It’s Canada’s 150 anniversary this year and what better way to celebrate than to embark on coast-to-coast culinary journey via afternoon tea at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver? The inspirations behind the patriotic Canada 150 afternoon tea theme are the iconic grand railway hotels and luxurious coast-to-coast train journey of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Available now until September 3, 2017, the Canada 150 Afternoon Tea takes place inside the Private Dining Room of Notch8 Restaurant & Bar and has daily sittings at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm. Prices are $59 for adults and $29.50 for children 12 and under. Last week, I attended a media tasting of the Canada 150 afternoon tea.
Disclosure: All food and drinks in this review were complimentary. Opinions are my own.
As part of the experience, the Private Dining Room of Notch8 Restaurant & Bar is decorated with vintage memorabilia. There are vintage photographs of hotels such as the Fairmont Royal York, Fairmont Banff Springs, Fairmont Empress and more as well as archival images of guests traveling abroad Canadian Pacific locomotives and iconic Canadian Pacific promotional travel posters. The bone china used was originally from the Fairmont Empress.
Here is a look at the menu for the Canada 150 afternoon tea. Fairmont Hotels which inspired some of these creations are noted on the menu as well. For example, the Bison Carpaccio with Saskatoon berry compote and buttered bannock is inspired by the Fairmont Banff Springs.
Guests begin by selecting their preferred choice of Fairmont fine tea blend to sip on. The recommend choice is the very patriotic Maple Maple – a black tea with a caramel-like flavour. I had this tea and it was just perfect without very overpowering flavours. There are many black teas (like Fairmont Breakfast, Fairmont Earl Grey and more) and green/herbal teas (like Ginger Green, Cascade Peppermint and more) to choose from.
Also available is the Maple Leaf cocktail, a take on a classic whisky sour, with a distinctly Canadian flavour profile of bourbon, maple syrup, lime and apple, served in a glass maple leaf. The cocktail is named for the iconic symbol synonymous with Canada, whose origins go back three centuries to the earliest settlements. This cocktail is part of their bar menu and is priced at $16.
Moving along this cross-country culinary experience is the Maple Panna Cotta, a very smooth and creamy palate cleanser.
The Oka Scones with Saskatoon Berry Compote and Birch Syrup Chantilly are whimsically presented in canoes. The “wooden paddles” can be used to scoop up the condiments. I loved the buttery, light yet crumbly texture of the scones which were oh-so-delicious.
Next up are the savory parts of the high tea which came in a tower. For hors d’oeuvres, there were the Maple Foie Gras Tourtiere and Calgary Stampede corndog made with Wagyu Beef. As for tea sandwiches, there was the Mini WestCoast Club, Bison Carpaccio, Peameal Bacon Sandwich, Montreal Smoked Meat and Classic Lobster Roll. I very much enjoyed the Lobster Roll in a toasted brioche roll, which had impactful flavours from the butter, chive, celery and sumac aioli. The Calgary Stampede corndog made with Wagyu Beef was a fun fair item and had blue corn grits, pickled mustard seeds and tomato relish. The Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich reminded me of the famous Schwartz’s and came on rye bread with mustard.
The sweets were presented on a Canada map and featured a chocolate dipped Nanaimo Bar, Butter Tart, Wild Berry Tart, Beaver Tail and Mini Donuts. I enjoyed that they were not overly sweet yet still very satisfying. The presentation also showcased the pastry chef’s attention to detail.
Here are just some of the sweet ? treats from the @notch8restaurant @fairmontvan Canada ?? 150 afternoon tea ☕️ which are made in-house. The sweets are presented on a Canada map for a cross-country culinary experience. These include chocolate dipped Nanaimo Bars, traditional butter tart, and mini donuts. Thank you @foodiegram for that slick maple ? syrup drizzle! . Disclosure: media tasting . #sweets #pastries #スイーツ #bakery #pastrylife #pastryporn #pastryart #patisserie #dessertmasters #chefstalk #pastry #pastryshop #dessertporn #baker #chefsofinstagram #maple #maplesyrup #canada #canada150 #donut #donuts #nanaimo #video #videos #videography #fairmont #fairmonthotels #vancouver #afternoontea #hightea
Most memorable were the Mini Donuts. Each were a different flavour: chocolate dipped with bacon, cinnamon sugar and salted caramel with vanilla cream.
I thought that the Canada 150 afternoon tea was well-executed and that the flavours and presentations of the food and drinks were impressive. My favorite parts were the Oka scones in the canoe, the Lobster Roll and Calgary Stampede corndog, and the Mini Donuts. I also appreciated how much thought was put into the decor such that the experience was beyond the food. All in all, the Canada 150 tea is a fun foodie way to celebrate our great nation’s 150 anniversary and I would recommend it. Rating: 5/5
Reservations are recommended by calling 604-662-1900 or online. For more information, please visit http://www.fairmont.com/hotel-vancouver/special-offers/other-offers/canada-150-afternoon-tea/