Monday, April 21, 2008

Afternoon Royal Tea

I finished my last exam on Saturday night! My degree is complete and my convocation will take place in June. Phew. It's been a long time coming. I am now a political scientist, friends. Watch out!

I have several celebrations planned - such as a weekend with Michael (he's writing his last exam right now!) at the Moda Hotel in Vancouver and family time with Mom, Dad, Shannon, Chris AND Baba in June - but the first event already took place: Afternoon Royal Tea at the Empress with Jen.

I was ready to sign up for the plain old Afternoon Tea, but Jen, who has things of her own to celebrate like, you know, her recent marriage, insisted that we fancy it up with a glass of bubbly. I still think the sparkling wine/tea combination is a bit strange, but who am I to judge what the Empress says is appropriate? Anyway, it made for entertaining Sunday afternoon conversation.

Check out the goods! After the sparkling wine and fruit we moved onto tea and treats. The bottom tier features the tea sandwiches: cucumber with light horseradish, smoked salmon pinwheel, mango and curried chicken, carrot and ginger and multigrain crostini topped with a mixed mushroom pate. The middle tier is home to traditional English raisin scones, clotted cream and strawberry preserves. The top tier features lemon curd tarts with glazed berries, Battenburg cake, Earl Grey tea shortbread, chocolate cake and a marble chocolate tulip.

The scones were my favorite part of the feast. I didn't hold back with the cream, as you can see.

I drank gallons of tea, but I still managed to take a long afternoon nap when I got home.

Well versed with the ways of tourists, our server offered to take a picture of us when she spotted my camera. Maybe you can't tell, but we dressed for the occasion in smart casual attire, as per the dress code. That is, we're wearing skirts, not jogging pants.

I'm so happy that Jen pushed me to stick to our tentative plans for tea, which have been brewing for a couple of months now. I hesitated before making the reservation because the whole experience is a little pricey, as you might imagine. But Jen was all, "Erin, I've spent money on dumber things than tea at the Empress." And how.


Jesse Gray said...

That looks so delicious, and it's events/set-ups like these that are the saddest parts about being gluten-free (the happy parts include being a healthy, functional human, but still! Clotted cream on scones! Pinwheel sandwiches!)

Can't wait to see you guys this weekend.

robyn. said...

wow. nowhere does a traditional english tea like victoria. i really though that when i moved to england, i'd be eating clotted cream scones with cucumber sandwiches everyday. that dream was not to be. it's all bacon sandwiches and fry ups.

i'm so glad you treated yourself to this. jealousy brews.

well done on finishing school! it's going to be weird thinking of you as a working girl, not a university girl. spoil yourself rotten! you deserve it.

send me your address.

Anonymous said...

This was really fun! I tried not to really dwell on the cost after the fact, although it was surely a saucy treat! But as we said upon parting yesterday, it was good clean fun!

Thanks Erin, for this fun treat! Thanks for taking pictures too!

The scones were EXCELLENT. Not heavy at all...delicious!

Lydia said...

I like your new banner! This post made me consider going for tea next time I'm in Victoria, but I just looked up how much tea costs at the Empress, and, well- I guess I'd rather have a fancy dinner at a nice restaurant for that price. Good for you!

Erin Riley said...

I'm glad you like the banner. I think I'll still tinker with it a little. Also, I think the nature of the banner means I can update it along the way.