I had never been to a High Tea before, and Mother’s Day seemed like the perfect opportunity to see what it was all about. It’s really the ultimate girly experience! When you were little how many times did you have a tea party? And were boys ever welcome? Probably not, unless you had a little brother and he was the next best thing compared to your Cabbage Patch doll. Ok so maybe there was a boy invited by default, but otherwise a tea party was more of a girls-only event that was all about drinking from fancy tea cups and enjoying some gossip.
There are many different places across the city to enjoy High Tea, but I really wanted to experience it at the Shangri-La. A reservation was required (I made mine one month in advance!), and we were there for a few hours and didn’t see a free table. High Tea Service is normally 2pm-5pm daily at the Shangri-La.
We decided to use the convenice of the hotel’s valet parking. It’s so lovely to just stop your car right out front, have an attendant help you out of your car (this is always helpful when wearing impossibly high heels), and walk straight into the venue without worrying about a thing. Since we were staying for tea, valet parking was only $15.00.
Right inside the front door is the receiption for the Lobby Lounge, where afternoon tea is served. The two-story lobby itself is opulent, complete with beautiful fireplaces, art lining the walls, and a grand piano. Nothing seems more grand than having a piano player next to your table while having tea! He played everything from his own rendition of “Imagine”, to that song from My Best Friend’s Wedding when in the movie Julia Robert’s realizes she isn’t going to win the guy. Trust me, you would know the song if you heard it. I really need to watch that movie again. Sorry, back to tea!
Once we were seating we were given a menu which included all of the tea’s they had to offer. Each of us was given a pot of tea of our choice, which was nice because you could try the tea’s that the other people at your table ordered. I had the Vanilla Roobois tea which I knew I liked because it’s my favourite tea from Starbucks.
We were all very happy with our tea choices (we also ordered their Green Tea and Earl Grey tea), which wasn’t an easy choice since they actually have 68 to choose from! Luckily they narrowed down the selection of those 68 on the menu so you don’t agonize over your choice for too long.
I was worried before we got there that the sandwiches and desserts would not be enough to fill us up. It just seemed like in all of the photos that I saw, what was served at tea was just an afternoon snack and not really a lunch. I was completely wrong! We couldn’t finish all that was there. There were three sandwiches of each kind on our tray so we could all have an equal amount, plus there was a batch of mini house made scones which were still warm from the oven. By the time we got to dessert I am embarrassed to say that we couldn’t even finish what we had! When we were finished with our tea we packed a few items to go, which I would have never guessed would happen.
The cost per person for the High Tea on Mother’s Day was $40 per person, plus tax and gratuity. As I mentioned this really could be done as a lunch, and because of the lovely experience as well I would say this price was very much worth it.
I like to mention whether or not kids are welcome when I attend things like this, and my answer would be yes and no.
While there I saw a baby around the 6 month mark who seemed very happy to be there! He was obviously there with his momma and family, and he loved watching the piano player. I also saw a few little girls around the age of 7 who were dressed up in pretty party dresses enjoying tea as well.
The tables were very low so I wouldn’t say that a high chair would work necessarily. It’s one of those things where older children would probably love to be at a grown up tea party, but my two year old would despise being there since he wouldn’t be able to touch anything! My overall opinion would be this is an adult type of event, unless you have a well-behaved baby or a young child who would love to act like a grown up and have a tea party with the adults.
The Shangri-La Toronto is located at 188 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario.
For reservations call 647-788-8888