Where to Go for Afternoon Tea in Calgary
These six spots offer a range of tea services, from the traditional to the contemporary.
Photograph courtesy of Brasserie Kensington.
Afternoon tea is the unsung hero of mealtimes – never has one event been able to fill so many purposes. From the celebratory (anything you can throw a “shower” for, afternoon tea is a winner) to the obligatory (relatives from out of town, anyone?) to the just plain fun (hey, sometimes it’s nice to feel fancy), a tea service will be there. So keep calm and drink a cup of tea already. Ranging from a classic English afternoon tea to high tea with a contemporary twist, here are six places where you can sit down for afternoon tea in Calgary.
Photograph Courtesy of Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant.
The Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant offers a classic English tea to suit its historic establishment. Nestled in Fish Creek Provincial Park, the Bow Valley Ranche was built more than 120 years ago. Offerings include the traditional tea sandwiches, scones, and desserts. Head chef Jenny Kang notes that they try to change the dishes up weekend to weekend. The afternoon tea is seasonal, with the last service happening the first weekend of May. If you’re in search of a traditional experience, be sure to enjoy this tea before it closes for the summer.
Afternoon tea runs between 2 to 4 p.m. on weekends until May 5 and 6, 2018. Reservations are required.
15979 Bow Bottom Trail S.E., 403-476-1310, bvrrestaurant.com
Photograph courtesy of brasserie kensington.
Brasserie Kensington prides itself on its contemporary take on high tea. The tagline on its website is “This is not your grandma’s high tea …but your grandma is welcome to come!” Cam Dobranski, chef and owner, wants everyone to feel like they can participate in the restaurant’s tea service. “We’re trying to make it for guys and girls, or any younger generation. It doesn’t have to be stuffy.”
Its contemporary twists range from music choice to menu. The current menu includes duck rilette, banh mi, and herb marinated and chilled prawn tea sandwiches.
High tea runs between 2:15 to 4 p.m. on weekends. Reservations are required at least a day before your desired tea service.
1131 Kensington Road N.W., 403-457-4148, brasseriekensington.com
Photograph courtesy of the dove's nest.
The Dove’s Nest is the perfect spot for those looking to indulge in all things beautiful. “My goal is to make this the place to go in Calgary for an elegant tea experience,” says the owner, Gail Matis.
The high tea features a mini-cheesecake dessert named after the tearoom, as well classic scones with Devonshire cream and raspberry preserves. Keep an eye out for its offerings for Mother’s Day and the Royal Wedding.
Afternoon tea is available on the weekdays from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 12 to 3 p.m. Reservations are recommended.
106A, 1600 90 Ave. S.W., 403-258-3300, thedovesnest.ca
photograph courtesy of fairmont palliser.
The Fairmont Palliser is the grand dame of afternoon tea in Calgary. While the tea service has been running for about six years, June will mark 104 years since the hotel opened in the city. The Palliser’s afternoon tea is a harkening to the connection between Fairmont hotels and British royalty. Afternoon tea-goers have the choice of the lobby or the Rimrock Dining Room as the setting for their refreshments. While the luxurious settings are reason enough to go, the Palliser also features themed teas that add a touch of magic. The Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea is currently being offered, with treats such as red velvet cupcakes for Her Majesty, the Queen of Hearts. The next theme will be in honour of the Royal Wedding, and include treats of both the English and American variety.
Afternoon tea is available everyday between 12 to 4 p.m. Reservations are required before 10 a.m. on the day which you wish to attend. The Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea runs until April 30. The Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea runs from May 1 to August 15.
133 9 Ave. S.W., 403-262-1234, fairmont.com
photograph courtesy of heritage park.
Sip a cup of tea on the verandah of Nellie McClung's home in Heritage Park – or rather, a replica of her home. The Famous 5 Centre of Canadian Women opened in 2014 and is based on McClung's home in Calgary. Tea on the Verandah is a seasonal offering, running from June 2 to September 2. Before sitting down to scones from Heritage Park's own bakery, the Alberta Bakery, tea-drinkers are invited to walk through the centre first to learn about the "pink teas" McClung and her fellow suffragettes would host to discuss women's rights.
Tea on the Verandah runs on Saturdays and Sundays from June 2 to September 2. There are six tea services, with the first beginning at 11:30 a.m. and the last served at 3:30 p.m. Reservations are required.
1900 Heritage Dr. S.W., 403-268-8500, heritagepark.ca
Photograph courtesy of the restaurant at lougheed house.
Served on antique linens and bone china, the afternoon tea at the Restaurant at Lougheed House will have you feeling like you've stumbled into the past. Enjoy the fresh scones and relax among friends in this historic home. After you've finished your tea, tour the house or walk through the Beaulieu Gardens.
Afternoon tea is available on Wednesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations are required.
707 13 Ave. S.W., 403-410-9288, lougheedhouse.com