Archive | YYZtea RSS feed for this section

The Art of Tasting Tea

14 Mar

In YYZGourmand’s 2014 Food Forcast, I declared that 2014 would see a rise of the tea sommelier. My reasoning was that how could you see a rise in popular tea culture with brands such as David’s Tea and Teavana popping up at speed of Starbucks, without the emergence of the experts. I would argue that stand alone coffee houses and espresso bars flourished at the same time that Starbucks did – while Starbucks introduced so many people to the ritual of expensive coffees and lattes in the morning, others searched for something that was more “authentic” and free of the ubiquitous brand and lingo. I would say that now something similar is happening with tea culture in North America (or atleast Toronto!). Many people appreciate tea and yet not many of us know much about the traditions, rituals and cultural practice of drinking tea.

So, what does a budding tea enthusiast do? Find a way to learn – and consume!- more.

IMG_4625

On February 18th, the Art Gallery of Ontario hosted an Introduction to Tea workshop, presented by Diane Borsato at the gallery’s FRANK restaurant. It was as instructive and interactive as you would hope an adult class at the AGO would be, and as delicious and memorable as any culinary experience at FRANK has proven to be. Diane Borsato was the perfect instructor for the class. An artist, who was the artist-in-residence at the AGO in the fall of 2013, she is also a tea enthusiast – one who is actually pursuing becoming tea sommelier. Her interest in tea has steeped into her art practice, and informed her views on cultural practice and values.

Diane Borsato’s workshop didn’t start with drinking tea, she opened by sharing a brief history of tea and made us confront a number of our tea stereotypes and understand its spiritual beginnings. By giving a deeper meaning to our everyday consumption, we we were ready to reassess and better appreciate what we would otherwise down mindlessly.

Tea culture has allowed for many tea enthusiasts to forgo tea bags for the richer taste of full leaf tea. Diane had selected to focus on mostly Chinese teas (except for one Japanese tea), all full leaf. Much like with wine tastings, we started with the lightest of flavours, white, followed by green tea (both Chinese and Japanese itierations), Oolong, Black (or red tea as it is called in China!) and Pu-erh.

My friend Ian's first try at pouring us tea. By the end of the class the linen was soaked!

My friend Ian’s first try at pouring us tea. By the end of the class the linen was soaked!

As much as I like it think that I love tea, it was the first time that I had taken the time to take note of the appearance of the dry leaves, the colour of the brew, the aroma and the taste… and discuss it in a group. Elevating the tea drinking experience to that of a wine tasting almost made more sense. After too much wine, my taste buds are dull and my mind is less sharp… with tea, the caffeine sharpened everything.

Would you like that steeped?

Would you like that steeped?

The tasting, while lead by Diane Borsato, was an active experience that encouraged each table to share their ideas and participate in creating the teas. First, we heated the water in kettles that had more temperature settings than “boil” – and measuring the water temperature with a thermostat. We practised the chaou brewing method: placing the water in a porcelain cup, adding the tea, letting it steep and pouring it with the use of a lid. This proved to the difficult for the inexperienced!

Of course, the experience wouldn’t have been complete with out complimenting food. We were at FRANK, after all.

FRANK food! :)

While I love scones with tea, it was a relief to go beyond the confines of the typical “Afternoon Tea” foods. Instead, we were able to enjoy a small seaweed salad, dimsum and a fried pork belly. This was appropriate as we were focusing on Chinese teas, and absolutely delicious! It was paired thoughtfully with the green tea.

desert!

At the end of the tasting, light headed on our caffeine consumption (I perhaps indulged in the teas I liked best!), came dessert. I’m ashamed to say that by this point I was no longer taking notes about the food, but instead the art which has been inspired by tea culture, class, and the place of women as tea consumers. The most famous of which is Meret Oppenheim’s Object. It was perhaps the first time since a 2nd year Art History course that I had seen the image. I would be doing Ms. Borsato a disservice if I shared all of the artists and artworks which she shared, but she did successfully introduce me to my new favourite artist, the mischevious David Shrigley.

David Shrigley's Anti-Psychotic Tea Blent

David Shrigley’s Anti-Psychotic Tea Blent

Overall, the event was well executed, well thought out, informative and remarkably fun. I was fearful of writing about a one off event and making other Toronto based tea drinkers jealous, but I found out that Diane Borsato will be hosting a second Introduction to Tea class on Tuesday, April 8th. If you’re a serious tea drinker and you are able to book the afternoon off, I strongly suggest checking this event out!

