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  • Ambiance2.5
  • Reviews16

Blethering Place, The

2250 Oak Bay Ave
Victoria, BC
Tel: (250) 598-1413
Fax: (250) 592-9052
  • Cuisine: British, Tea house
  • Price: $$$ ($30 - $45)
  • Reservations: Accepted
  • The Blethering Place is an authentic English teahouse where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, traditional afternoon tea and dinner. The menu is made up of traditional English fare which compliments the lace curtains and Old English memorabilia that fills the place.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
For Tea - Solid Choice
By lindarose of Vancouver (172 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, November 28, 2007 - 7:02pm [Dine in]

I like Tea. I like those little sandwhiches and cakes. I like my tea cozy. I like trifle.

You'd think that I was over 65 years old. I'm not. I'm in my thirties, but I like tea in little china cups and those tiered trays.

The dear husband and I happened upon this place after gagging at the prices that the Empress Tea Room was charging for High Tea ($70 per person HA!!!! I will get a nice prime rib dinner at Rics for less than that!!!).

Anyway, the dear husband and I drove to Oak Bay where we came to a place which jumped from the fifties. The staff where frilly aprons, the tea is kep warm by little cozies, the walls are lined with old dolls (even a Sambo doll!!! I guess they don't know that that just isn't PC - but, like I said, this place jumped out of the fifties!!)

We paid under $20 each for a plate of little sandwhiches and cakes. I love the devonshire cream and jam. The scones are the best. I think that they should try preparing and baking their own little cakes - the ones served were good, but I recognize them as a packaged product. The tea was good (you got a choice of English Breakfast and Earl Grey - I always go for Earl Grey). The meal is finished with some wonderful English Trifle. Yum Yum!!!

This is not a healthy meal, but it certainly is pleasant.

I have heard family members say that the regular menu is terrible. I would never go there for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

However, for good old fashionied tea - it's great!!!

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Gone so downhill...
By joannemuriel of Victoria, BC (42 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, November 7, 2006 - 3:45pm [Dine in]

This used to be such a great place, but the owner doesn't give a hoot about anything regarding customer service and his staff is so rude and the food so consistently awful that I simply will not go back. Their prices are not cheap, so it would be nice to be able to expect a properly prepared meal. They consistently overcook the eggs, while rules out breakfast, and one time, I heard the cook complaining about having to fix someone's meal. I know many other unhappy customers, as well (say, 2). Too bad, I miss when this place produced great food, and actually cared.

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pub fare
By Gems of Vancouver (13 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 5:38pm [Dine in]

Our family had lunch there and our orders were steak and mushroom pie, ploughman's lunch, burger and fish and chips. Was it memorable? Not really - predictable, but bland and even my kids commented on this. I noticed the tea service at other tables and it was much more appealing to me, and I would recommend this. I did get a scone with cream and jam, and I must say that the jam was amazingly flavorful and fruity fresh - loved it. When we go back again, it will be for the tea service.

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Wish I could sound nicer...
By fin2 of Vancouver (14 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, April 7, 2008 - 9:51pm [Dine in]

....but we had a terrible experience here recently.

Took my mother to tea on our big trip to Victoria. I was not expecting miracles of foodie heaven for 18.95 (we paid the extra $2 for the double cream trifle), but I did expect better than 1/2 a dried up sandwich each, a small slice of cantalope, a handful of grapes, a cookie from Superstore (even had the PC logo on it), a mini butter tart and 3 squares that were clearly bought from Safeway.

The scone was definitely the best part, hot and fresh; however, when I cracked mine open, I found a large, dark hair had been baked into it. When we managed to flag down the waitress, she did apologize and brought me another, but no 'comps' were offered or given.

The trifle was okay, but just $2 okay.

The ambiance is over the top Victoriana. Our tablebloth was really faded and had been washed one too many times (seeing as it was just a square of fabric, I couldn't understand why it hadn't been replaced). The teapot comes with knitted cozy.

The waitresses seem trapped in large white dresses that made them look like they are wearing Victorian bed clothes!

The tea was fine, but it was plain Twinings tea bags. No refill of hot water came or was offered.

For this ridiculous price, I expected more. We will not be back!

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Needs a Face-Lift
By Mig of Victoria (11 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, February 20, 2007 - 11:01pm [Dine in]

Yes, I agree with the previous reviews, this restaurant is living off of it's reputation as a "must see tourist stop"! In it's day, it was probably quite unique but now it's worn out and needs help! Some new wall paper, table cloths, carpet, bathrooms and ditch the dolls!
I think you have to be over 60 to work there, but I have to say the gals are cute and very friendly! You can't get a better scone with devonshire creme and homemade jam!

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These people just do not get it!
By kennarina of Victoria (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, August 11, 2008 - 4:25pm [Dine in]

Many years ago, when this restaurant first opened, I pointed out the filthy tablecloths to the owner, who shrugged and said something like 'Well, it's hard to bleach out those stains..."
"It's not bleach problem!" I replied. "It's the piles of gooey jam that have not been cleaned since the previous diner at this table!"

