February 25, 2011

RESTAURANT REVIEW: WINDSOR ARMS (HIGH TEA)

Happy birthday to me! Earlier this afternoon, I celebrated my birthday with an afternoon high tea at the Windsor Arms hotel. I was accompanied by none other than Jessie and Sean, two of my funniest dining companions. Our reservation was not until 1pm, but of course, we were 30 minutes early so we sat in the car opening four birthday cards from Sean and some presents: tickets to the Sleigh Bells concert in May (wahoo!) and money (for a future camera purchase, double wahoo).

Upon entering the Windsor Arms tea room, we were given a choice of tables and I chose to sit at a table near the windows (better for photo-taking). Jessie and I chose to sit on the booth seats which were plush but a little too low; Sean sat in one the chairs which looked really comfy. Our room was bright and airy, with gold-framed paintings on the wall (none of which I remembered to take a photo of). In the corner there was a display of hats which Jessie and I found quite amusing:

Along with our individual tea, we each opted for the full tea which includes scones:sandwiches:
and petit fours:
Our meal began with a mini goat cheese and caramelized shallot quiche:

This was a really great way to start the meal. The caramelized shallot really made the quiche and I'm not even a fan of quiches (from an overload of them back in Switzerland with Jessie in 2001).

Scones included raisin and plain, served alongside devon cream and strawberry and raspberry jam. Check out the mini jams:

Our assorted of finger sandwiches included cucumber with sundried tomato paste and dill cream cheese:

smoked salmon and wasabi sour cream with salmon caviar:

and grilled chicken, grany smith apples, citrus mayonnaise and greek yogurt and chives which I don't have a close-up photo of because I never ate of them (non-organic chicken). I'll try and snag one from Jessie's iPhone.

Here's another shot of our assortment of petits fours (courtesy of Sean):Individually, they were (as described to us by our server) a dark chocolate fudge (for Jessie):

a raspberry or strawberry mousse in a dark chocolate tea cup (it was raspberry and delightful, obvi mine):

an Opera cake ("they just call it Opera cake" for Sean)

a blood orange mousse with sponge at the bottom and blueberries (mine):

a lemon meringue tart (check out that awesome toasted meringue for Sean):

and a white chocolate something (that's pretty much all our server said; Jessie had a hard time figuring it out but it came with a cherry with gold leaf and had a hard, crisp texture on the bottom.):

The presentation on this one was amazing. I wish I liked white chocolate so I could have tasted it but I find white chocolate too sweet. I even find milk chocolate too sweet sometimes. Oh well, c'est la vie.
Then we also had strawberries and cream:At first glance, it didn't seem like a lot of food but it was. I didn't finish one of my scones and by the time I got around to eating my strawberries and cream, I felt like someone was forcing me to eat it. It was a little bit sad. I had the face that I always have when I can't eat but feel like I have to finish it. I ended up just having a taste of the cream (it looked like ice cream, I had to try it) and finishing off my berries.

Oh yeah, about the tea. Jessie chose the Black Velvet which includes ginseng, peppermint, licorice and black tea while Sean chose the Chai Arms which includes ceylon, cardamom, cinnamon, glove, ginger and black pepper. I chose the Tibetan Tiger which includes black tea with vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch and caramel (though I don't remember reading the description of the last two). Our teas came in fancy tea pots:


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High tea at the Windsor Arms was definitely a memorable experience. At $30 per person it wasn't terribly expensive but it is cheaper Monday-Friday. During the weekend it's $8 extra and higher during the holidays, I believe. There's also a sherry or sparkling wine option for an added $5. I'm not partial to either (sulphites = migraines) but it would have been a fun option, especially during a celebration of sorts. There was two other parties celebrating birthdays and the server brought out other chocolate petit fours for each party to enjoy along with a candle while singing "Happy Birthday." I would have enjoyed it but honestly, I had consumed so much food already that the thought of more wasn't going to leave me with the most pleasant of birthday memories.

Here are some fun photos throughout our afternoon lunch...
Sipping our tea:

Sean being the server:

Sean and Jessie enjoying their scones:

Before and after scone-eating:

2 comments:

RudePrincess said...

LMAO!!! These photos and your descriptions are positively fantastic! I just got around to putting the few photos I had on facebook and remembered that you said you were going to be blogging yours and not doing anything on facebook. So I came on here for the first time in ages to check them out. After I gave up on my blog, I tended to slack on checking yours. My apologies. However, this blog is so amazing I will now have to go and read some of the others!

I especially like that you looked up what everything was exactly called (except for, of course, our petit fours, which you remembered their descriptions to a T!). I couldn't remember what was in my tea except Fennel and that I liked it!

Will you also be posting your Mexitalia birthday photos?! I'm sure you got a few foodie ones. I look forward to them!

M said...

I went tohigh tea once at one of the hotels downtown and it was also an amazing experience for around $30. The food also didn't look like a lot but we were completely stuffed at the end too!