Crisp white tablecloths, engraved and monogrammed silverware, a doorman opening the grand front door, lush tea rooms, and majestic crystal chandeliers. If the Windsor Arms Hotel makes me feel like a princess, their afternoon tea is a model of royal treatment. After the doorman let myself and my boyfriend in, I was in awe. It wasn’t my first time at the hotel, but I was clearly seeing the hotel lobby and even other parts of the hotel with fresh eyes. There were lush green palms in the lobby, a gorgeous, gigantic chandelier hanging from the high ceiling, and a beautiful balcony view of the lobby and banquet hall courtyard cafe from the 2nd floor of the hotel. I was so thrilled to be here again and I was ready to sit down to a beautiful tea full of tea sandwiches, scones, petit fours, and copious amounts of sweet tea.
I was beyond excited when I decided to go to my first afternoon tea here for Toronto’s Chocolate Festival back in 2010 and I was even more delighted with the prospect of going back for Valentine’s this month. Not only was I looking forward to doing something sweet and romantic (and not to mention delicious) for the occasion of hearts and cupids, but after visiting the Windsor Arms tea menu page I was ecstatic to find out there were new nibbles! I would have been happy receiving the same selection of tea sandwiches and such from the time before, but you know how I feel about new menu items. The full afternoon tea comes with a selection of tea from their tea menu, cream, jam and preserves, scones, tea sandwiches, a mini goat cheese and caramelized shallot puff pastry tarts, fresh strawberries and whipped cream, and petit four desserts.
The menu of tea sandwiches this time around featured a mix of smoked salmon with wasabi sour cream and salmon caviar, cucumber with sundried tomato paste and dill cream cheese, and grilled chicken with granny smith apples, citrus mayo, greek yogurt, and chives. As much as I wanted to inhale the sandwiches with grilled chicken, my allergy to raw apples (and my boyfriend’s throat tickle to raw apples didn’t help the cause either) deterred me so I kindly told the server about this and asked if we could either omit the apples in it or substitute it with something else and our server informed us that he would give us more of the other two types, which was perfectly fine with us. The salmon lovers in us rejoiced!
The entire afternoon tea was fabulous, but what really blew me away was their selection of tea this time! When we were given the tea menu, I flipped it open and was astonished to find pages of tea choices! Not all of their teas are listed on the website so I was taken by surprise in the best way possible. Green tea, white tea, rooibos, the possibilities went on for pages. Windsor Arms had expanded their tea selection ten-fold and I was rapidly reading through loose leaf tea descriptions in an effort to choose one for to enjoy with my food.