The tradition of High Tea can be traced back to the early 19th century when Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, declared an end to afternoon hunger pains. Starved and desperate for some “me” time she made time for herself to enjoy a calming tea and a satisfying afternoon snack in the comfort of her bedroom. Today, the afternoon tradition is enjoyed in tea rooms and hotels across Britain, and has gained a healthy following across the pond in Toronto. When it comes to menu and ambiance the classiest place to enjoy High Tea in the city is at the Shangri-La hotel.
Where to Eat in Toronto: High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel
As you step into the Lobby Lounge, you will be welcomed by an enchanting tune played by an expert pianist. Bright, airy and undeniably stylish with seating for 90, it’s like you’ve come home to the coziest living room in the city.
Tea at the Shangri-La is all about quality ingredients, good tastes and good times. The Asian-inspired menu boasts a robust selection of 75 teas ranging from traditional black teas to unique herbal blends and exotic chai teas — all listed by category in an effort not to confuse you. I hope you have a flare for adventure because each sip tells you a different story about the tea you are drinking. If you dare, try the Cedar Chai, which has hints of chocolate and traditional Indian flavours. The Royal Cream Earl Grey is a popular choice with its traditional Earl Grey and hints of bergamot and creamy vanilla.
If you have a sweet tooth, then the Apple Crumble Tea is a must. Warning: This tea complete with the full flavour profile of the most delicious apple crumble pie contains zero calories and will not cause you to go off the rails on your diet. With the exception of the holidays and other special events, the tiers at Shangri-La are standard. Guests will receive three tiers containing a pair of delicious chamomile-scented scones, impeccable sandwiches and a tasting of decadent desserts.
Every month pastry chef Kate aims to shake things up a bit by turning tea into a notable event. In the past, the Shangri-La has flown in a chef from London to help them create a London Calling event, and they often create themes based on whatever is happening at The Four Seasons Performing Arts Centre. So come with the kids or without the kids, as posh as this place is they won’t judge. What they will do is ensure you are a well-fed and happy guest.