Review: The Fairmont Château Laurier's Afternoon Tea, Ottawa, Ontario

What's the best way to spend the final week of the year? An afternoon tea of course. To kick off the end of this year, we checked out the Fairmont Château Laurier Hotel's holiday afternoon tea. Founded in 1912, the hotel has sat in the heart of Ottawa and has entertained a number of famous guests in the past including the late Nelson Mandela, Canadian singer Bryan Adams and the late Carrie Fisher of Star Wars fame.


 The Fairmont Château Laurier Hotel in the past (Source: Fairmont Hotels)


Located in picturesque downtown Ottawa, Ontario (and a stone's throw away from Canada's Parliament Hill), it is the perfect location for tea, savouries and sweets.

Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada

A view of Parliament Hill from Laurier Avenue in Ottawa, Ontario


The Château Laurier Hotel in Ottawa

In front of the Château Laurier Hotel 


The front lobby of the hotel which was decorated for Christmas


The afternoon tea service was held at the Zoe's café 


Both the hotel lobby and Zoe's café were expertly decorated for the holiday season. In addition to the lovely decor, the afternoon tea menu did not disappoint. 


The Tea Offerings:

The Fairmont Château Laurier Hotel had an impressive 21(!) teas on offer. Their teas are custom curated for the hotel under their house brand Lot 35 which are also available for purchase online:

The 21 teas on offer at the afternoon tea

The teas came presented in a beautiful wooden 'book'. Unfortunately, the tea samples were sealed so we were unable to smell them before making a selection.  


Black Teas:

  • Decaf English Breakfast Tea 
  • Flora's Berry Garden Tea
  • Something Sweet Tea
  • Maple Cream Tea (our recommendation!)
  • Creamy Early Grey Tea (another top recommendation - probably one of the best tasting earl grey teas we've ever tried) 
  • Grand Bazaar Spice Tea
  • Czar Nicholas Russian Tea 
  • Liza Hill Darjeeling Tea 
  • Sashi Hot Ginger Tea


Herbal Teas:

  • Waterfront Tea 
  • Egyptian Camomile Tea
  • Joie de Provence Tea
  • Bella Coola Punch Tea 
  • Oregon Mint Tea 
  • Market Fresh Tea 


Green Teas:

  • Kyushu Japan Sencha Tea 
  • Jasmine Gold Dragon Tea
  • Long Island Strawberry Tea
  • Revitalize Tea 


White Teas:

  • Ontario Icewine Tea


Oolong Teas:

  • Goddess Oolong Tea 


The tea came in beautiful chinaware. The Creamy Earl Grey was particularly delicious. 


The tower of scones, savouries and sweets

When the tower came out, it included the scones, savouries and sweets.Yum!


The Scones:

The Fairmont Château Laurier Hotel had some very delicious scones. The scones were not too dry and not too moist. It was disappointing to not get any clotted cream but they did offer mascarpone cream. With a consistency too similar to whipped cream, it was too soft to truly enjoy it on a scone. Two scones were offered one classic and one blueberry and they both came paired with house made strawberry jam alongside the mascarpone cream.




  • Festive Turkey on a Croissant with Cranberry Chutney
  • Prosciutto Vol-au-Vent with Heavenly Honey Ricotta and Candied Walnuts
  • Smoked Salmon with Preserved Lemon and Caper on Brioche
  • Cucumber Sandwich with Cream Cheese
  • Dill and Caper Goat Cheese with Radish and Pickled Onion
  • Roast Beef on Gougère au Fromage with Rosemary Aioli


 The turkey on the croissant was a bit dry but the other savouries were tasty



  • Hazelnuts Mont Blanc
  • Pumpkin Latte Cheesecake
  • Mandarin Chocolate Yule Log
  • Candy Cane Macaron


 Very creative selection of sweets. The macaron looked like it was painted with watercolours


Out of the selection of sweets, our favs were the Hazelnuts Mont Blanc and the Mandarin Chocolate Yule Log. The desserts were not too sweet and had the perfect balance of flavour and creative presentation.


The Verdict

As is the case with other Fairmont Hotels, the Château Laurier afternoon tea was fantastic and delivered on what one would expect at a five-star hotel - especially one that regularly entertains the political and international elite that frequent the National Capital of Canada. The holiday theme was also well executed as evidenced by the décor at the venue and the flavour profile of the food at the afternoon tea.

We enjoyed the food but as referenced above, we would have preferred to have had clotted cream instead of mascarpone cream. Although it is a bit more difficult to obtain, it is available in Canada as most grocery stores sell it (it's also not too difficult to make either). We were also a bit disappointed that the hotel did not have any tea timers. The reason why, as our server told us, is because guests kept stealing the timers (😳!). We found this both shocking and appalling. In any case, we used the timers on our phones to get the perfect brew.

In terms of the service and the presentation, The Château Laurier did a good job. Our server was really great. Even though the lounge was fully booked at the time, it wasn't too noisy and the service wasn't slow as the food came out promptly and we felt attended to by the server. It was also possible to hear our conversation throughout the service without much issue despite a packed venue.


The price for the afternoon tea at the time of this review was $79 CAD + tax per person, which is actually a bit cheaper than other afternoon teas elsewhere in Canada (although not by much).


Our Rating

☕️  ☕️  ☕️  ☕️  3/4  / ☕️  ☕️  ☕️  ☕️  ☕️  [4.75 out of 5 tea cups]

We give the Fairmont Château Laurier's holiday afternoon tea service 4.75 out of 5 tea cups. Despite not having a tea timer and clotted cream, the service, presentation and taste made up for those minor disappointments.


For more information about their holiday afternoon tea, you can book your very own by contacting Zoe's Cafe here. The holiday afternoon tea menu listed above is available until early January.

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