Monday, April 21, 2008

Tea Time Treats

La Tea Dah, over at Gracious Hospitality has wonderful posts about tea time. She's asking everyone to participate with recipes for special goodies, just for tea!

The Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC, where I live, is famous for its afternoon teas. They are pricey, but oh, so elegant. Scones are one of their specialties, served with Devonshire cream and strawberry jam. Here's the recipe:

Empress Hotel Scones

2 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup butter, hard
1/2 cup milk, or light cream
1 egg, beaten

Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add sugar. Cut in butter until the mixture is like coarse meal. Combine the milk and egg and stir into flour mixture, mixing lightly. On a floured surface, roll out to 1/2 inch thick. Cut 3 inch rounds and place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm with butter or strawberry jam and Devonshire cream.

In this picture, I cut them a little smaller than 3 inches, and I brushed the tops with more milk and sprinkled a little sugar on them. I also used homemade cherry jam instead of strawberry and lightly sweetened whipped cream. These scones and a cup of tea made up most of my supper last night. And tea is tea only if made in a pot, never drag a bag through hot water and call it tea. And somehow, it tastes best when sipped from a bone china teacup.

The Empress Hotel overlooks the Inner Harbour in the downtown area. Tea is taken in an Edwardian style room. The first time I had tea there, my daughters and I were seated at a table by a window. We had a gorgeous view of the harbour and of people wandering along the street. Tea begins with a dish of strawberries and chantilly cream with unending pots of hot tea, an Empress blend. Then a 3-tiered stand is brought, with sandwiches on the bottom, scones in the middle and sweet goodies on the top.

It's the most civilized of experiences and so much fun!

The Empress was named after Queen Victoria. You can see queenly references everywhere, including on this stone gatepost when you enter from the side.
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  1. Great post! And thanks for the link to Gracious Hospitality! I love all the queenly references to Victoria. So regal, elegant, and rich! The Empress is a treasure that I hope stands for years and years to come!


  2. Lorrie, don't forget to sign up with Mr. Linky on my blog (Gracious Hospitality) so that others can find you!

    :) Thanks


  3. Thank you for the scone recipe. It sounds wonderful! The hotel is beautiful and looks very grand!...Kathy@ Mimi's Garden

  4. I love the Empress, and Victoria in general. How lucky you are to live there. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Anonymous6:29 PM

    that sounds amazing..I have heard of thier teas.

  6. Lucky you to live in Victoria. I chuckled as I also posted a recipe which was supposed to be "Empress Scones". Not the same! Ah well, I guess I'll have to stop calling mine "empress". I'll just change it to cream scones. Whatever they are called, they are very tasty. I will try your recipe too.

  7. Anonymous7:45 PM

    How wonderful that you live so near The Empress! And what a special memory you have of your first tea there with your daughters.

    I've never been to Canada but certainly want to visit some day. BC at the top of my list!

    ~ Arleen

  8. Anonymous8:12 PM

    thanks for this lovely post Lorrie,
    I've been to Victoria a few times but have never had tea at the Empress. I did have tea at Munchies. thanks for the recipe...

  9. Fun to read about a grand old hotel...I'm always scouting for a good scone recipe, too. Thank you!

  10. Oh, to have tea at The Empress sounds like a delightful, lovely experience! :) Your pictures are great! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Anonymous3:50 PM

    What a nice post. The Grand Hotel sounds wonderful. Thank you for the recipe.

  12. Lorrie,

    Thanks so much for your kind comments. The Bliss Guild is a great group of ladies with a common love for Victoria magazine. Your photos of the Empress are lovely! Heading over to check out La Tea Dah...


  13. Oh, thank you for this trip down memory lane! I had the chance to take tea at the Empress a few years ago. It was such a wonderful day!

  14. I stayed at the Empress once, but never got to have High Tea there. It's on my to-do list someday :)

  15. I would love to visit the Empress - "someday!!" I hope! In the meantime, I'll have to try the scone recipe, and I have a bag of loose tea from Butchart Gardens a friend brought me when she visited there. They will go well together, and yes, a bone china tea cup is a must!


  16. I am so hoping to get to Victoria next year, I must add this to my list of must sees

  17. I would feel like a Queen at the beautiful!

    Lynne Laura

  18. Looks like a really nice eplace to have tea Lorrie. Possibly almost as nice as tea with you looking at your scones.

    My daughter is learning to knit too. She has embarked on a sweater for Oliver.

  19. Not sure how I could have missed this posting! I love the Empress Hotel and the ambiance of drinking tea from real china!

    Thanks for the recipe -- I'm looking forwarding to trying them out over this coming Victoria Day long weekend (in Canada).


Thank you for your comment. I read and value each one, cherishing the connections we can make although far apart. Usually, I visit your blog in return, although if you ask a question I try to contact you directly.

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