A Touch of Class: High Tea at the Windsor Arms

I’m a bit crazy about my tea. At work I have my own teapot that my boss brought in for me after hearing me complain about my tea at work for years. My nana taught me the best way to make tea is to steep it first, in a proper teapot. Then you put your milk and sugar in your cup, and then – and only then – can you pour your steeped tea in the cup. Oh, and the tea better have been steeped for 3 minutes or more. Refills are a must.

My nana doesn’t live in Toronto, but she comes in to town every so often so we can go for lunch or see a play. Every time I see her she tells me about how the nice hotels in Toronto used to always do a good High Tea. There were several sittings throughout the afternoon and you got to sit in a fancy Tea Room and have a proper tea.

My mom and I had the day together so went Christmas shopping together today and afterwards we headed back to the city for a special treat. We escaped the dark, rainy night and ducked into the luxurious Windsor Arms Hotel for High Tea!

The Windsor Arms is located just south of celebrity hotspot Yorkville and the shops on Bloor. It hosts everyone from famous musicians and celebrities to high rollers and jetsetters.

After checking our coats, we took our seats in the Tea Room in front of the cozy fireplace. The hotel effortlessly merges it’s original fireplace (circa 1927) with modern decor. The Windsor Arms offers the classic royal feel of a castle without the drafts, dirty floors and dust. The historic hotel has been outfitted with modern amenities while maintaining it’s classic feel. That means a lot to this history geek.

The Windsor Arms has an amazing tea selection. Our server listened to what we usually like and suggested a “not-too-green” green tea for my Mom and I decided on the “Tibetan Tiger” tea. It was described using the words “chocolate”, “caramel”, “butterscotch” and “dessert tea” so how could I not? An extra surprise – the “Complete Tea” at the Windsor Arms includes sparkling wine and sherry.

Tea also comes with fresh scones with jam and Devon Cream, fresh sandwiches, strawberries and whipped cream and some cute little desserts. I was worried the scones and sandwiches wouldn’t be filling enough to count as dinner, but I left quite full and we couldn’t finish our sandwiches or desserts so we got to bring them home.

You can dress me up, but you can’t take me anywhere. It didn’t take me long at all to knock over my sparkling wine and spill it all over myself and the floor. I’d make a really entertaining princess I bet. I wonder if Hilary Swank and Julia Roberts have ever spilled on the same floor? Rumour has it they visit the Tea Room whenever they are in town.

Impressive, right?

The Windsor Arms does a traditional English tea and my nana would be more than impressed. I’m looking forward to surprising her the next time she is in town! 

Eating like royalty is one thing but we were even treated like queens by the staff at the Windsor Arms. It’s hard to find a dining experience as nice as this that isn’t pretentious or condescending. The Windsor Arms Hotel has certainly prioritized their customer service and have made the High Tea tradition enjoyable for everyone.

One piece of advice: book in advance if you would like an afternoon spot on the weekend. The staff told us their afternoon tea is sometimes reserved one month in advance! I managed to get a table at 5:30pm on a Sunday only a few days in advance, but would have loved to experience the Tea Room with some sun peeking in the windows. Luckily, the hotel is just as gorgeous by night and we got the chance to enjoy tea in front of a warm fire.

High Tea at the Windsor Arms is a large serving of class on a budget.  Today, you can get an even better deal on a great experience through TeamBuy. TeamBuy is offering High Tea for two for only $48! That would normally cost $97. Click here to go to the TeamBuy site and see the deal yourself.
Oh – one more thing. You also get $5 TeamBuy bucks to use towards future purchases on TeamBuy.ca!

I’m buying a few for Nana and I! Who are you going to bring for tea?

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