This past weekend, I went to afternoon tea at the Ritz-Carlton. Finally! I’ve been wanting to go for months now but nobody wanted to go. I think I’ve visited most of the afternoon tea places in Toronto so I really should make some sort of comparison chart. Actually, as I’m typing this – I just had the most brilliant idea. Stay tuned for that in the coming… months.
I arrived to the DEQ lounge and was quite disappointed. Yes, I understand it was a lounge but there were people sitting by the bar and it’s not something I want to see while having tea. I think there was sports on the TV. Secondly, seeing as it was a lounge/bar, you had to approach the hostess who was also the bartender. Thirdly, the hostess said that I supposedly “cancelled” my reservation. Just the day prior, someone had called to confirm my reservation in which I said yes, I am coming!
After being seated, they had explained the menu to us. You had three choices of Classic Tea, Posh Tea or the Royal Tea. (Click here for more information) The server also brought us the humidor with their eight tea choices. Unlike at the King Edward or even MoRoCo Chocolat, we were not able to smell the different teas at our leisure. She stood there with the different bottles and asked us if we wanted to smell anything. I just went with the safe – Organic Peppermint while my friend went with the Earl Grey. But to her credit, she did explain everything to us which other places seem to forget to do…
This the savoury portion of the tea. We have quiche, followed by scones, and sandwiches. Can someone explain to me why the scones were on the second tier? The order makes no sense to me. Or at least, this is not what I’m used to. Upon further examination, I can see why the scones aren’t at the top tier because there wouldn’t have been any room for the cream nor at the bottom. So maybe, they need to reconsider the design of their tiers or serve the cream on the side.
The quiche was good, as was the scone. The sandwiches were okay. There was nothing special to comment on.
The savoury portion was followed by the sweets which had their own tiers. This also needs a redesign. I am not quite sure what the theme is here… Also, it makes for a bad picture! I wasn’t that interested in moving it at an angle just to take a picture.
They were good – for the most part. However, one item didn’t quite do it for me. It was the sweet and salty cookie. Honestly, the one word to describe it would be dull.
All in all, the food was okay. The desserts were better! The service was pretty good! They were very knowledgeable on all the items that were served, as well as familiar with the tea selection. (This is very important to me because a lot of places just drop the food in front of you.) However, they were definitely lacking in the ambiance section. Maybe it would have been nicer if I was able to go during the Teddy Bear tea they were offering two months ago…
181 Wellington Street West, Toronto
My friends and I spent our Saturday afternoon at the Glory Hole which by the way is not something dirty but in fact a doughnut shop in Parkdale.
When we arrived, there were no doughnuts available. They were actually making their fourth (and last) batch of the day. The wait time was about 45 minutes and we had been given a number to indicate our place in line to order the doughnuts.
While waiting, we sat at the counter which had 3 stools. They had a guestbook and people doodled over it. It was a great way to pass your time while you wait impatiently for your doughnuts to come out. So the girls and I decided to write a little story. You can read it here: Gloryhole. Hopefully another group of people try to continue our story about Mandy and her trek to the Land of Happiness. Haha!
Finally, the doughnuts came out but we were 15th in line! Look at the glorious Elvis doughnut. I couldn’t eat it for several reasons: 1) Bacon, 2) it was covered in peanut butter, 3) they were gone by the time we got to order… So if you do get a chance to try it, let me know! I really wanted the marshmallow. I think their double chocolate smores were also sold out by then.
All my friends picked the Butter and toast as their favourite, while I would have to say that the Beer doughnut was the best. I love nuts! We also enjoyed the cinnamon sugar. However, we all agreed that the Pretzel was our least favourite. It was all too normal! By the time we finished the fifth doughnut, we had absolutely no room for the Banana Cream Pie.
It was definitely worth a trek to Parkdale! Make sure to try one of their specials and let me know how your visit went. Make sure you arrive early! There were several people who came later in the afternoon who had to leave Glory Hole Doughnuts empty handed.Read More
I started a book club at the end of November and we had our first meeting this past Sunday. I chose T-Buds, Tea lounge & Creperie. You are able to walk-in and sit downstairs, or for those with reservations (moi), you are seated upstairs in their tea lounge.
The tea lounge area.
This was an interesting way to steep the tea but to be quite honest with you, I’m not sure if it’s the most effective way. Either that or their tea was just bland (for all parties at my table…) In fact, towards the end, I tried my friend’s black tea & I had dumped the tea leaves directly into the water while placing the filter over my cup instead. Not much of a difference but by that time I resorted to drinking something else.
Unlike other afternoon tea places where there is a set sandwich menu based on the season (some places don’t even change the menu…), at T-Buds, it’s based on whatever they have that day. They had roast beef, tuna and cucumber. I obviously did not have the roast beef and substituted it with more cucumber. I wasn’t fond of the tuna sandwich to be quite honest but that’s just me.
Afternoon tea also comes with sparkling jasmine tea! I had to ask about it at the end since someone must have forgotten to give it to me. In her defense, it was her first day. They were nice enough to give one to everyone at our table.
My other friend ordered from the dessert crepes section of the menu seeing as she had eaten lunch not too long ago. She had picked the Irish Strawberry which consisted of fresh strawberries, our signature chantilly and Bailey’s Irish Cream. I remember her saying “Mmm…Bailey’s”.
Lastly, Yuk‘s sister ordered from the Sandwiches & wraps section of the menu. She ordered the The gladiator (glad-I-ate-here) savoury crepe. (I would like to point out that I let her take the picture and she had focused on everything but the wrap) It consisted of hand-rolled beef meatballs in a basil tomato sauce with provalone and parmesean cheeses wrapped in a savoury crepe. Seeing as I’m a vegetarian, I can’t tell you how it tasted like but I can say it smelled really good! She actually really liked it as well and would’ve ordered another but was deterred by the price.
I would definitely return here to try their brunch menu! I am now off to figure out where to go for my next book club meeting. Maybe somewhere haunted? (I know it may seem random but it related to one of our discussion topics at our meeting)
T-Buds, Tea Lounge & Creperie
647 352-3622 | 647 352-3624
3343 Yonge St., Toronto, M4N 2M4