gracecheung604 | write on time: Tea at the Fairmont

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tea at the Fairmont

When someone asks me out for High Tea, my first question (before I even answer) is "Was there a daily deal?". And lo and behold, the answer is usually yes. The only exception I can think of now is the time I wanted to try out the Moon Festival Tea at Urban Tea Merchant (and was sorely disappointed). Serves me right, I should just wait for a deal. Fortunately, my BFF got the DealFind offer of Tea for Two for $38 and wanted to share with me!
setting 5 Luckily, I arrived ahead of her and had a few minutes to play around with my new camera. I really love the fine china they use, even for the milk and sugar. Oh, but wait, how long has that milk been sitting there...? I've had tea before where they bring you warm milk after serving your tea, so that the tea doesn't get cold as a result. Even Urban Tea did that at my first visit. But for $38, I didn't think we would have a little carafe of milk that was just sitting out, long before I got there. 
set 3
Shortly after we ordered our tea, the Traditional Afternoon Tea tray arrived. As you can see, we have some Raisin and Butter Scones on top, then a layer of Sweet Pastries as well as a layer of Savoury "Petit" (aka crustless) Sandwiches
savory 3 Here are the Savoury Sandwiches and honestly, that's all I'm really looking forward to here. For once I can say that the curry-looking sandwich is actually curry (chicken salad, in fact) and not a problem with my camera!
salmon & cucumber 2 The first two I tried was the English Cucumber & Whipped Boursin on White Bread. This is what I always start with, since it usually is the mildest of all the offerings. The cheese is very thin and the cucumber slices were impeccable. Flavour-wise, it's light and kind of starts your meal off. The next thing I had was the Smoked Salmon & Asparagus Pinwheel, made with a Rye bread. The salmon was quite plentiful and I liked the asparagus in the roll for colour and texture. The bread was a bit dry on the outside, almost as if it had been prepared ahead of time and left out to await delivery. I understand the work that goes into the sweets (icing, layering, etc) but I felt that the sandwiches should have been made to order. 
egg & chicken 3 The other two sandwiches left were the Curried Chicken & Walnut Salad on Walnut Bread and a Hen & Quail Egg on Sourdough. The Egg Salad was very bland, but there was a freshness to the egg as well as the crepe. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the Chicken Salad. 
The top layer of the bread was completely dried out, as if it had been left out for hours. And yes, we turned it upside down and sure enough, the bottom slice was completely different in texture from the top slice. And the curry flavour of the chicken salad was overpowering, as if cumin was the only guest at the table. 
If you do come and try this, here is the order I would recommend you to eat the sandwiches, Egg Salad, Cucumber, Smoked Salmon and the the Curry Chicken. If you ate this in reverse, you wouldn't taste a thing afterwards.
scones And after the sandwiches, we went straight to the top of the tiers for our Butter and Raisin Scones. Complete with a Devonshire Clotted Cream and and a Blueberry Preserve, this was a good bridge between Savoury and Sweet. The clotted cream is amazing. Smooth and slightly sweet, it makes anything you put it on "British". It's not the flavour that blows you away, it's the creaminess and the silky texture, this makes butter obsolete. 
dessert 4For the Sweets, there were five offerings. On the far left, there is an Opera Torte, and then a Raspberry Tartlet next to it. And then you can see the Mocho Eclair as well as the Macaroon. And in the front, is the Lemon Meringue Tart. Of all the things on this plate, my downfall is the Lemon Meringue Tart. I guess after all the savoury sandwiches, switching to sweet would be too much for my tastes but a little sourness never hurts!   

Take note:

  • $38/person so it's not a deal (unless you have a deal)
  • Add a glass of champagne for $20, or a glass for wine for $10+
  • Kid's tea also available for $19/person (12 and younger) 

900 West Lounge (at Fairmont Hotel) on Urbanspoon


  1. Anonymous4:27 PM

    I think Grace is being overly critical here. I have been twice in a month and love it. The tea menu is fantastic, the servers are very attentive and sweet. Sandwich variety is great... the tea sandwiches are quite involved and I totally get that they are made ahead of time. A reservation is made ahead of time so i am sure the milk is set out previously as it was busy when we were there. There were no rings of old milk around the inside of the pitcher and ours was cold. In my family we always used cold milk (I am of british decent) and was told the queen liked it cold and always poured it in the cup first, then the tea. The pastries were divine, the raspberry tart in the shortbread crust with gold flakes was out of this world but clotted cream would not make it more british (sorry Grace). My only complaint is a selfish one, i wish there was a cheese scone too! I love tea at the Fairmont.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting - much appreciated! You're lucky that your experience was better than mine! Not quite sure what you mean about the clotted cream though, I only meant that Devonshire/Clotted cream is so quintessentially British, guess I wasn't too clear on that point. But yes, a cheese scone would be nice, I've always loved savoury more than sweet!



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