in Vienna, where the Sachertorte was invented and my favourite breakfast is actually at the eponymous hotel. I was quite amused to see it served here, along with a few other sweet treats:
- Sacher cake (Raspberry jam, dark chocolate ganache)
- Choux à la crème (Rhubarb compote, vanilla cream=
- Tropical tartlet (Kalamansi curd, rooibos cream)
- Cheesecake (Dulce de leche, fleur de sel)
- Chocolate mignardise (Earl grey cream, elderberry compote)
The Service ★★★★★
The service is courteous, friendly and efficient. The Clockwork restaurant team took great care of us and so did the rest of the staff.
Below is a video detailing the contents of the Fairmont Toronto afternoon tea:
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★☆
The Fairmont Royal York Toronto is a decent option for anyone wanting to experience a traditional take on afternoon tea.
It’s not as good as the Park Hyatt afternoon tea but at least it can be enjoyed alone (unlike the otherwise superior Park Hyatt offer) and it is a tad cheaper at 80$ per person.
The festive version, served from 19/11 onward, is at 89$ per person. Enjoy it!
+: The Clockwork restaurant
+: Good tea selection
+: Tasty food
+: Excellent service
+: Good price/performance ratio
-: Limited seating time
-: Booking ahead is mandatory
-: Weekends only
Phone: + 1 416 368 2511