Unable to meet with Diane Borsato in person and take part in her class? I strongly suggest that you check out her tea blog, TeaCloud. It is best enjoyed with a cup (or pot!) of tea.

 

Advertisements

Toronto Tea Festival – February 1 & 2

28 Jan

Tea is the new coffee. No, tea is the new smoothie!

Tea drinkers have recently become spoiled for choice in the city. This weekend, they even have their own festival. The Toronto Tea Festival, in its second year, showcases tea, tea ware and experts performing traditional ceremonies and giving talks. Last year, over 1200 people turned up to get their Puerh on, which is why they’ve expanded the event to two days.

We love tea here at YYZ. We can’t wait to see the Japanese tea ceremony and learn about the finer points of “Tea in Contemporary Art.” If you’re checking this out, make sure you come and find us and tell us your favourite thing about the event!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Toronto Tea Festival, 2013 (Source: Lisa Gao)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Toronto Tea Festival, 2013 (Source: Lisa Gao)

2013 Toronto Tea Festival57

Toronto Tea Festival, 2013 (Source: Lisa Gao)

Toronto Tea Festival

Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library
February 1 & 2, 10 – 5
Tickets: $15/ day or $25 for the weekend

YYZ’s Food Forecast for 2014

15 Jan

2013 was an exciting year for food in Toronto, which was one of the reasons we started this blog: to support and promote the impressive culinary advances in our fine city.But what’s in store for 2014? From the three editors of YYZ, we present our Food Forecast 2014:

 

Kimchi is the new bacon*

That pretty much says it all. It’s as if the food industry, and Toronto in particular, who embraced the porcine trend to the tilt, is suffering bacon exhaustion. What will replace it as a fun and flirty garnish? Why the more veggie friendly and delicious kimchi. I’m all over it. — Cherry

 

The rise of the tea somelier

Tea is the new coffee. 2013 was the rise of tea shops in the city and their counterpart: the tea snobs… and now tea someliers? Yes, they exist. Will they introduce you to the aromas of the bouquet and how it will compliment your meal (or high tea)? I hope so. — Cherry

 

Tea’s skinnier & trendier cousin is Kombucha

We all need to eat more fermented foods. Kombucha is fermented tea and there are several Canadian companies offering unique and creative flavour combinations in their brews. My healthy belly needs to see this in more mainstream supermarkets! — Clementine

 

What is charcuterie?

One of my professors asked me that once. Now it seems like every establishment has a charcuterie and cheese course. I only have time for places that cure their own meats and make their own terrines like Le Select. If you want to make a plate at home, visit Sanagan’s Meat Locker in Kensington Market. — Clementine

 

Where else can I use these communal tongs?

Korean DIY BBQ joints exploded all over Toronto 10 years ago and I think in 2014 hot pot restaurants will steadily continue their rise.  Typically winter fare, it’s a different way for friends to huddle around a heat source and cook their own food.  Like Korean BBQ, it’s pretty meat and seafood heavy.  Unlike Korean BBQ it’s less smokey. — Alice

 

100 miles between the farmer’s field and my plate

More and more people have been committing to eat and shop local.  Leveraging the best of what our season and geography has to offer not only keeps our farming economy strong and reduces the carbon footprint of long-haul importing, but it truly provides the best tasting and nutrient-dense produce possible. Also, if you’re able to have a conversation with the farmer or get out to the farm and see it for yourself, you can learn what exactly is going into your body.  It’s a no-brainer win-win-win situation.  We’ll continue to see a rise in farmer market attendance and organizations such as Fresh City Farms.  — Alice

 

1 step between me and my food

In the same train of thought as above, people concerned about the source of their food are starting to take an interest in foraging.  With mushroom and morel identification seminars popping up, as well as field guides for edible wild flowers, and a resolve to return to Sudbury to pick more wild blueberries, I think 2014 will be when more and more people decide to forage for fun. — Alice

 

The most exciting part? It will take a full year of serious data collection (=meals out/nights out) and analysis (=blog writing!) to figure out where our predictions fell. Think we’re wrong? That we missed something that will later stun our taste buds and shape the city’s food culture? Share it with us in the comments!

 

* This one has been on my mind for a while! See if you can spot where I first mentioned it in this FS Local article.