Alas, the quality has apparently not improved in the 25+ years since my last visit there. I attended a birthday dinner here for a friend a few days ago (otherwise I would never set foot in this place at all). It was without exception the worst-looking and the worst-tasting food I've ever experienced. Overdone roast beef was sliced, not against the grain as roast beef should be sliced, but WITH the grain resulting in slabs of dry, stringy brown meat topped with a congealed blob of dark gelatinous stuff that could have been gravy. Shepherds pie was made with FROZEN mixed veggies and DRIED parsley dumped on top. The waitress was unable to name the house red or white wines for our table. People who care so little about quality, good food and competent service should not be allowed to run restaurants and actually charge customers money for this kind of dreadful dining experience.

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* Second Worst meal of my life *
By mcjardine of whiterock (34 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, June 13, 2008 - 12:40pm [Dine in]

What a disappointment!This establishment on first entering gave false hope of a dining experience that one could tell friends about.Atmosphere actually very nice [an authentic English restaurant right out of the 50's]Our waitress was quite helpful in the meal selection.My wife had the Roast beef and all the fixings and I had the steak and mushroom pie.[$16.95 and $15.95 resp]. Mel arrived and the dining experience plummeted to an all time low for us. R.beef way over cooked and old and stringy and lots of grissel, Gravy lumpy ,overly salty and out of a Swanson pre- packaged gravy pouch. Veges v. tired and rubbery ,Yorkshire pudding was made several days before ,frozen and microwaved . My steak and mushroom pie came inverted on the plate and horrible brown gluppy stuff poured on it. Pastry slightly rancid ,no mushrooms ,excessive salt, roast potatoes made some time earlier in the day and nuked especially for me [ rubber texture and stale tasting] .Both meals inedible When waitress was advised about our poor quality she was not at all apologetic ,in fact she stated that it was completely not what ever came out of the kitchen .She wanted to replace the meal but since everything on our plates was horrible first go round we declined and asked for our bill. No tip ,No comp, should have walked out . Stay away and save your money .

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Incredible food, bad service
By Authentik of victoria (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, May 26, 2008 - 9:49am [Dine in]

This used to be such a great place, but the owner doesn't give a hoot about anything regarding customer service and his staff is so rude awful .the service is so awful to many staff , it was probably quite unique but now it's worn out and needs help! Some new wall paper, table cloths, carpet, bathrooms and ditch the dolls!

Their prices are good , they hire an executive chef who cares about making good food from fresh ingredients.

The food was perfect! It is evident that the Chef is very particular about the quality of the ingredients

Curry Is fantastic, fish and chips, the food is outstanding , excellente presentation.

My experience with blethering place and it was seriously the Best food.

I have heard family members say that the regular menu is incredible now since they hire the new executive chef.

But the service is so poor.

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Used to be much better
By astickler of Surrey, B.C. (33 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, September 16, 2007 - 3:47pm [Dine in]

My mother-in-law lives down the street and we have brought her here for dinner or tea many times when we come to Victoria to visit her. The place has slowly been going downhill, sadly. They used to have lovely, honest, fresh English food. Now it all tastes like it came out of a packet. I saw the chef smoking outside the back door: he and his clothes were filthy. Most unappetizing. The owner, originally from New Zealand, is a nice fellow. He supports local talent (they often have great musical entertainment in the evenings) and cares about his community (every year, the restaurant opens for a free Christmas dinner for the poor). However, he needs to makeover the tired decor and hire a chef who cares about making good food from fresh ingredients. English food already has a bad enough reputation -- we don't need the Blethering Place to make things worse.

If you simply have to come here, for the touristy experience of "jolly olde England", then just stay for tea and scones.

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Yuck!
By NikkiJ73 of Victoria (22 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, June 1, 2007 - 10:13pm [Dine in]

I like to give most places the benefit of the doubt, that's why I've been here twice. The first time for lunch (not my choice of establishments) and I have to say, a lot of english food can be unappealing to the western palette. Why would I want to go out and pay hefty prices for Bangers and Mash (aka. sausages and mashed potatoes)? I stuck with a cup of soup or chowder, which was edible, but tasted like Campbells as that was the only thing on the menu that seemed safe. At this time people were still allowed to smoke in the restaurant so a blue haze hung in the air, not a pleasurable experience.

The next time was years later as I was in the neighborhood in the evening with some friends and it was the only place that was open to get a cup of tea/coffee and a dessert. The reviews they had up made their pies out to be works of art, so I settled upon a deep dish peach pie with vanilla ice cream, how far wrong could they go with that? Let me tell you, they were so far off the mark. The pie did come piping hot (compliments of a nuking in the microwave) with ice cream in a glass ramekin. The only crust was on the top and the rest was this gelatinous mess in the dish. It was like peach pie with some juice it was like peach jelly with the occassional hunk of fruit. It was disgusting. By this time, the smoking ban had also taken effect, yet since they hadn't renovated the place still smelled very stale with smoke and old greasy food. Yuck, never again will I go there and it's rare I have that strong a reaction to any place, but I'd avoid this like the plague or London Fog...if this is what english food is, I'll be avoiding Heathrow!

