Afternoon Tea service is something a few of the Fairmont Hotel properties offer. I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the Afternoon tea here about three years ago and it was so luxurious and fantastic. See pictures above for reference. I felt completely spoiled and I loved it. The Sok sister unfortunately hasn’t had the pleasure and being a huge tea fan she insisted we indulge and take the afternoon off for tea.
Despite still being held in The Rundle Lounge, giving you a great view of Rundle mountain, everything else about Afternoon tea this time around was completely different. After you’ve been seated, a cart gets pushed to your table and you’re given a brief run down of each tea thats offered. Our server was clearly running through a script in her head, but we didn’t mind. The jars are then opened up and passed around so your able to touch, see and smell the varieties of tea. I ended up picking the last jar. It had small bubble gum balls and had a really sweet fruity smell. The Sok sister went with the Kyoto Cherry Rose green tea.
After we placed our tea order, we were promptly given a martini glass of fresh fruit in order to cleanse our pallets. Afterwords, the glass was whisked away and replaced with this adorable three tiered serving tray. At first I was surprised to see there weren’t any scones displayed but our server came around shortly after and dropped them off from a fresh bread basket. I didn’t hesitate to pull apart my warm scone and spread some devonshire cream and strawberry jam all over it.
There were four types of finger sandwiches: watercress & lemon spread, smoke salmon & cream cheese, smoked duck & lingonberry butter and lastly, egg salad on a mini croissant. The pastries included a vanilla creme brûlée shooter, mini profiteroles, strawberry and lemon tarts and chocolate cake.
Besides the tea, which turned out to be the Berry Berry Fairmont Blend, everything else was just “okay“. Nothing really stood out and the service started to go down hill once we were served our scone and sandwiches – more on that later. The egg salad was the most flavourful of all the finger sandwiches. The smoke salmon was enjoyable as well but it’s really hard to mess up salmon and creme cheese. The other two sandwiches I couldn’t even finish, and that’s saying a lot because they were at most, three bite sandwiches. The watercress & lemon spread was bland and flavourless and it was served in between two dry pieces of bread. Not cool, Fairmont. I thought the smoked duck would have been delicious but there was one very thin layer of smoke duck and you could barely taste the lingonberry. It was a disappointment.
The pastries were nothing to write home about either. Although they were fresh and wonderfully crafted, they just weren’t blowing me out of the water. I get it, it’s only Afternoon tea Chan, chill out! But dude, this tea service is forty one dollars per person! Not bomb diggity at all!
And then on top of that, it took us forever to get our bill. Once our pastries and sandwiches were dropped it felt like we were dropped off the face of the earth by our server. It took us over fifteen minutes to finally flag down a server and have her bring the bill over. Of course she was polite and sweet each time she touched the table, it was getting her to the table that was the problem. We clearly stacked our plates and were all out of tea but no one came by to offer more hot water or check up on us. I was almost ready to pull the top off my teapot but highly doubt they would get the reference (at dim sum/chinese restaurants, you pull of the lid of your teapot to indicate more hot water) In the end, we left disappointed, hungry and a little poorer.
The Fairmont Banff Springs
Rundle Lounge – Afternoon Tea
405 Spray Ave