Fairmont Vancouver's Easter Afternoon Tea on the Roof
In the past I've heard about the "special" afternoon tea that's served way up high on Fairmont Vancouver's 15th floor and a few days ago I finally had a chance to experience it for myself. Why do I use the term "special"? Usually, the afternoon tea service at Fairmont Vancouver is served in the hotel's glamorous year and a half new restaurant, Notch8. For special occasions like Easter and the upcoming Mother's Day, the afternoon tea service is moved upstairs to the hotel's highest floor on the 15th level, overlooking some of Downtown Vancouver's other stately buildings.
The dining room itself isn't as glamorous as the newly renovated Notch 8 downstairs but the pretty view coupled with the fact that it's one of the only times that the room is open to the public (other uses are for wedding banquets and private functions), it's a nice little novelty in the world of afternoon tea in Vancouver.
The 3-Tier Tray
I was impressed with the use of the 3-tier tray serving tray. The "trend" nowadays in many restaurants is to place the desserts on the top tier for reasons unconfirmed (I'm guessing for aesthetics), this tray was properly laid out with scones on the top level, followed by savouries and lastly sweets on the bottom.
(Scones are usually kept on the top tier and a traditional tray actually had a domed top to keep them hot. Guests are expected to eat the scones while they're hot, so start from the top of the tray down to the savouries and then end with the sweets.)
This is perhaps one of the largest tea sets I've had to date. Because there were two scones of regular size plus a hot cross bun, coupled with hearty sized savouries, I couldn't finish any of the desserts. Don't worry, I enjoyed them later on at home 🙂
After indulging on just the savouries alone, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the quality and taste of the few items I had were markedly better than the last time I visited. I incorrectly thought the reason for the inconsistency was that the food came from another kitchen since the tea sets were served on the rooftop this time and not at Notch8. I followed up with our server about this issue and she told us that the food was from the same kitchen but it was under the leadership of a new chef de cuisine. No wonder. I remember reading a few reviews from the past which didn't necessarily rate the food highly but did give praise for the other elements like service and ambiance. I think now is a great time to revisit or make your first visit if you've been thinking about it. The next time that afternoon tea will be served on the rooftop is for Mother's Day. What a treat it will be for mom! Here's my list of afternoon tea suggestions for Mother's Day.
Until our next tea date.
❤ OTHER NOTES:
- The rooftop is only open to the public during special occasions.
- High quality and delicious food under the leadership of a new chef de cuisine
- Fairmont Hotel is one of the most iconic and historic buildings in Vancouver.
- Luxury hotel service
- Proper layout of an afternoon tea tray
Ambience: Elegant vibes with live piano music and covered chairs. The dining room on the rooftop isn't particularly glamourous but the view is worth the visit when they do open up this part of the hotel to the public. Don't miss it. Conversely, the newly renovated Notch8 restaurant downstairs - where afternoon tea is usually held - is trendy and fashionable. Read my Notch8 Tipsy Tea experience here.
Scones: Good. The bun and scones were of regular size and there were two type of scones to choose from, one chocolate and one regular. I felt so spoiled because the last tea sets I've had either did not have scones or they were very small and there was only one. The lavender clotted cream had a delicate lavender fragrance to it and was just delightful. I love clotted cream and I appreciated this different spin on it.
Savoury: Very Good. A robust selection of four finger sandwiches on the second tier plus two "extra" pieces that were presented separately on another plate. These were the wagyu beef croquette and fois gras candied hazlenut mousse which was exquisitely presented in a real egg shell laid on top of moss. All the savouries were very fresh and flavourful. My favourites were the pesto chutney barrata cheese sandwich, smoked salmon sandwich and fois gras mousse.
Sweets: There were quite a few - 7 actually! We were also presented with a citrus pot de creme to start our tea service. All the desserts were above average to good. Nothing in particular out for me from from the sweets.
Tea: A medium-sized collection, not as much as at TWG, but the black ones stand out for being unique blends of high quality. Types of tea available: 12 black, 1 white, 3 green and 5 herbal.
I chose a delightful black tea blend from India called 1907 Centennial that I had with a lot of cream.
"Limited edition commemorative brew...a blend of delightful Kenmare, rich Imperial Keemun, touches of malty Assam from Borengajuli estate, full-bodied Assam from Keyhung and a South Indian tea from Nonesuch estate plus a dash of Earl Grey...a taste of history!"
Tea Ware: Traditional ivory porcelain tea ware with silver teapots. No use of tea warmers like at the Rose House.
Service: Fully staffed, professional and well trained. We were checked on constantly and never felt unattended. Both our principal server and the attendant who brought out the trays took the time to chat with us about the food and the restaurant. Both had that certain ability to make friendly small talk while maintaining the utmost discretion and care, an attribute you usually find with service staff at top notch restaurants.
♥ "Tea at the Top" Tea Set $65/per person
(includes one pot of tea)
Add celebratory cocktail for $13
Children's Tea for children 12 and under $32.50
♥ The website is a bit of a maze. Here's the direct link to the afternoon tea section which can be reserved online.
♥ Parking: No street parking directly outside the Hotel but available down the street on Hornby where there is also a pay parkade. There are over 20 parking spots reserved for Car2Go on the rooftop parkade at 777 Hornby which is right next to the hotel. Closest Skytrain station is Vancouver City Centre (on the Canada Line) which is 2 blocks away from the hotel.
♥ Address: 900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6C 2W6
♥ TEL + 1 604 684 3131
♥ Contact: [email protected]