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For the experience
By begreen of Vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, October 26, 2009 - 12:30am [Dine in]

I found everything very average about the Blethering Place. Having lived in Victoria for quite some time I have heard about this place so I decided to check it out. Its housed in a historic building that dates back to 1910s. I think as it is a known tourist destination to check out, it is built around that. Its more focused on the experience and the setting. Inside is decorated very nostalgically and you almost feel like you could be in the 1900s. The food itself is alright, nothing extremely special. They have a fairly wide and extensive menu. The prices were fair for what you got. I feel like a lot of people had very negative reviews about this place. We can't judge a place based on one persons reviews because it could be an isolated incident. When I went, the service was pretty good. The waitresses regularly stopped by to see if we needed anything. The food came fairly quickly as well. So overall it was an ok place. The food is nothing special but the nature of the restaurant is unique to Victoria. They also have afternoon tea and a wide variety of good sounding desserts that I didn't get a chance to try.

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High Tea
By catputer046 of Victoria, B.C. (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, July 18, 2009 - 5:18pm [Dine in]

I wanted to take my friends out for lunch and The Blethering Place seemed like a good choice. I ordered the High Tea. I asked our waiter if they could give me any sandwich except ones with ham or fish as I don't care for either. I felt like I was bothering our waiter. The sandwiches I recieved were dry and stale. The tart and squares were store bought. The plate looked messy and thrown together. The scone was excellent but I only received a 1/2 teaspoon of cream. High tea comes with Trifle but I was not offered any. It wasn't a good experience. The Blethering Place used to be the place to go for High Tea in Victoria. I would say "don't wasted your time or money".

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Wonderful Oak Bay experience
By nwgirl61 of portland (2 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - 3:22pm [Dine in]

I love to visit Oak Bay and the Blethering Place. Scotch Broth soup is the best, and we love the breakfasts. My husband never knew that he craved grilled tomatoes in the morning. The owner is very personable and the waitresses are extremely cheery and helpful. It is an older crowd that might remember all the planes, pictures and memorabilia in the dining room, although it is nice to see whole families with children and teenagers along...and seeming to have a good time. We must always bring back some English sweets for our friends back in Oregon, and the dolls and boxed foods are fun. The Christmas dinner for anyone who comes in the door, with full tablecloth, linen and waiter service shows just how much they want to do something for the community. I believe this restaurant also sponsors an antique car show every August.
Great place.

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Disappointing!
By valjohn of peterborough (1 Review)
Submitted Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 7:18pm [Dine in]

We called in here for lunch as we're visisting from England we and dont know many lunch places in Oak Bay. We had the lunch special (soup & sandwich) and wish we hadn't bothered! The main problem was that the bread was very dry..yesterday's bread we decided..or possibly the day before! The sandwich filling was ok but definately not what we've been used to during our travels on Vancouver Island, we've had some amazing sandwiches here! The soup was only ok, again nothing special and nowhere near the standard we've been used to. We decided that this establishment is playing on the 'English teashop' theme but doesn't live up to Canadian standards. We've had much better lunches at home, and if you've been to Engalnd you'll know that Canadian sandwiches knock ours into a cocked hat!!! We wouldn't eat here again

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Good English Food!
By Diner_Victoria of victoria (8 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, January 6, 2007 - 5:22pm [Dine in]

If you're looking for good quality authentic english food, come here!

If you're looking for a gourmet meal with all the trimmings - go someplace else.

Bangers and mash - outstanding. (personally I prefer my fried tomatoes to be slices not wedges, but that's the only 'fault' I can find!)

Curry - fantastic.

Haven't had the high tea yet, but many assure me it is far superiour to the Empress (which is overpriced and of poor quality).

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Tourist Trap
By garystravel of Sooke (4 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, September 29, 2006 - 7:55pm [Dine in]

There are some good things about the Blethering Place, such as the English odds and ends that you can pick up there (food stuffs). An English friend of mine went nuts over their canned goods. The restaurant itself has a cozy appearance that makes you think it would be a great place for an afternoon tea. Recently I took a visitor there for an afternoon tea and ended up apologizing to them for the experience. We arrived mid-afternoon so the place wasn't busy at all. But the service was slow. When our server appeared I got the impression we had interrupted something she was doing and she wasn't at all happy about it. She took our order, eventually dropped off our tea and cakes without a word and we never saw her again. I eventually asked another server to get our bill for us. The cake was stale, very stale. I would have sent it back had we ever seen our server again. When we went up to the counter to pay, the person at the cash register asked how our food was and I told her it was bad and told her why (politely). Her response was "oh", and that was it! Really, they seem to be geared toward tour groups and bus loads. I now take my guests to one of the other many outstanding places for tea..

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