Monday, June 4, 2012

The Tea Party Café (Review)

There is one thing in this world that I simply cannot live without…and that is tea! My obsession with tea has really blossomed over the last five years or so, and I now cannot imagine a life without it!

Tea is not only perfect in the morning with your breakfast, but it is also a great way to get you through the afternoon hump, or to finish off the day with friends or a great book at night.

My obsession with tea has led me to many interesting places in my life in an attempt to find the next great flavour. This past weekend was no exception. I found myself exploring yet another new tea experience at the Tea Party café.

The café is perfectly situated in a turn of the century home in the historic Byward Market (at the corner of York and Dalhousie). Upon entering, I was immediately delighted with the charming ambiance, cozy mismatched furniture and large brick fireplace.

While most tea houses tend to pride themselves on their service, the Tea Party is much more informal and relaxed, allowing customers to choose their own tables after placing their orders at the counter.

My friends and I were not terribly hungry, and so we decided to go with the Cream Tea for $7.99. It consisted of a pot of tea (or coffee) and a scone served with cream and jam.

With over 150 loose-leaf teas to choose from, it was very difficult to make my choice! Did I want black or red tea? Or perhaps a Rooibos? Or maybe even a green or herbal tea? The options were endless! I must have spent a good 10 minutes carefully examining and smelling the various teas, but in the end, I went with the French blend, which was a combination of Vanilla, Earl Grey, Jasmine, Rose and Lavender. The floral flavours were deliciously blended with the traditional Earl Grey, resulting in a fabulous tea. It was probably one of the best teas I’ve tried in a very long time, and I plan on going back to buy some.

The scone with cream and jam was also delectable. The scone was just the right consistency and paired well with the strawberry jam. I was, however, slightly disappointed with the cream, as it was whipped cream instead of the customary Devonshire cream. But aside from this, everything was great, and was well worth the price.

In case you’re looking for a bit more than just tea and scones, they also offer a very affordable high tea, which includes four different types of sandwiches, four assorted sweets, a scone with jam and cream and a pot of tea. It serves two people and only costs $11.99/a person.

They also have a fun and delicious vegetarian lunch menu, ranging from soups and salads to grilled sandwiches and curries. Finally, if you’re not in the mood for tea, they offer a range of hot and cold beverages. The Indian Chai Latte does sound appealing! And apparently, it is also a really good place to buy coffee!

Verdict: Overall, I enjoyed my experience, and I will most definitely go back!

Cost: Cream Tea $7.99

Rating: 9/10

Hours: Monday to Friday: 10am - 9pm; Saturday: 10am - 8pm; Sunday: 10am - 7pm

The Tea Party Café, 119 York Street, Ottawa, ON

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