Windsor Arms Hotel: A Whimsical Romp With Tea
Tea can be a quick cup to refresh, a morning habit to wake up to, a healthy ritual to abide by, or a gilded affair to celebrate achievement to. Tea is ritual embodied.
Afternoon tea is an institution. Whether to relax with a cuppa’ on a Sunday afternoon with friends and family and slow things down to take stock of life or, to sit down with someone to discourse, tea is the perfect companion to the banal, the everyday; to the extraordinary, filial, and the loved.
If you agree with everything I have just said, even if you just like to spoil yourself with a little fancy every once in a while, you must take tea at the Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto.
It is the perfect way to mark an event worth celebrating or to treat yourself if you feel like a fancy but relaxing outing. I would even consider taking a date: there is something special about tea — not just the drink itself, but the process and preparation: clinking cups and saucers, boiling water, putting out biscuits and/or snacks, pots of sugar, steeping times, porcelain — that helps refocus attention to the right here and the right now. What a wonderful way to get to know someone or to bask in the company of someone you already know and love. Tea is appreciation; tea is knowing what to appreciate.
I prescribe afternoon tea at least once a week (DIY unless you have limitless funds), preferably on weekends, as part of a healthy lifestyle: mind & body.
The Windsor Arms Tea Room
$18 to $45
HERE’S WHAT I HAD:
The Full Tea consisting of: A choice of looseleaf teas; fresh scones with preserves and Devonshire cream; a selection of sandwiches (in mini-wrap format) including smoked salmon and wasabi sour cream sandwiches topped with salmon caviar, cucumber sandwiches with sundried tomato paste and dill cream cheese, and grilled chicken sandwiches with Granny Smith apples, citrus mayonaise, Greek yoghurt, and chives; a goat cheese and caramelised shallot tart; berries with whipped cream; and, an elegant selection of petits fours topped with gold leaf. Service from Monday to Friday goes for $30 per person; weekends for $38 per person; and, holidays are $43 per person.
Prices may seem steep but you get what you pay for in service, decor, and spread. Tea refills are endless and come in a personal gilded teapot. The tea on offer is top quality looseleaf with several types to choose from. I invariably choose Earl Grey tea. However, there were various blends to choose from, fruit blends to vanilla flavoured.
* As a bonus, without exception, you get more food than you can eat and, without having to ask, you are graciously offered some sturdy tupperware to take home what you haven’t managed to eat… For tea tomorrow!