I had the pleasure of enjoying afternoon tea with a couple of lovely ladies this weekend at Soirette Maracons & Tea here in Vancouver. High tea is one of those in between meals, where you don’t really pig out, but rather you graze on lots of little goodies, both sweet and savoury. While I was sitting there enjoying the splendid company and beautiful room I sort of felt like Lady Mary from Downton Abbey, except I don’t think she would have been wearing Hunter boots. It was one of the nicest, most relaxing experiences I’ve had in a long time. For roughly the same price as a cheap pedicure, going for afternoon tea is really a much nicer way to spend quality time with your dear friends.
Soirette is new and chic feeling vs. stogy and old, like some of the other tea salons around. Sorry, I know Murchie’s has amazing tea, but I feel like a grandma when I’m in there. Soirette is bright and white, and small, so make a reservation in advance! We arrived for our 2:30 seating and were promptly served a three tiered platter of culinary delights. You get to pick one macaron from their case of about 20 varieties. It’s harder than you think; for me it was a toss up between lavender and earl grey cassis! And then you get to pick your tea from their selection of loose leaf canisters.
The bottom tier of the platter is all savoury and includes a roasted veggie mini sandwich, a salmon and dill quiche, a tandoori chicken cucumber cup and a little proscuitto tomato thing. The cucumber cup was my favourite but it was all great. You then move to tier two, which includes a cranberry scone with their housemade rose butter (swoon!), and a citrus grilled cheese, which is basically poundcake with berries and cream inside, lightly grilled. By the time we’d all moved onto the top tier, we’d had our hot water refreshed and were thoroughly enjoying our creamy earl grey tea. The top is just dessert. A mini eclair, chocolate pate, salted chocolate caramel, a mini lemon meringue, a mousseline trifle and of course, the macaron of your choice.
I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when I realized I only got one macaron, but by the time I made it to the top I understood everything. I was so full from all these delectable little goodies that I couldn’t possibly have eaten anything else. Oh, and the lavender macaron was to die for.
So the next time you and some special friends want to celebrate, book yourselves a table at Soirette and you won’t regret it. We were celebrating a birthday/new baby arriving soon and it was the perfect venue for our catch up. At $27 per person it might seem like a lot for something that doesn’t qualify as a meal, but trust me, eat light before you arrive, and you’ll not be needing much after for dinner, so it’s totally worth the small splurge. And if you can’t devote 2 hours to enjoying high tea, you can still pop in for macarons and tea to go!