Unpretentious whimsy: Afternoon Tea at Red Tea Box

21 Oct

I was surprised when my friend Gen said that she loved going out for high tea. My surprise reveals a bias that I’ve internalized from past High Tea experiences: that it is reserved for stuffy old people, or people who wear fascinators on a regular basis. Gen is neither of these. I don’t think I’ve seen her wear anything other than jeans or athletic gear. Maybe you’re now the one who is surprised?

For our first High Tea outing, I proposed we hit up Red Tea Box. I had last been years ago, thought it was awesome but out of the way… and now it’s in my neighhourhood. Much like how I could barely believe the sporty Gen would be into the ritual of afternoon tea, my 2006 self would barely be able to imagine living on Queen West. Both welcome surprises.

It was a pleasure to experience afternoon tea with someone who was so knowledgeable about the city’s offerings. Gen was impressed by the vast tea selection at Red Tea Box. I went for the classical lavendar earl gray – which was deemed popular but unadventurous by our server (she was correct). Gen’s more complex darjeeling tea order was greeted with a knowing nod.

 

Pots of tea for you and me!

Pots of tea for you and me!

 

The food selection was limited to three offerings, all 27$ (including the tea) but far away from the tired classics of scones and petits fours. Instead, Red Tea Box’s menu is styled as a Bento box : sandwiches, desserts and fruit, all so beautifully arranged that I felt almost guilty for eating it.

The design at Red Tea Box is just as carefully curated as the food. Asian inspired design dominates: chinoiserie furniture, food served in a Japanese bento box, the textiles… and yet it also reminds of the comforting clutter of a beloved grandma’s house. And just like at grandma’s house, you leave feeling full and happy.

Artful arrangements make things so much more appetizing, non?

Artful arrangements make things so much more appetizing, non?

My only critique is with how the tea is served. The pot is fun and it fit in with the decor, but at a place that claims to be as serious about tea as Red Tea Box does, it should know that those pots over steep the teas and leave the tea at the bottom cold and over – the ability to take out the tea leaves allows the tea drinker greater control over their tea flavour potency. But that snobby attitude has no business being at Red Tea Box, so I will better enjoy the tea next time by sharing a pot.

 

Red Tea Box on Urbanspoon

Midtown tea time!

13 Aug

It’s been a while since I’ve found a fun new place to get good tea. It’s been since never that there was a fun place to do so close to where I live. This makes my visit at de Mello Palheta yesterday even more exciting. The “discovery” of de Mello is entirely thanks to my good friend Helen. We were both off adventuring in July, me in Ecuador, and Helen in Europe (Turkey! Croatia! Czech Republic! Germany!) and were both in need of a major catch up. We shared stories of having wonderful “friendship flings” that enrich your experience of a place, and meeting dumb-dumbs who have found themselves in amazing places … and we even agreed that as wonderful and life changing as travel is, it can make you appreciate home in a way you never thought possible.

We did some of our chatting over brunch, that Helen made for me! (I know. I’m never going to grow up if people keep cooking for me.) This is one of the things that she does well. Cooking and illuminating conversations. Oh, and introducing me to cool new coffee shops. After brunch, we moved our epic chat over too de Mello Palheta. I wish I had taken a photo of the exterior, as the design on the building made me think it was almost better suited to Kensington or Queen West, instead of Yonge and Eglington, and more specifically: across from a Tommy Bahama. Who thought something situated across from a Tommy Bahama, and north of Bloor, could ever be so cool?

But I guess Gen Yers are moving into the neighbourhood to grow their families and want a little taste of downtown tea (well, mostly coffee) culture cool. The cold coffee drips at de Mello are supposed to be amazing. I have no comment about this because I don’t drink coffee. Instead I got a China breakfast (black) tea and a cheddar cheese scone. If you’d like to know what two of my favourite things are, look at our twitter profile photo. Oh, what did you see? Tea and a scone.

Loose leaf tea and a good selection of sweets + scones? I'm yours!

Loose leaf tea and a good selection of sweets + scones?       I’m yours!

The tea and the scone were both excellent! They even refilled my tea with hot water, no fuss. This shouldn’t be worth noting, but I’ve gotten scowls over this before. Not here. The service deserves just as much praise as their tea selection. Here’s why:

Soon after Helen left and I attempted to get some work on my computer. I wasn’t alone in working at de Mello’s, but my laptop was losing power so I was considering packing up and going home if there wasn’t a near by outlet. A server saw me looking around and she actually asked me “Were you looking for an extension cord?”. I could barely believe that a server could be so accommodating to someone working in a cafe! After she provided me with an extension cord I bought yet another drink – this time a sweetened Ginger tangerie white iced tea. I nursed it through a metal straw – that I’d only ever seen people use for mate! – while attempting to work.

