Friday, January 7, 2011

Windsor Arms - The Russian Room

This is my third time at Windsor Arms for afternoon tea. I LOVE afternoon tea - it is such a nice treat every once in awhile (and I emphasize "every once in awhile" because it is not cheap). You know how for most girls, the first thing that comes to mind when they hear the words "treat themselves" usually involves going to the spa, or shopping, or going for a manicure? Well, not me. I don't have much interest in any of those activities at all; if I ever feel the "need" to treat myself or "splurge" on something, it will most likely be food-related.


Anyway, since I love afternoon tea at Windsor Arms so much I figured it deserves a second post (check out my first post here). This time, being my third time at Windsor Arms, I had tea with my boss and colleagues (so even better no need to pay). It was part of our office's set of Christmas activities (we went to the ROM prior to afternoon tea and also had a separate Christmas dinner on the weekend).


I know the sandwiches, scones, and the cheese tarts are all the same every time, but this time, I had afternoon tea in The Russian Room which I've never been in before.



My first two times at Windsor Arms I was either in the Victorian-style room or the ultra-chic looking room with purple velvety wall (which I call the "Juicy Couture Room"). This time we were in The Russian Room; it is now officially my favorite room there. It is very small; the three tables by the window, which you see above, and the other side was where we sat, a long table that seats 6. And thats it, that's the room. The other two rooms, although big, can get a bit crammed when all the tables are filled. 


I also love the bold red walls with the Russian bureaucratic paintings and fixtures in the room. Very cool, military style, which is drastically different than the girl-y Juicy Couture room. Because it is smaller, the Russian Room is perfect for a small group - it's a lot quieter than the other rooms. The cushioned booths against the walls were very comfortable too.


FYI. I overheard the hostess talking to another table about the possibility of Windsor Arms offering Russian teas in the near future for afternoon tea, in addition to what they have now. I'm not sure if its in the works or just speculative though. 


I ordered "Eve's Temptation" (see the list of teas offered here). I wanted to get the "Tibetan Tiger" again but at the same time, I wanted to try something different. Don't you hate that? I wanted to play it safe (since afternoon tea is not an everyday thing for me); I wanted to make sure that I will enjoy my tea, but I do want to be boring. My problem was solved when one of my colleagues ordered the Tibetan Tiger (her favorite as well). Remember when you go, make sure everybody order different teas because people can share anyway. My Eve's Temptation turned out to be way too fruity, even for my taste (and I love fruity drinks). I mean, look at it, it's pink =D


The usual tower at Windsor Arms. Although I've seen it before my heart still skips a beat when it arrives.


The only thing that can differ each time you go are these Petit Fours - I've never had these variations before.


The cone-shaped one on the right is so cute.



The sandwiches - I found the asparagus ones really dry this time, the chicken is OK, the smoked salmon with salmon caviar is by far the best. I had so many.



Everyone that I know who has been to Windsor Arms love their scones, including me. They are just perfectly made each and every single time. I also enjoy the goat cheese tarts. I just love everything there.


By the time I was done all the savory stuff I was ready to explode (the two scones by itself is already very filling) but I had to eat at least one petit four or I will not forgive myself. So I chose the prettiest one and it was heavenly (actually my colleagues all had it before and highly recommended it). ♥ the soft strawberry mousse.


Whipped cream and strawberries, the perfect way to end afternoon tea - light and refreshing.


Like all my previous times at Windsor Arms, we had to pack away the leftovers. It's hard to finish everything - I'm sure the servers there expect it too. Our server was really attentive and wasn't in a rush at all; he was the best server I've ever had at Windsor Arms. I was so full afterwards that I didn't even eat dinner (our tea was at 3pm).

So far, all my afternoon tea experiences were at Windsor Arms. I know Fairmont, Four Seasons and C5 all offer afternoon tea. Can anyone share their experiences at those places with me, and how they compare to Windsor Arms? I would want to try out other spots to when I get a chance.






7 comments:

Yvonne said...

Hey Stella!

Nice review and I am now very curious about the Russian Room (but then again, I am very pro-Russia). It'd be amazing if they started offering Russian teas.

