Afternoon Tea at Butchart Gardens

Thursday, May 5, 2016

We're a little bit slapdash in my family. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say I'm a little bit slapdash. But as they say, it only takes one slapdash person to ruin the whole batch. I suppose it shouldn't have been a surprise to either of us when I hemmed and hawed whenever my mother tried to make reservations for afternoon tea in Victoria, BC.

It wasn't that I didn't want to go. After all, Victoria is somewhat famous for its afternoon teas. And who doesn't like a few finger sandwiches and tiny cakes? I just couldn't choose a spot. One place seemed too stuffy, another was outside on a day forecast to be rainy, still another would take a taxi ride away from the inner city. None seemed to fit.

Our first morning in Victoria was beautifully sunny and cool, a welcome relief from the heat that still stifles our native city in early September. The morning started abruptly. We made a mad dash the three blocks from our hotel to the bus stop after realizing the bus was due to leave in 10 minutes. We made it by a hair and an hour later we stepped off outside the entrance to The Butchart Gardens.

My mother and I took one look at the beautiful tea room and headed straight to the reservation desk to ask about tea. We took the late morning reservation they had left and after an hour of exploring, sat down for our (Morning) Afternoon Tea.

We were the first to be seated and for about 15 minutes, we were the only ones in the tea room. It was the most peaceful experience. The room was beautifully lit by soft sunlight which streamed in from the rows of windows that lined every edge of the outer wall. Flowers lined the window ledges and a lovely bouquet decorated each table.

The food was delicious, the tea selection vast. And yes, as our guidebook had warned us, it was a bit touristy, but impeccably so. If you go, and you should, take your tea in the morning at the first open spot, arrive a bit early, and enjoy the fifteen minutes of peaceful elegance before the rest of the tourists filter in.

For more about our trip to Butchart Gardens, click here.
To visit the website for the gardens, click here.

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