Today, I want to talk about the traditional afternoon tea that I went to with my Grammy this past weekend at the Prince of Wales in Niagara-on-the-Lake for her Christmas present. The Prince of Wales is a beautiful old hotel that was established in 1864, and they offer afternoon tea in the drawing room. We had a reservation, and when we got there we were asked if we wanted to sit inside the drawing room or in the solarium. It was a pretty gloomy and chilly day, so we chose to sit in the drawing room not too far from the roaring fire.
Once you’re seated, you’re given your choice of teas. I loved that they brought them over in a little box with samples that you could smell. The first box has the regularly offered teas, and the second on that lit up was the special reserves collection that you needed to pay an $8.00 upgrade for. They also brought two extra tea samples of holiday teas that were only being offered for the season.
Finger Tea Sandwiches: Four Selections of Gourmet Sandwiches, Prepared on Fresh Breads.
Pastries: Four Delicious Selections Designed by Our Pastry Chef.
Housemade Scones: Our Signature Scones are made with Plump, Jasmine Tea Infused Sultana Raisins and are accompanied by Strawberry Jam, Devonshire Clotted Cream & Butter
For sandwiches we had cucumber, turkey with cranberry, and salmon. The pastries included cheese and spinach quiche, shortbread cookies (for the season), a lemon curd tart with an almond crust, and a little vanilla cupcake, which I’m sure had a fancy name.
After much deliberation I chose one of the holiday blends that they had. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what it was called but when I smelled it there was a very strong apple scent to it. I assumed that it would be something more similar to an apple cider, but the taste was definitely different from what I expected.
It was sweet with a hint of apple underneath, and while I didn’t need to add sugar to it, I wouldn’t describe it as being overly sweet. I didn’t try it with any cream or milk, because I thought that would ruin the flavour. It was a perfect holiday blend, and the waitress told me that it was also a staff favourite.
My grandmother chose the chocolate mint tea, which really surprised me. While I didn’t have any, she said it was delicious. She said it didn’t really taste all that much like chocolate, but it went very well with the desserts.
We both really loved the china that the tea was served in, and the tiered platter for the goodies. Everything was delicious, and presented beautifully.
Afternoon tea at the Prince of Wales was definitely a wonderful treat, and at $34 a person that’s all it really can be. The atmosphere was lovely, and the decor in the drawing room makes you feel like you’re in an old movie. The waitress we had was really nice, and was willing to go that extra step to make sure you enjoyed your time. We were told when we chose our tea that if we weren’t happy with the taste, she would be more than happy to brew us a fresh pot of something different.
The tea itself was delicious, and I would love to go back and sample some of the other kinds. So if you’re ever in the Niagara-on-the-Lake area, I would definitely recommend stopping in to the Prince of Wales for some afternoon tea.