Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day: Part 1 - Afternoon Tea at Windsor Arms

I took my parents to Windsor Arms a couple of weeks ago for Mother's Day. A bit early I know, but for the few weekends leading up to Mother's Day, there was either a friend's wedding, a house party, or just something scheduled in my calendar. So to make sure I get to take my Mom there, I reserved a table at Windsor Arms three Saturdays before Mother's Day. My Dad also wanted to tagged along. He says for all the previous Mother's Day, my brother and I would treat him for dinner too, not only my Mom, so he doesn't see why he shouldn't come along for afternoon tea as well. He has made a valid point haha. I did warn him though, that it's gonna be 98% women there.

I've been to Windsor Arms for afternoon tea once before with some colleagues. I gotta say that having tea there is nothing like I've experienced before. Everything is so classy - from the decor, the waiters, the dainty little sandwiches, down to the fancy gold-trim tea cups. It's all very "Jane Austin", you know? Almost feels like everyone should talk with a British accent there.

Windsor Arms has been serving high tea since 1927. They have two rooms, one is the purple room with its original working fire place (which sits around 30), and the second one is the French-style lobby tea room (sits around 18). Both are available for full or partial booking. I've been to both rooms (purple room with colleagues, French room with parents) and I liked them both equally.

Here's the list of loose leaf teas. We got the Chai Arms, the Private Windsor Arms Breakfast Blend, and the Passion & Envy. I loved the Chai Arms (the cinnamon really stood out) and the Passion & Envy (so fruity!). The Breakfast Blend tastes like regular Earl Grey. The first time I went I had the Tibetan Tiger which was amazing because I could actually taste the chocolate and caramel. 

Why would anyone do take-out? This "Tea To
Go" concept does not make sense to me. 

My parents and I ordered the Full Tea. The Complete tea is exactly the same as Full Tea except with the addition of a glass of sherry / sparkling wine which we were indifferent about.

Below are pictures from my two times at Windsor Arms

I love my pretty tea cup. Gold trim!

Devon cream, strawberry jam, raspberry jam

The tower

These sandwiches were mini and dainty, yet it was so delicious and flavorful:

  • Smoked salmon and salmon caviar with an oven-roasted tomato cream cheese;
  • Baby greens with asparagus, cucumber salsa and chive cream cheese; and
  • Grilled chicken with citrus essence. 

Scones with Preserves and Devon cream. LOVE them, they were so soft and buttery. After eating two I was stuffed, but I couldn't have just one.

Goat cheese and caramelized shallot tart. I love tarts and I love goat cheese, so pretty much another favorite.

Petit Fours. Had a different selection each time. Needless to say, they were all yummy and oh-so-cute!

Strawberries with whipped cream to top it all off. 

There was no need for dinner after all this food (our afternoon tea was at 3:30pm). I tell ya, although everything looks so small and delicate, it really fills you up, especially the scones. We had to pack some stuff to go (a normal practice when you look around...every table packs stuff to-go because nobody finishes everything). They give you new bottled jams too =) 

I would recommend Windsor Arms for special occasions - specifically, special occasions where females are involved haha. Women enjoys this kinda stuff. Not to say that men won't enjoy this since my Dad did, but it still holds true that 98% of the people there were women. So guys, if you're stuck with what to get for your mom, girlfriend, wife, significant other, or as I said, any female that is important in your life...consider going to Windsor Arms, it is a real treat.


Monet said...

So jealous...and yet your pictures and descriptions made me feel like I was there. What a delightful Mother's Day celebration. Those sandwiches looked heavenly, but then the scones really got me! I am going to have to make some scones this week. I've never tried before, but I just can't go without one! Thank you for sharing! Love your blog!

The Food Junkie said...

Really? Yeah make some scones! I want to see them =) I just saw your Maui Muffins too! They look delish!

Lisa Ng said...

Windsor Arms is one of the most expensive, but probably the BEST high tea in Toronto. Royal York was just meh and Park Hyatt didn't have as much detail as WA. Love your pics!

The Food Junkie said...

There's high tea at Park Hyatt too? Oh didn't know that, thanks! But from your comment, I guess I don't need to go :) I saw pictures from a friend who went to Royal York, the food and the decor is nowhere near Windsor Arms.

Christine Korda said...

Thank-you for such a wonderful review of our tea room and afternoon tea!

Not sure if you know, but we have added "Fancy Hats" which can be worn during afternoon tea for a $5.00 donation, which all goes to ACT(Aides Committee Toronto)

We look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel.

Christine Korda
Director of Communications & Special Events
Windsor Arms Hotel
Follow us on Twitter for updates:

The Food Junkie said...

Hi Christine. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment =) These "Fancy Hats" seem like a great idea...and for a good cause too! Will definitely let my friends know about this~

Leesh said...

I just went to Windsor Arms this week for high tea and it was quite an experience. I would like to go back with my friends one day.

I tweeted to Windsor Arms suggesting to add macarons to the tower. That would totally make my day!!!

The Food Junkie said...

Hey Leesh! Yeah afternoon tea at Windsor Arms is quite an experience, eh? And good move on your part in contacting them :) it would be awesome if they have macarons!

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