Whether she’s mum, mommy, mamma or mom, one thing is for sure — this Sunday is all about Mother’s Day. Treat her to a civilized afternoon tea that will make her feel like a queen.
After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world and Vancouver‘s burgeoning tea scene includes sleek standalone chainlets like David’s Tea, as well as highly specialized spots like the Urban Tea Merchant, which boasts luxury leaves and even a tea sommelier. But for a posh Sunday afternoon, consider British-style service at one of these downtown hotels. Pinkies up.
This Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star is an incredibly popular special-occasion spot for locals. Afternoon tea is available from 3 to 5 p.m. (the traditional British serving time) in the classic Fleuri Restaurant and includes a mix of savory and sweet offerings, like smoked salmon pinwheels with capers and blueberry scones with Devonshire cream, a tea staple.
At this property, the opulent and intimate Bacchus Lounge serves up an elegant tea from 2 to 4 p.m. There are several varietals presented, like the lavender Earl Grey (black tea scented with oil of bergamot and perfumed with lavender buds) and the pear tree green (China estate green that’s freshly perfumed with ripe pear). If the occasion calls for something stronger, consider a glass of sparkling BC Brut to go with the chocolate éclairs and English fruitcake.
For tradition infused with Asian influence, reserve a table at this Four-Star’s Xi Shi’s afternoon tea (11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with live music on weekends). Free-range egg salad on baby croissants, raisin scones with clotted cream and cherry blossom madeleines are just some of the sumptuous treats to enjoy with the sipping. Choose among 15 blends of tea, from standard English breakfast to the custom Shangri-la blend (black tea with pineapple, kiwi and plum) to herbal vanilla rooibos.
And for classic tea in a timeless space, The Fairmont is one Vancouver hotel that is steeped in tradition. The 900 West Lounge has 1 and 3 p.m. seatings with set servings of sandwiches, followed by scones with clotted cream, then sweets. Heirloom tomato and crisp pancetta on focaccia, butter scones with housemade fruit preserves and macaroons make for a delicate but substantial meal. If little ones are joining in on the fun, the hotel blends a Bubblegum tea and serves peanut butter and jelly finger sandwiches with a giant chocolate chip cookie to finish.
Photos courtesy of Shangri-La International Hotel Management Ltd, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Wedgewood Hotel