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Vancouver Island: It's Always Tea Time on the Island
by Carla Mont
April 28, 2013

When you're a region known for tea, the question isn't so much "Where do we go?" as much as "Where do we go first?" In Victoria, the province's stately capital, you can hit the "Tea Trail" where pours are steeped in tradition; at The Fairmont Empress's tea lobby, for example, sweet treats pair deliciously with the hotel's own original blend: The Empress Tea. For a different approach, pull up a stool at the Tea Bar at Silk Road, where you can sample tea flights, sip steaming cups matched with chocolate and even partake in a Chinese Tea Ceremony.

Further north in the Cowichan Valley, pause for tea-inspired treats and more than 30 original steaming blends that incorporate locally grown herbs at the Teafarm, Canada's first small-scale grower of tea, or continue north to Chemainus for "cream tea" (scones, thick cream, jam and a pot of tea chosen from 300+ blends) at Twisted Sisters Tea Room, a cosy and convivial 10-seat establishment helmed by twin sisters, Teresa and Debra. For a change of pace, Afternoon Tea for Two at Nanaimo's Calico Cat Tea House offers more than homemade pastries; here, you'll linger when your cup is empty β€” just long enough for the local tea leaf readers to glimpse into your future. Further north still, in Qualicum Beach, a gloriously green garden setting, complete with traditional English tea, at Milner Gardens & Woodland beckons. And while this lush backdrop may prove a peaceful spot to end your afternoon, bear in mind: along this trail, this is just a taste of what's in store.

  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row