Want me to stay at your establishment and say nice things? Be nice and have awesome tea. I'm easy like that!

Want me to stay at your establishment and say nice things? Be nice and have awesome tea. I’m easy like that!

For those of you who live “outside the city” (aka north of Bloor) as I do, let’s meet here and try more of their teas and share a dessert. And maybe attempt to get some work done!

 

The Walper Hotel v. Harry Ten Schilling

26 Jul

Tea is the new black. Instead of the ubiquitous Starbucks cups smug yuppies have clung to in the past ten years (skinny latte with a whisper of cinnamon and ten sweet n’ lows, please!) as evidence of their sophistication and discerning taste, this tribe now demands only the most unique and high quality loose-leaf blends! Corporate America has obliged and fitted every shopping center with a David”s Tea or Teavanna. Both these outlets offer a satisfactory hot bevy, but if you’ve had the real thing, you realize that their teas are mostly overpriced and just too strange! David’s Tea created a blend for Valentines Day that included candy lips! Gross.  It’s strange to see tea become such a phenomenon. I remember when one of the few places you could get loose leaf tea in the city was the Tea Emporium (I remember it was tucked away in Hazleton Lanes but I haven’t seen it on my most recent visits).

Cherry has described her afternoon tea ventures in previous post – she’s probably one of the few people I know who was also into tea before the hype. She just prefers it to coffee. Me? I drink tea because it’s what little old English ladies do, according to all the books I read growing up and the PBS specials I’ve watched, and if you’ve ever met me, I’m a wee bit of an anglophile.

The practice of afternoon tea has also experienced a rise in popularity. It’s suddenly the go-to treat for mothers, daughters, and grandmothers. It’s where the older generation passes on etiquette to their progeny (no clinking glasses!) and where little girls sashay around in their frilly dresses and partake in this very mature and ladylike ritual. This tiny snack, typically served between 4-6 pm, also punctuates dates with one’s girlfriends — after a long day of shopping in wide brimmed hats, too large sunglasses and carrying all sorts cumbersome bags! It’s a fairly gendered activity at least in our popular imagination.*

In this post, fair reader, we will be dissecting Afternoon Tea at two lovely getaway destinations.

IMG_2175

Walper Hotel, Kitchener

Menu Tea Ambiance Notes
The Walper Hotel(Kitchener, ON) Three tiers– lemon tarts, éclairs- cumcumber, salmon, and chicken salad finger sandwiches, as well as gougères-lemon cranberry and cheese scones served with clotted cream and jamsVerdict:The sandwiches were packed with flavour! The chicken salad (including fresh herbs, shallots, and roasted chicken) was the unanimous favourite. The scones were buttery and crumbled in your mouth!The desserts were only ok – they were on the sweet side. For me, it was just to warm to enjoy them. A selection of black, green, and fruit teas.We ordered: Jasmine, Darjeeling, English BreakfastI ordered the Darjeeling (a nod to afternoon teas commonwealth/ imperial roots) and found the tea lacking in any floral aroma. It was a reliable palate cleanser but nothing extraordinary. There’s nothing like an old hotel – the way your shoes clack on the hardwood floors and the booming acoustics.A grand piano playing classics hummed in the background of our conversations.The tables were a tad too big to allow for intimate conversation and there was no air-conditioning. Also, the hotel is undergoing renovations and so there was only one working bathroom on the floor. The table was decorated with a simple purple flower in an old perrier bottle. Simply elegant.They only do one sitting a day, so we arrived to see my name on a tiny card to note our reservation.Was slightly annoyed to be seated next to the hallway that lead to the bathrooms. It added to the humidity already in the room.
Harry Ten Schilling(Shakespeare/ Stratford ON) – a selection of cakes/ tarts; cheese and chutney, egg salad as well as tomato and cucumber sandwiches; scones: cheese and raisinVerdict: The cheese and chutney/ cucumber were the stand-out sandwiches. LOVED that they were served on fluffy white bread. The scones – cheese and raisin – were fluffy and still warm (though I suspect the heat source was a microwave and not fresh from the oven). The one thing I didn’t love was the rhubarb crumble. The crumbly bits were all goopy and melted into the compote. I only had the tiniest of bites.  – an overwhelming selection of teas that covered a double-sided printed page. I ordered a white tea and HoM ordered the earl grey with lavender. We even got a tiny bag of the latter to go it was so lightly floral and lovely!  – The store seems to sell vintage-finds/ crafts in the front and have a seating room in the back. The room is bright and spacious (filled with grand, dark wooded dinner tables) and the tables were set with mismatching china. Charming: each table had different ceramic milk dispenser!
– lovely background music (soundtrack to Dragonheart)
– I was worried about this place because of a pretty bad review on trip advisor. They also don’t have a great website and didn’t answer their phone (we left a message to make our reservation and tried on THREE occasions to confirm via phone). Another odd thing: we tried to convey how much we liked the experience to the owner but she was blunt and emotionless. She seemed more interested in finding out what the Walper did – she was not especially friendly. Though, our waitress was pleasant!

