The love and romance surrounding Valentine’s isn’t over just yet here on Ate by Ate! Besides cupcakes and cake pops and heart-shaped tins of M&Ms, there was also tea – and lots of it! Surrounded by darling tea cups and teapots, plush seats, and the softest scones imaginable, I sat back and soaked in a sweet and romantic afternoon tea in the bright and lush royal purple tea room at the Windsor Arms Hotel in celebration of Valentine’s.
As the years go by, I often reflect on all the special memories I’ve made during holidays and special occasions and undoubtedly, memories of Valentine’s past fit into this ever-growing mental scrapbook of mine. Valentine’s past have been chock full of movies (which have become some of my favourite movies of all time), dessert dates, delicious dinners, cupcakes, sushi, visits to my favourite garden, Allan Gardens, and most recently, even a heart-shaped pizza! I love doing different things for special occasions and having new things to look forward to on those particular days, so I thought, “why not do an afternoon tea for Valentine’s? It would be perfect!” Sweet petit fours, my boyfriend’s favourite scones, my love of tea, and delicious food in a fairytale-like atmosphere. It doesn’t get any sweeter than that.
Given how much we had enjoyed our very first afternoon tea at Windsor Arms over a year ago, my heart was set on afternoon tea with my boyfriend as a little Valentine’s treat and I had a day plan in mind all ready to go. I love making plans and planning “fun days”. The joy I get from concocting these elaborate schemes stems from three things. One, I’ve been conditioned to get the most out of my public transit spending. If I’m going to be purchasing and using tickets and tokens to be out and about anyway, I’m going to make the most out of my day and that means cramming in as many activities and errands as possible. Two, after being at the mercy of a topsy-turvy university schedule that didn’t leave me with a lot of time to myself for six and a half years, I relish the time I have to enjoy an entire day full of my favourite things and activities and in this case. And last, because my boyfriend surprised me with a romantic day all planned out on our very first date, I’ve loved doing multiple things in a day, especially with him. To have a specific day to look forward to like this, centred around tea and nibbles and making Valentine’s memories, is simply wonderful to me.
The afternoon tea ended up being more wonderful than I had expected! I loved my first experience, but this time was even better. Not only did I fall crazy in love with my tea and food, but I also took a mini tour of the majestic hotel (paying a visit to the ladies’ room on the 2nd floor will make you awestruck on the way there and on the way back like that) and I also found out some new information about the dining at Windsor Arms previously unbeknowst to me (hint: vegan menus abound!) that make me so much more excited about visiting the hotel again! With a new menu, different teas and nibbles, and a tea room full of happy tea sippers, the place was abuzz with love and friendship. Here’s a sneak peek at my Valentine’s afternoon tea.
The Windsor Arms Hotel is located at 18 Saint Thomas Street, just south of Bloor St. W, between Bay St. and Avenue Rd. From Monday to Wednesday tea is served in 4 sittings: 12:30, 1:00, 3:00, 3:30, and from Thursday to Sunday 5:30 and 6:00 as well. Teas are available at a range of prices, from $18/person to $45/person, with different menus for each price point. Visit the Windsor Arms Hotel website for prices and menus.