Anyway, I've been to Fairmont, Four Seasons and Royal Meridien/King Edward. I like Fairmont best and it's my go-to place. They have the best petit fours. The chocolate mousse is just divine and I am not generally a chocolate fan. They also have the little swan with fresh cream. I think Winsor Arms has better scones but Royal York has better sandwiches and definitely desserts.
Also, be sure to ask them for the complete tea menu. For some reason, the last few times I went, they gave me a shorter list of the teas. But I know that they have a much bigger list in a book like menu. So if you go, you should ask for that.

I wouldn't recommend Four Seasons. The service was good and the ambience was nice;, but in terms of sandwiches, petit fours and scones, it is inferior to Royal and Winsor Arms.

I went to King Edward a long time ago. The chef was super nice; back then, I was a vegetarian, and the chef custom made me a plate of vegetarian sandwiches. Overall, I rank it just "good", though, so below Fairmont but above Four Seasons.

Whatever you do, don't go to Moroco in Yorkville. I have checked the price and it is outrageous (~$50 while Royal/Windsor charges ~$30). Not to mention that their chocolate isn't even that good. Also, I went a few times and twice they told me they don't have the 2 piece boxes and I had to buy the 6 piece box or they'll give the chocolate to me in a paper bag. I have a hard time believing that they are out of stock in boxes and feel they are dishonest. Even if they are not, it's poor management to be understocked in boxes. I'll never go there again.

BTW, haven't seen or talked to you in a while; hope you are doing well.

Yvonne :)

joanne said...

Yum! I have to, HAVE TO go there one day soon for high tea! It all sounds too good to miss out on. One thing I'm not so sure about is the possibility of there being leftovers. When I eat out, there is never a drop of food left for taking home haha :)

Leesh said...

I went for High Tea at Windsor Arms for work and I loved everything about it. And then when I was in San Fran, my cousin, hubby and I went to Crown & Crumpet (I think that's the name) and although I enjoyed it, I kept comparing it to Windsor Arms.

I love the little sandwich roll ups especially the smoked salmon and the goat cheese tarts. The desserts were pretty good (I also took a photo of the cone dessert but never ate it) but I couldn't fully enjoy it because I was stuffed from the sandwiches and scones.

I would definitely go back!

The Food Junkie said...

@Yvonne - Hey girl!!! Glad to hear from you :) I've been doing well, no complaints...chugging along you know? How are you? Hope you're doing well too! Thanks for reading and providing me such great feedback! You're like the queen of high tea ^_^ For sure I will try Fairmont now, I've heard good things from a friend of mine about it too. OK, and NO MOROCO =) If you're into Russian, then you will love this room! Go try it out~

@Joanne - You must go! Haha if you do go, let me know afterwards re: the leftovers. I can usually eat a lot, but only during dinner time; maybe that's why I get leftovers =D

@Leesh - I know! I think like you, I will compare every high tea place to Windsor Arms now. We've both set the bar so high! Smoked salmon sandwiches and the goat cheese tarts and the scones are my favorites =)

Karen Ling said...

ooo ur pix look yummy...makes me wanna go try it out

did you buy the voucher for this? wished i bought one now:(

however, i did buy a voucher for the fairmont one so can't wait to try the high tea never been to any before so looking fwd to it:)

The Food Junkie said...

@Karen - I didn't have a voucher for Windsor Arms. I remember considering getting it but decided not to because it didn't allow for weekends, so I didn't think there would be much chance that I am off on weekdays and have someone to go with me too.

I bought the Fairmont one too! Can't wait to try that and compare~

The Food Junkie said...

@Yvonne - Hey girl!!! Glad to hear from you :) I've been doing well, no complaints...chugging along you know? How are you? Hope you're doing well too! Thanks for reading and providing me such great feedback! You're like the queen of high tea ^_^ For sure I will try Fairmont now, I've heard good things from a friend of mine about it too. OK, and NO MOROCO =) If you're into Russian, then you will love this room! Go try it out~

@Joanne - You must go! Haha if you do go, let me know afterwards re: the leftovers. I can usually eat a lot, but only during dinner time; maybe that's why I get leftovers =D

@Leesh - I know! I think like you, I will compare every high tea place to Windsor Arms now. We've both set the bar so high! Smoked salmon sandwiches and the goat cheese tarts and the scones are my favorites =)

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