Newest Afternoon Tea Offering in Richmond
Richmond is now home to a brand new tea salon called Avery Cakes & Tea House. This new salon joins the ranks of the city's other tea offerings like L'Opera Patisserie and Adorabelle. It's located in a shopping plaza on the corner of Garden City and Alderbridge. The outside looks like any of the other shops in the plaza but inside the space is filled with opulent looking furnishings, gold gilding and crystals everywhere complete with a self-playing grand piano in white. Basically, the same level of opulence you see at L'Opera but on a much larger scale.
The space is so large that it has the capacity to serve over 60 guests at a time. Space is usually so tight at most tea houses (ex. the notoriously cramped Adonia) that this is quite a nice surprise. There is a good amount of spacing between each table so you can sit comfortably without bumping the seat behind you. The chairs are big and comfy, and the tables for four are large enough to place two 3-tiered trays comfortably along with all the other dishes in the tea set.
While we're on the subject of size, the tea set itself features some of the biggest dessert pieces I've ever seen in an afternoon tea set (even bigger than at Neverland). One such piece - the fruit tart - was actually sold on its own inside their display case as a regular sized dessert. This is definitely a tea set that will satisfy those with a heartier appetite. I had so much leftovers that it could have made a completely new tea set.
That "Je ne sais quoi"
Avery cakes really has it all - almost. It's a big and brand new space that we heard took one year to renovate. Tons of thought was put into the furnishings and even the menu - fully illustrated and listing the ingredient composition of each tea. There is branded takeaway boxes and even Avery branded tea ware! The tea set itself was also of a good quality and size. Even the extra thought put into plating the macarons really impressed me.
So, naturally, with all these over-the-top offerings, we were excited and wanted to know more about this place. Except, there was no one there who could answer even simple questions like whether the shop was a chain or an independent (it's an independent). Firstly, the staff were not very attentive and secondly, when reached, one didn't have the answer and had to refer us to another staff member who answered without much enthusiasm for the brand. We were the only table in the tea salon for well over two hours and there were four front line staff who spent the majority of the time chit chatting with each other at the counter. I appreciated that they were all willing to help once we were able to get their attention. However, I feel like they may possibly be the missing link; the company needs a mouthpiece to convey its grand ambitions to their clients and who better to do it than front line staff? I can just see so much potential with all the infrastructure they have in place but also feel that it's missing something - an intangible energy.
That elusive quality may not be what everyone chases when it comes to tea and I would definitely recommend Avery on all it's other merits - location, ambiance and quality. All of it which it has in spades.
Until our next tea date.
- newest tea offering in Richmond
- huge spacious tea salon
- many seats accommodate big parties
- many dessert offerings aside from tea sets
- big tea menu
- free parking
- Asian style desserts that are less sweet
- regular sized dessert offering will take you by surprise
Luxurious old world style furnishings including lots of crystal chandeliers, crystal waterfall display, self playing piano, plush chairs with carved design and shelves displaying tea ware. It's a spacious salon that accommodates well over 60 people. There is sufficient space between each table and many of them benefit from receiving natural light as the salon is a corner unit with floor to ceiling windows.
Scones: no scones came with our tea set
Savoury: They were all fresh and tasty. Compared to the desserts, they were smaller in size but comparable to any other tea set currently being offered by other tea houses. There wasn't a particular piece which stood out for me though. They were good enough but not memorable.
Sweets: The regular sized desserts were truly a surprise after seeing the unusually small ones from other tea houses (ex. Rose House). One of these desserts were even offered in their dessert display case as an a la carte item. The tea set itself is very dessert heavy so there are a lot of items to choose from! The macarons with special plating was a nice thoughtful touch and they were super fluffy! The Creme Brulee in a little ramiken cup was very rich and creamy. The cream puff was filled with a smooth pastry cream that was perfectly sweetened (not too sweet). The mango cheesecake was dense and creamy, delicious but didn't exhibit any cheesy flavours.
Tea: Big tea menu! There were 12 Rooibos flavours to choose from which is a lot compared to other tea houses, 12 greens and 17 blacks.
Each tea was also accompanied with a description of its composition which helps greatly when ordering.
Very grand looking tea tray adorned with "Hermes inspired" horses. There were many designs for tea cups so everyone had their own design which helped to distinguish between who's who. It was a surprise to find that the cups were branded with the companies logo as well. Tea Warmers with candles kept the pot of tea warm - something not usually offered (seen at the Rose House).
Service: There were at least four servers on staff for our one table during a time when the restaurant was totally unoccupied but the staff spent a majority of the time standing around the counter chatting with each other. We were not checked on but occasionally when we caught their eye, one member would come by (happily) to refill hot water. They were all willing to help when requested but lacked the motivation to do so on their own.
♥ Tea Set $49/per person
(Does NOT include one pot of tea, tea is ordered separately)
No scones, 6 savouries, 9 sweets
♥ Reserve by phone: (604)-285-7771
♥ Parking: Free parking is available in the shopping plaza where the tea house is located. Closest Car2Go drop off and pickup is at Kwantlen College which is 9 minutes away by foot.
♥ Address: 112-4751 Garden City Rd, Richmond, B.C. V6X 3M7