November 04, 2008

High Tea: Girls' Day Out!

There is nothing more decadent than a day out with your girlfriends being served aromatic tea and scrumptious bite-sized desserts.

This past summer I visited two tea rooms in the Toronto (Canada) area: EPIC at the Fairmount Royal York and The Old Mill.

EPIC | Fairmount Royal York | 416-860-6949 | website

BERRY COCKTAIL with Crumpet (not shown)
QUARTET of Finger Sandwiches (Cucumber/Roquefort/Walnuts, Egg/White Truffle Aiolo, Smoked Salmon/Dill Cream Cheese, Crab Salad/Asparagus)
THREE TIERS of Scones, Cakelets and Tarts

A small selection of teas were available, and the atmosphere was quite intimate despite being in a hotel restaurant. A tour of the rooftop gardens was offered at the end of the tea hour, but we declined so we could have more time to chat and enjoy our desserts.

Of note: We had to alter our reservations to add one person, and called the day prior to our booking. We were rudely told that *sigh* it was so difficult because they are fully booked, but would make an exception. However, when we arrived, we were seated in a near-empty section and the surrounding tables were never filled. Near the end of the tea hour, the servers hovered over us and started folding napkins and clanging glassware. Not the most inviting ambiance.
Aside from these negatives, the company was excellent and the food was delicious and over-abundant. If you don't mind inconsistent service, High Tea at EPIC is quite a deal at $25 per person.

The Old Mill | 416-236-2641 | website

WELCOME to the Old Mill

TEA Time! I choose Dragonmoon Old Mill House Blend "Full bodied with point and flavour combined with a hint of muscatel from First Flush Darjeeling tea."
SCONES with Imported Devonshire Cream and Butter, Scottish Preserves and Marmalade
SANDWICHES (Smoked Salmon/Cream Cheese, Watercress/Tomato, Cucumber/Dill/Sour Cream)
FRUIT TART with Shortbread Cookie (not shown)

The service was unobtrusive, so we really focused on enjoying ourselves at The Old Mill. The Tea Room is a bit dim and a bit stodgy-feeling, but the exterior is very quaint as you can see. I would rank the Old Mill below EPIC food-wise.
For $20 per person, there was substantially less quantity, and the scones and sandwiches were a bit dry. The venue definitely has an older and slightly run-down feel.

The grounds are quite nice, and I walked along the waterside afterwards to enjoy the rest of the warm summer afternoon.

On my Tea To-Do list:
- Windsor Arms
- King Edward (has the reputation for the "best" High Tea in Toronto)

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