Review: The Fairmont Royal York's Afternoon Tea, Toronto, Ontario

The Fairmont Royal York Hotel has a rich history in Toronto. Having been around for over 90 years, it has hosted a number of 'well-heeled' individuals, such as members of the British Royal family (in fact, the late Queen Elizabeth II stayed at the hotel on at least four occasions).

Now, looking at the hotel today it is absolutely stunning, and the space where they offer their afternoon tea service is the beautifully decorated Clockwork Champagne and Cocktails Lounge. 




A closer look at the fall décor at the lounge. 


The Tea Offerings:

  • Imperial Breakfast Tea
  • Creamy Earl Grey Tea
  • Ontario Icewine Tea
  • Oolong Sweet Watermelon Tea
  • Jasmine Gold Dragon Organic Tea (our recommendation!)
  • Grand Bazaar Spice
  • Egyptian Chamomile Organic (Decaffeinated) Tea
  • 1907 Orange Pekoe
  • Niagara Peach Tea
  • Oregon Mint Organic Tea



The teas came served in very pretty china rimmed in gold.


All of the Fairmont Royal York's teas are custom-made by Lot 35. For added convenience, one can also order them online directly from the Fairmont Royal York's e-shop here.


Similar to other afternoon teas, they also offered optional pressed juice mimosas with Veuve Clicquot Champagne or Prosecco. Additionally, they also had a special cocktail called the 'Tea in the Sahara' which was comprised of Tanqueray 10 Gin, Pink Grapefruit Liquer, Lot 35 Eqyptian Camomile Tea, Apple Cider and Verjus.  


The Scones:

The scones that came with this afternoon tea service were very tasty, soft and fluffy. Two scones were provided - one traditional buttermilk scone and a cranberry and walnut scone. Unfortunately, there was no clotted cream provided, instead they were offering berry compote and whipped cream. The whipped cream was a bit watery and not particularly flavourful.





  • Maple Glazed Ham with Royal Honey Mustard, Baby Cress on Russian Rye
  • Fogo Island Petite Shrimp Quiche with Dill, Chives and Parmesan
  • House Smoked Trout Rillettes with Chive Crème Fraîche on Pumpernickel
  • Citrus and Thyme Duck Confit with Preserved Lemon Aioli, Watercress on a Butter Croissant
  • Cheese Fingers with Strawberry Preserve, Aged White Cheddar on Milk Bread
  • Coronation Chicken with Basil, Green Apple, Mango Chutney on a Brioche Roll


The savouries and desserts all came in an intricate tower. The scones were served separately on a plate.


The citrus and thyme duck conflit croissant



From top to bottom: Coronation chicken sandwich, the shrimp quiche and the cheese fingers on milk bread



  • Hazelnut Coffee Choux with Fragrant Candied Hazelnut, Robust Coffee Essence, Crunchy Almond and Hazelnut Praline with Velvety Canadian Maple Syrup
  • Black Forest Cake with Intense Single Origin Dark Chocolate, Fresh Cherry Compote and Madagascar Vanilla
  • Almond Financier with Infused Single Origin Dark Chocolate and Bourbon Vanilla
  • Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Orange


The desserts that were presented were very creative. Lots of interesting designs and flavours. In fact, the desserts were probably better than the savouries, as we found the latter to be too heavy and too 'meaty'. 

A quenelle of cheesecake with dulce de leche swirls. Delicious.


The sacher cake with raspberry. Layers of chocolate goodness.


The Verdict

The Fairmont Royal York Hotel is a beautiful venue for afternoon tea. The history alone of the hotel is thought provoking and mesmerizing. Nonetheless, this review is about the afternoon tea and not the venue alone. Overall, the food was not bad, but it wasn't that great either. As mentioned above, the savouries were too meat heavy and although the cheese and jam sandwich is a British tradition, we weren't fans. We were disappointed to not have clotted cream and found the whipped cream an unwanted condiment for our scones.

Positive highlights were the service and the presentation. The lounge was busy but it was still possible to have a conversation without too much disruption. 


The price for the afternoon tea at the time of this review was $80 CAD + tax per person, which is in line with a number of other tea services in the city at 5-star hotels.


Our Rating:

☕️  ☕️  ☕️  3/4  / ☕️  ☕️  ☕️  ☕️  ☕️  [3.75 out of 5 tea cups]

We give the Fairmont Royal York afternoon tea service 3.75 out of 5 tea cups. The lack of clotted cream and overly meaty and less appetizing savouries couldn't make up for the tasty scones and wonderful and creative sweets. This could entirely be a 'one off' experience, so this will not deter us from trying their afternoon tea service again in the future as the menus always change and hotels are always striving to improve their services and offerings.


You can book your own afternoon tea at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel Toronto by contacting the Clocktower Champagne and Cocktails Lounge here.  

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