I heard a lot of buzz recently about an interesting afternoon tea set that was being offered at the new Laurence and Chico cafe in downtown Vancouver so I quickly made my way down with bestie in tow. The cafe is a new venture for Canadian designer duo, Laurence and Chico, best known for their clothing and accessories featuring vivid colors and contemporary styles. Faithful to their design aesthetics in fashion, the cafe is also filled with color and contemporary themes – chairs that look like fluffy unicorns, stools reminiscent of sprouting mushrooms, bar tables painted with mermaid scales, and the like. It’s really hard not to take a ton of pretty photos for your Instagram page there. Of course, I couldn’t resist taking a photo in a rainbow colored unicorn canopy chair 🙂
Their afternoon tea set is a little different than conventional ones served on a traditional 3-tiered afternoon tea tray. Aptly named the “To-Go” tea set, the tea items are neatly nestled inside a disposable but sturdy take-away case which is actually super pretty! It’s constructed from a firm cardboard stock that’s predominantly pink and adorned with graphics. It even has a black ribbon handle that you can use to carry the box like a purse. A purse full of edible goodies, now that is really cool. There’s even tea or coffee of your choice, served in a pink disposable cup. Imagine going back to the office and opening up this box full of beautiful treats at your desk. I think you’ll definitely be surrounded by a handful of curious, if not, jealous co-workers lol.
The set includes a tea or coffee of your choice and four different treats: Chicken Liver Onigiri Rice Ball; Smoked Tuna Wrap; Chocolate Cream Puff; Brown Butter Caramel Mochi. These are all made specially for the afternoon tea set and cannot be ordered a la carte which makes them somewhat “special”. But at $29/set, it’s not a whole lot, quantity-wise, compared to the other tea sets available in town. Therefore, I would have expected a near perfect execution of every item. Three of the items were good but the caramel mochi was a real disappointment. The caramelized sugar was so thick and hard that we couldn’t even break it open with our fork. There wasn’t a good way to eat the rest of the dessert so this item was left mostly abandoned. Besides the To-Go afternoon tea set, we also ordered two à la carte desserts which turned out to be really delicious.
Overall, I had a really good experience because of the ambiance, service and most of the food items. I would not hesitate to go again for their other items. I think the lunch sets would have been a better choice than the To-Go afternoon tea set. There are two sets available: 4 items of your choice (savory or sweet) with a drink for $18 and 3 items with a drink for $15.
My next visit will be for the lunch sets. See you then 🙂
– Innovative To-Go afternoon tea concept.
– Imaginative and whimsical decor.
– Many a-la-carte desserts and savories to choose from which you can take a look at first inside the counter.
– Different coffee choices available.
Ambience: Decor-wise, it’s very different from all the other tea salons in the city. It does not possess the country charm of the Secret Garden, the chic and sleek vibe of the H Tasting Lounge or the feminine cuteness of Fur Elise. It’s in a category all its own. The space is funky and vibrantly colorful. Big furry canopy chairs adorned with fur and unicorn horns help to separate the room into small nooks that make it more intimate for smaller parties of 2-3. On the flip side of that, the room layout doesn’t do it any favors for coming across as well-equipped for hosting larger parties.
Scones: No scones provided in the tea set nor is it available a-la-carte.
Savoury & Sweets: The set includes 2 savouries and 2 sweets. As mentioned above, the Brown Butter Caramel Mochi was left mostly uneaten since the caramelized sugar was so thick and hard that it could not be broken up with a fork. The other three items were pretty good but I would recommend trying the lunch sets instead (see below for lunch set pricing).
Tea: Tea is provided with the tea set along with a few select coffees. Ask server.
Tea Ware: The To-Go Tea set can be taken away in a pretty and sturdy take-away box or it can also be eaten in-store with vintage-style glassware. All drinks are served in disposable pink paper cups.
Alcoholic Beverages: none
Service: There were many different servers bringing food to the tables and behind the counter. Our principal server was very attentive and even offered to take photos for us several times. She took the time to ask about our experience and took a genuine interest in knowing how what we thought. Most of the other staff were friendly and inviting.
♥ To-Go Afternoon Tea Set
$29/set includes 1 drink with 2 savouries and 2 sweets
$18 for a drink with 4 mini items of your choice from the pastry counter, includes savouries and sweets.
$15 for a drink with 3 mini items of your choice from the pastry counter, includes savouries and sweets.
♥ Parking: Lots of metered parking on Robson Street. There is a Car2go parking spot right outside the cafe. Closest skytrain station is Burrad (8 min. away by foot) or Vancouver City Centre (12 min. away by foot).
♥ Hours: 11 am – 8 pm everyday, Friday & Saturday 11 am – 11 pm
A: 833 Bute St, Vancouver, BC V6E 3Y4
T: (604) 688-8680