Review: The Shangri-La Hotel's Madame Clicquot's Afternoon Tea, Toronto, Ontario
The Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto is a popular location for afternoon tea for various reasons. One of them being, they always have interesting, themed afternoon tea services which are creatively presented and usually contain unexpected sweet and savoury pairings. Located at 188 University Avenue in downtown Toronto, the 5-star hotel is unique in that it's also very close to other popular venues and restaurants in the city such as Momofuku Noodle Bar (190 University Avenue), Kojin (also at 190 University Avenue) and the private-member's club, Soho House (192 Adelaide Street West). The hotel also has private residences too.
The Shangri-La Hotel Toronto on University Avenue.
For their afternoon tea service, the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto always hosts it in their Lobby Lounge. Here's an example from one of their Nutcracker Afternoon Teas around Christmastime.
This particular afternoon tea service that we're reviewing today is a special theme because it was a partnership between the Shangri-La Hotel and French champagne brand Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. For this reason, they marketed it as "Madame Clicquot's Afternoon Tea". As a Royal Tea service, it included the option to start with a glass of either their standard Prosecco or Elderflower Fizz (mocktail) offerings. However, due to the champagne theme, you could also upgrade by having either Veuve Clicquot Brut or Veuve Cliquot Rosé.
The Tea Offerings:
Like most luxury hotels, the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto has a wide offering of tea for its patrons. For this Madame Clicquot Afternoon Tea they had the following:
- English Breakfast
- Early Grey (the classic choice!)
- Last Horizon
- Lapsang Souchong
Green & Oolong Teas:
- Imperial Tung Tung Oolong
- Vanilla Rooibos (a great choice!)
- Mountain Berry
There was no appetizer or amuse-bouche, but they did start us off with a glass of either prosecco, a mocktail (Elderflower Fizz) or the option to upgrade to either a glass of Veuve Clicquot brut or rosé. The rosé was tasty.
The tea was served in Wedgwood bone china from their 'Cuckoo' pattern.
The Scones and the Main Event:
For the Madame Clicquot Afternoon Tea , there were two types of scones that were served. In keeping with the champagne theme, there was a champagne and raisin scone and a plain scone. Both were served with Chantilly cream (which was a stand-in for clotted cream because it was unavailable at the time). The scones were delicious and nicely baked and paired well with the Chantilly cream and fresh preserves, which were citrus and strawberry in flavour. They were placed on the bottom plate of the three tiered cake stand.
For the main event, this afternoon tea didn't disappoint. A nice selection of savouries and sweets came beautifully presented in the standard three-tiered cake stand:
The menu for the Madame Clicquot's Afternoon Tea:
- Wolfhead Double Smoked Salmon
- Free-range Egg Salad
- Open Face Cucumber
- Matane Shrimp
- Grapefruit Tart
- Tonka Bean Mousse
- Bergamot Macaron
- Rose and Peach Mousse
The open faced cucumber sandwich was lovely because it was also seasoned with paprika and had a nice crunch due to the toasted brioche.
The Wolfhead double smoked salmon was disappointing as it lacked seasoning and was inside soggy potato bread.
The Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto is a great venue. It's beautiful and is centrally located in Toronto. In addition, this themed afternoon tea was a partnership with Veuve Clicquot so it offered something different. The chinaware was lovely and the savouries and sweets were well presented visually but at times, some of these items fell flat on flavour (e.g. soggy potato bread with salmon).
This special Veuve Clicquot afternoon was priced at $88 CAD+ tax per person (which is pricey) and on top of that, to get the 'Veuve Clicquot' experience you had to add an additional $20 to get a glass of Brut (a total of $102 CAD+tax) or an additional $26 to get a glass of the Rosé (for a total of $108 CAD+tax). It would have been nice if the Veuve Clicquot was simply offered as part of the experience without the requirement to upgrade.
☕️ ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ / ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ [4 out of 5 tea cups]
We give the Shangri-La Madame Clicquot's Afternoon Tea service experience 4 out of 5 tea cups. While the service was great, their afternoon tea service is held in the main hotel lobby which at times was noisy and distracting as hotel guests and other visitors went in and out. Additionally, sitting on a couch means you have to bend down to access the tea and food which was brought out onto a coffee table (it's a beautiful marble table but it's a bit too low in position compared with the couch). Nonetheless, the food was wonderfully presented and the service was excellent. It's a bit expensive, so certainly not something to do on a regular basis, but if you're looking for a visually stunning experience (e.g. the hyperreal rose and peach mousse), the Madame Clicquot's Afternoon Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel will not disappoint.
For afternoon tea bookings, you can reach out to the hotel directly via: 1-(647)-788-8281