A Vancouver Tradition
The Secret Garden Tea House is one of the first modern day pioneers of afternoon tea in Vancouver. Established in 1995, it is probably a place where many of you may have had your first afternoon tea experience. Since then, shinier contenders like TWG and Laduree have entered the market but The Secret Garden Tea Company is still going strong with a new and bigger location just a few steps away from their previous one in Kerrisdale.
The New Location
Going in on a Sunday at 12pm, the tea house was already fully packed and it remained so for the remainder of our two hour sitting. I was joined by Jo of White Roses and Coffee, Vivian of Wisteria Voyage and Michelle of @MadeByMichelle. We all enjoyed visiting the new space since we haven't been to this location before. It's nice and bright with tons of natural light flooding through the floor to ceiling windows that spans the entire frontage of the tea house. They still have a small little gift shop for teas and other tea wares, and a counter displaying the various treats available for their take away tea sets.
This was my third visit to the Secret Garden and I don't recall the previous menus to be as uninspired as the one we had that day. Because there were four of us and we all had the same feeling, I knew it wasn't just me. There was a good amount of food, especially the savouries with multiples of the same item for each person (a bit repetitive) but most of them were bland and the scones cold, we just didn't like them enough to finish them. Being that the price of this set is relatively low, it still provides a good value for those who may want to try the iconic Secret Garden for the first time or those who want to have a regular tea set at a reasonable price in a comfortable and folksy setting.
Until our next tea date.
❤ OTHER NOTES:
- Brand new beautiful location in Kerrisdale
- Whimsical mismatched tea sets. Great for pictures and conversation.
- Lower price position
- Easy and inexpensive parking in the West Side
Ambience: They have a beautiful new location that has the same folksy charm as before but with a newer and shinier packaging. It's still pretty cramped as the space is utilized to the max. One thing I really like is the amount of natural sunlight that pours into the space through the floor to ceiling windows that span the entire frontage of the tea house.
Scones: Average. It was cold and not very crumbly. The cream was also not very rich and a bit runny. There was one small sized scone and two chocolate loaves on the second tier.
Savoury: Average. There were two petit roasted chicken croissants, four egg salad pinwheel sandwiches and one Tuna on Housemade Sesame Potato Bread for each of us. Points for the sheer amount of savouries they provided per person but we all found them repetitive and mostly bland so we didn't end up finishing them. If you're looking for quantity, this will be a good option. However, Neverland's tea set has the same price positioning but it does offer a lot more in terms of quality and quantity.
Sweets: Average. There were three different items: Tangy Mini Lemon Curd Tart, Strawberry Jam Cheesecake and the Triple Chocolate Potato Cake with Fleur de Sel Ganache. The lemon tart was tangy and refreshing. I've had this item on several occasions in the past and it has always tasted great. The cheesecake was abnormally small and along with the potato cake, not very memorable.
Tea: Bearing the name, Secret Garden Tea Company, they do have a respectable medium sized collection of teas which can also be purchased for drinking at home. 14 black teas (five different types for Earl Grey Tea alone), 3 green, 3 decafs, 4 herbal and 3 rooiboos.
Tea Ware: Whimsical mismatched vintage tea sets that are great for photos and conversation. Something usually found only in independent tea salons like Neverland and Adonia. Branded tea cozies were used to keep the pots warm.
Service: Fully staffed and friendly in that folksy sort of way that's a great fit for the brand and neighborhood. Although the servers were busy with a full house, we were checked on occasionally and didn't feel neglected in any way.
♥ Tea Set $32/per person
(includes one pot of tea)
Gluten-free Tea Set $37/per person (not prepared in a gluten-free environment).
Children's Tea $22
- At least 48 hours in advance for weekday reservations
- At least 1 week in advance for weekend reservations
♥ Parking: Ample inexpensive metered street parking around the tea house.
♥ Address: 2138 WEST 40TH, VANCOUVER BC
♥ TEL 604.261.3070