Review: Café Cristal's Mother's Day (Afternoon) Tea, Ottawa, Ontario

This year's Mother's Day was different because after a couple years of pandemic lockdown, things are finally opening up again. For this reason, we decided to check out a new spot (to us) in Ottawa called Café Cristal. Located at 240 Kennevale Drive in the Barrhaven neighbourhood of Ottawa, Ontario, Café Cristal was a welcomed reprieve (although it might be a bit of a trek for folks who live closer to downtown Ottawa). On this particular day we ended up checking out their Mother's Day (Afternoon) Tea. On their menu it's listed as a "Mother's Day High Tea" but what's actually served is a full, traditional afternoon tea - not high tea.
Front entrance of Café Cristal
The front entrance of Café Cristal


Once you step inside, you're transported to an enchanting venue with beautiful hanging flowers and stonework.


Dining area of Cafe Cristal

The inside dining area of Café Cristal


Wall of teacups

Lots of pretty teaware lined the entrance walls, along with the Eiffel Tower


The Tea Offerings:

There wasn't a selection of teas that were provided to us once we sat at the table, but the tea that was brought out in the teapot tasted like Earl Grey tea; it was delicious nonetheless.


Tea poured


Teapot and teacup

Really nice Bombay blue teacups and teapot


The Scones and the Main Event

For this Mother's Day afternoon tea, we weren't provided with a menu at the table so we didn't know exactly what we were eating per se, however, the server did come and explain each item. We found a copy of Café Cristal's generic menu at the café and it did list the following items under their tea service:



  • Chicken Chipotle Sandwich
  • Chicken Italiano (Pesto) Sandwich
  • Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwich
  • Steak with Red and Yellow Peppers on a Mini Tortilla Cup*
  • Ham and Cheese Sandwich*

 *These were presented as specials from the chef for Mother's Day



  • Chocolate Truffles
  • French Dessert (Macarons)
  • Chocolate Cake
  • Strawberry and Vanilla Cake
  • Lemon Meringue Squares


Tiered cake stand

The tiered cake stand with the savouries, scones and sweets


Chicken pesto sandwich

The tea sandwiches were nearly all made with chicken, which while presented in unique ways, was a bit uninspiring


The scones were made with blueberry and white chocolate and were dusted with powdered sugar. They were also served with blueberry jam and Chantilly cream. It was tasty, but a bit too sweet for our palates.



The yummy blueberry and white chocolate scones


The scones also came served with another pastry, topped with the Chantilly cream, blueberry jam and an edible flower 


Cake and desserts

Cake. Cake. Cake!


The Verdict

Café Cristal's Mother's Day (Afternoon) Tea was a delicious treat. The sandwiches, sweets and the scones were tremendously tasty, however, with this being a café it's unclear if all of the items were made in-house or if some were purchased elsewhere at a bakery. The lack of a menu at the table was also challenging because it was hard to know what you were eating (Note: for those with allergies, we recommend you ask in advance for an ingredient list). For instance, the menu we found listed the sweets as "French dessert and 2 mini sweets", which is vague to say the least. We also didn't get a chance to select our own tea, which was disappointing. In terms of the price point, at the time of this blog the average cost per person for a multi-person party was around $73 CAD (including tax and tip). 


Our Rating

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

We give Café Cristal's Mother's Day tea service 3 out of 5 tea cups. While the food was very delicious and beautifully presented, it didn't overcome some of the missing key elements that are common with a full afternoon tea experience in a restaurant - such as receiving a tasting menu with descriptors and selecting your own tea. Additionally, some of the food was overly sweet (e.g. scones that were made with white chocolate and blueberry and topped with powdered sugar), or lacking in dimension (e.g. there were several varieties of chicken sandwich). At a price point of $73 CAD per person, it's a bit pricey for the level of service that's offered, however it's a nice, laid-back atmosphere should you wish to try out a more casual afternoon tea experience.


For details about booking this afternoon tea service, you can reach out to Café Cristal at: 1-(613) 843-8989.





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