IMG_2199 IMG_2196

Conclusion: Harry Ten Schilling wins in ambiance and simple but tasty food offerings. It feels like an old fashioned experience (with clinking fine bone china) in contrast to the Walper, which was working out kinks in a highly polished hotel tea service. Their chicken sandwich was mind-blowing – explosive flavour in a tiny package. I loved being in an old hotel and listening to live music. It’s so old world. I also loved the art work throughout the hotel (Charles Pachter, I think!). I didn’t love that the tiered cake stand was sitting on the table when I got there (with no one to explain the selection of treats) and I didn’t love the clunky white ceramic mugs. The waitstaff was pleasant but not as enamoured as we with tea service. I could see myself loving the Walper tea with a few improvements. For now, if you’re on a day trip to Stratford, make sure you stop in at Harry Ten Schilling.

*Note: I am sure burly lumberjack-type pen partake in afternoon tea. I drag Mr. HoM to tea houses all over, for example, and he brings a definite build-a-fire-type masculine energy to our excursions!

 

For the downtown tea lover

27 May

I don’t drink coffee. I could just claim that I don’t appreciate the bitterness of the taste, which is true, but my dislike runs even deeper: I can barely stand the smell of congested coffee houses. I also don’t like espresso flavoured anything: cake, chocolate, ice cream… Please don’t pass any my way. But the exception does make the rule: I will never refuse chocolate covered coffee beans (especially before a night out).

But who doesn’t like a warm liquid beverage in the morning while they read the newspaper? Or on your afternoon break? I understand the ritual of a cup of coffee. I perform the same ritual, but with a cup of tea.

Until a couple of years ago, tea culture was lagging behind the coffee house culture. It wasn’t easy to get a good cup of tea while at work unless you brought your own. This is absolutely fine – and I still do it at times, but it didn’t provide you a reason to stretch your legs and looks at the world outside your office building for a few minutes.

There are a few really great places to get an excellent cup of tea. Balzac’s sells my beloved French tea brand, Thé Mariage Frères. But they aren’t situated close enough to work that I can just walk over for a quick break. Instead, I am really downtown. Last year, in search of a quick lunch at The Grange food court (across from OCAD and close to the AGO, just off of McCaul street), I noticed a place called the Coffee Exchange (UGH! why all the coffee!) that had HUGE sign for Kusmi tea! So promising!

Continue reading

For the downtown tea lover

27 May

I don’t drink coffee. I could just claim that I don’t appreciate the bitterness of the taste, which is true, but my dislike runs even deeper: I can barely stand the smell of congested coffee houses. I also don’t like espresso flavoured anything: cake, chocolate, ice cream… Please don’t pass any my way. But the exception does make the rule: I will never refuse chocolate covered coffee beans (especially before a night out).

But who doesn’t like a warm liquid beverage in the morning while they read the newspaper? Or on your afternoon break? I understand the ritual of a cup of coffee. I perform the same ritual, but with a cup of tea.

Until a couple of years ago, tea culture was lagging behind the coffee house culture. It wasn’t easy to get a good cup of tea while at work unless you brought your own. This is absolutely fine – and I still do it at times, but it didn’t provide you a reason to stretch your legs and looks at the world outside your office building for a few minutes.

