I am a tea drinker. Though I’m not indiscriminate, I’m wide-ranging in the sorts of tea I’ll consume. A few months ago, I had a conversation with a tea aficionado, who spoke of provenance and visits to tea plantations. I replied that I like tea of all sorts, except for orange pekoe. I don’t think I passed muster. My tea cupboards (yes, there’s more than one) are full of a variety of teas, mostly mid-grade, with a small quantity of quite good tea. I tend to buy organic and fair trade teas now, though there are still some exceptions.

I’ve had very good tea and very bad tea (orange pekoe, I’m looking at you), but I can’t say that I am only willing to drink the best. Some of my favourite tea-drinking memories are of sitting at my grandparents’ table, playing double solitaire with my Grandma and working my way through a pot of strong, black tea. It may have come from the supermarket, but she made it properly and it tasted just right.

Here are a few of the places I love to go for a good cuppa:

The Empress Hotel (we celebrated my mother’s 70th birthday there)


The Secret Garden



I haven’t been to the Hotel Vancouver for their afternoon tea yet, but I hear it’s fabulous.

Where are your favourite tea rooms? If you’re not a tea drinker, tell me about your favourite haunts.