Jul 032017
 

Afternoon tea at Gatsby Mansion in Victoria, British Columbia

Taking tea in a historic home in Canada’s most British city, Victoria, British Columbia

The city of Victoria, British Columbia on Canada’s West Coast is known as the most British city in Canada. What can be more British than afternoon tea, with fancy sandwiches, scones and clotted cream? Afternoon tea remains an honoured tradition in the city.

The most iconic spot for afternoon tea is the historic Fairmont Empress Hotel, which has been serving tea since 1908. There are also other great places in the city to take your afternoon tea. Like Pendray Restaurant at the Gatsby Mansion, where my sister and I spent a casual and elegant afternoon.

Afternoon tea at the Gatsby Mansion in Victoria, British Columbia

One of two dining areas inside the Gatsby Mansion

In 1875, William J. Pendray come to Victoria. He invested money he’d made from the gold rush and started a soap factory. The Queen Anne style Gatsby Mansion was built across from the inner harbour in the 1890s for Pendray and his family. His new home had painted frescoes on the ceilings and windows of stained glass shipped from Italy.

Afternoon tea at the Gatsby Mansion in Victoria, British Columbia

Today Gatsby Mansion is a boutique bed-and-breakfast operated as part of the Huntingdon Manor Hotel. Pendray Restaurant on the main floor offers a traditional Victoria Afternoon Tea.

Afternoon tea at the Gatsby Mansion in Victoria, British Columbia

Afternoon tea at the Gatsby Mansion in Victoria, British Columbia

The tea comes with fresh-baked scones, local fruit jam, devon-style cream, assorted tea sandwiches and signature pastries. A West Coast variation replaces the starter dish of berries with a cup of local crab bisque, and the egg salad and chicken salad sandwiches with sandwiches of baby shrimp and sablefish brandlade. Both versions of the tea include cucumber with lemon-dill cream cheese and smoked salmon pinwheel sandwiches.

Crab bisque at Afternoon tea at the Gatsby Mansion in Victoria, British Columbia

Crab bisque

Our server poured tea into our cups in a circular motion. When I asked about that, she said it was an old tradition. Pouring tea in a clockwise manner welcomes your guest; pouring tea in an anticlockwise manner signals you’d like them to leave. She said she hadn’t yet poured anticlockwise. I was not able to find any information online to validate this tradition, but I did discover that there are a wealth of tea superstitions, including that stirring your tea anticlockwise spells trouble.

Afternoon tea at the Gatsby Mansion in Victoria, British Columbia

Afternoon tea at Gatsby Mansion will cost around $50. Afternoon tea at the Empress is $75 or more. Other places for tea in Victoria, at varying prices, include James Bay Tea Room, Abkhazi Garden, the White Heather Tea Room, the Hotel Grand Pacific, and Venus Sophia.

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PIN ITAfternoon tea at the historic Gatsby Mansion in Victoria, British Columbia, the most British city in Canada

  6 Responses to “Afternoon Tea at Gatsby Mansion in Victoria”

  1. I guess you should expect someplace named Victoria to have a British air about it. The mansion looks really beautiful.

  2. Oh, this looks like a place that I would really enjoy seeing with its elegant antiques and stained glass windows. And the goodies served with the tea look delish! This sounds like a fun sister’s getaway!

  3. How utterly lovely your photos are, Donna. I fell in love with afternoon teas in Wales, but have not tried to find anything like it at home. Yet. I think this is yet another wonderful treat for where you live!

    • Thanks RoseMary. You should look and see if you can find an afternoon tea experience near home. It wouldn’t be quite like being in Wales, but might bring back nice memories.

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