If you love afternoon tea, this is for you. Historic Hotels Worldwide just released a list of the top afternoon tea experiences around the world, and not one, but two BC hotels made the cut. With a collection of over 300 authentic historic hotels in over 46 countries to draw from, this is quite an accomplishment!

The Top 25 Historic Hotels Worldwide Afternoon Tea Experiences list is a semi-annual ranking offering travellers the inside scoop on the best places to immerse themselves in the Victorian British tradition.

Dating back to the mid-19th century, afternoon tea was created by the 7th Duchess of Bedford Anna Russell, who also happened to be Queen Victoria’s “Lady of the Bedchamber,” according to Historic Hotels Worldwide. The Duchess apparently coined the new meal because she no longer wanted to wait so long between “luncheon and supper,” which we can definitely relate to.

Now, for the ranking. The two BC hotels that were recognized for upholding the tradition are the Fairmont Empress in Victoria and Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

Fairmont Empress

The former has been designated as a National Historic Site of Canada, and as such, has hosted everyone from British royalty to some of the biggest names in entertainment.

“For its resplendent afternoon tea, the culinary team at Fairmont Empress creates decadent pastries and sandwiches that celebrate the history and character of the hotel, presented with a flourish on a tiered fine china tea service.”

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Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Likewise, since opening in 1939, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver has been impressing guests and visitors alike with their amazing afternoon tea offerings.

“An afternoon tea menu from the 1930s, preserved in the hotel archives, reveals the longstanding traditional menu: the hotel offered toasted raisin scones with preserves, assorted fancy sandwiches, parfait, lady fingers, and tea or coffee for 50 cents. In 2016, the hotel relaunched its longstanding traditional afternoon tea service as a rotating themed afternoon tea.”


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The theme of their afternoon tea service changes four times a year, according to the ranking, and the hotel’s Notch8 is known for adding in a “playful mix” of traditional and innovative fare.

Past themes include Old World Carnival, Enchanted Forest, and Chess, and now, Vancouverites can partake in a stunning Cherry-Blossom-themed afternoon tea experience.

And that’s a wrap on the ranking, Vancouver. If you love afternoon tea or want to treat yourself and your loved ones to a new experience this season, these are some great spots to do it.