There are a few really great places to get an excellent cup of tea. Balzac’s sells my beloved French tea brand, Thé Mariage Frères. But they aren’t situated close enough to work that I can just walk over for a quick break. Instead, I am really downtown. Last year, in search of a quick lunch at The Grange food court (across from OCAD and close to the AGO, just off of McCaul street), I noticed a place called the Coffee Exchange (UGH! why all the coffee!) that had HUGE sign for Kusmi tea! So promising!

Continue reading

More routine than enchanting: Afternoon Tea at the Windsor Arms

14 Apr

The first time I went for high tea I was 8 years old and it was at The Empress in Victoria, BC. I wore my best dress and went with my mom and grandmother. It was there that I first ate cucumber sandwiches and petit fours. The servers all made me feel special and I was delighted at how grown up I felt. It was absolutely lovely and it is a memory that I cherish.

A couple of decades later, I wonder if it was one of the contributing factors that led me to being a tea drinker instead of a coffee drinker. It might very well be. I have never topped the experience of The Empress, instead going to fun but eclectic places like Red Tea Box in Toronto and discovering favourite tea brands (such as Thé Mariage Frères and Harney & Sons , both also mentioned in this post). I once had a lovely (but somewhat lonely) experience of High Tea in San Francisco at the Samovar Tea Lounge.  And people who know me sometimes bring me back tea from their travels. If it is not yet clear: I love tea, the ritual of drinking it and sharing this time with others.

It is with this «tea baggage» (I’d hate to say «my tea bags»!) that brought with me to my experience at the Windsor Arms. I had suggested to my mother last Mother’s Day that we go for High Tea. It takes a long time to negotiate a day that she is willing to change her routine and to come downtown. With my Dad out of town, it finally seemed like a good time! And so, on one of the wettest and coldest days last week, I took an afternoon off work and we went to Windsor Arms Afternoon Tea. They have 4 seatings: 12:30pm, 1pm and 3pm and 3:30pm. The 1pm seating fit best with our schedule.

There are three rooms where you can possibly be seated the first is the one which you see off to the left of the entrance of the hotel: cream frou frou (where we were), a modern deep purple room (which looked warmer and more welcoming but I was told we were unable to sit in because it was for the 12:30 seating… even if there were tables available), and a small red room which looked the most enchanting but wasn’t even open.

Like most High Teas (or Afternoon Teas as they all seem to be called), the menu was set but we were able to choose our own teas. The selection was good but not overwhelming and we were both happy with our choices. The set menu? Let’s begin with what I loved. The scones were really really fantastic : light, warm and full of flavour! There were four, two of each: plain, lemon and blueberry. There was a hint of sweetness, and my mom noted that they had lightly covered them in icing sugar. I was very decadent and enjoyed the scones with the Devon cream and rhubarb preserves.

But everything else on the tiered platter was lacking, which resulted in the food being uneven. The sandwiches? As my mom noted, there was more salmon on a tiny piece of sushi from Metro. The cucumber sandwich? Soggy. Actually, I don’t even know why they are called sandwiches. They were creamy bread sushi. Pretty presentation. But we didn’t touch half of them. The mini desserts? Just OK and not actually petit fours. One saving grace was that we were asked if we wanted too take it all home and were given the classiest «doggy bag» which I’ve ever seen. The food portion was saved by ending it with raspberry sorbet.

One of the defining parts of my experience at The Empress was the service and the feeling of being «special». There was none of that at the Windsor Arms. The server did his job, but nothing more. Meaning, everything was served to us instead of being spilled on us. But if you’re looking going out for an «experience» you want more than just food being placed in front of you, right? I found the lack of flexibility for room choice somewhat frustrating. Then, our server required us to repeat all our requests, not because we were needy or asking things that were outlandish, but because he wasn’t paying attention.

What was missing to make the space, and therefore the experience «special»? As my mom said: «They need live music. Ideally, a harpist.» How right she is!

My biggest issue with Afternoon Tea at the Windsor Arms was that the experience seemed too routine for the staff. And if you do it every day, it is! But when this becomes obvious to your customers, you’re failing at your job. This could also be said of whoever makes those horrible sandwiches. It’s time to change it up and re-invest in something that is obviously bringing so many people in – and at 35$ a head during the week (and 42$ on the weekend and 50$ on holidays!) , a high mark up for what they are providing.

The space has so much potential. This is why I hope they can up their game and start offering an Afternoon Tea which people will remember fondly, instead of just being OK with at the time.

Windsor Arms Tea Room on Urbanspoon