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Empress Room

721 Government St
Victoria, BC V8W1W5
Tel: (250) 389-2727 Reserve Online
Neighbourhood: Downtown

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Enjoyable experience
By yummm of Surrey (36 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 2:45am [Dine in]

Had afternoon tea with a friend in the Empress Room last year in the summer. The place was rather empty but the decor was beautiful. My friend from Asia was very pleased with the atmosphere, spent the whole hour appreciating the decor in the room as well as the beautiful view out the window. Our server wasn't particularly attentive or helpful; however, we were quite happy to be left alone.

The pastries were the ordinary pastries one would expect for afternoon tea. Nothing spectacular. It was the view and the atmosphere that sell this place, certainly not the pastries / tea.

Not a bad choice for a special occasion.

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Empress Dining Room
By Vince of Victoria (6 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 12:43pm [Dine in]

I guess there's really no other experience like the Empress in Victoria. The dining room is elegant with fine bone china, linen cloths and real silverware.( the silverware still says CP hotels on it, even though the Empress has been a Fairmont Hotel for at least 4 yrs) The staff are professional and experienced long term employees.
We had two meals there, lunch and dinner. Each time we had window tables that overlooked the Gov. St. promenade.

For dinner, we started with the braised Quebec Foie Gras which was to die for! I'm not a big fan of Foie Gras but I thoroughly enjoyed this appetizer the way it was presented. I had the Austrailian Lamb - I ordered it med-rare but in hindsight I should have ordered it rare. Still it was beautiful and delicious. My wife ordered the steak which when I tasted sunk into my chair in disbelief. It was that good! I'm not easily impressed by any ol' slab of beef unless its a prime cut and prepared just right and it was! The Empress hotel got it right - I was impressed.

Yes the meals and drinks are expensive, and to be fair, my wife and I booked the Romance package that included the cost of dinner so we were'nt too concerned over the cost of the meals. All I can say is that if you are looking for a "special" evening then consider the Empress for a dinner that is unique and pleasurable.

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Just say 'No' to high tea.
By Diner_Victoria of victoria (8 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, January 7, 2007 - 2:17am [Dine in]

If you're looking for an authentic english tea go to Murchies or the Blethering Place.

The empress high tea is a big scam. The sandwiches are dry. The strawberries are of poor quality and the variety of sandwiches is pathetic. Even the little pastries aren't that good.

I've had high teas all over Canada and I've never seen such hype with such poor quality.

You're paying for the ambience, full stop.

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My Quest for Eggs Benny
By Rapunzel of Gabriola Island (25 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, May 29, 2008 - 3:47pm [Dine in]

I live on Gabriola Island and don't eat out much. Also, my husband is an excellent cook (who doesn't like going to restaurants) and I have found I have become somewhat spoiled now when it comes to food. I no longer have any interest in fast food, greasy food, etc. When I am "off-island", I want to make the most of my meals out.

"Vancouver Island Eggs Benedict" - two eggs on dungeness crab cakes on toasted brioche with tomato Hollandaise, a square of potato rosti on the side, a surprisingly large goblet of fresh pink grapefruit juice and two complimentary (ha!!!) itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot sconeenies with a lovely fruit compote. $27 less a $5 coupon they gave me when I checked into the hotel the night before. Delicious, though there's a really good place in Nanaimo that serves something similar at weekend brunch for $11.

As fabulous as it was, when you add on tax and tip the price is pretty steep even with the coupon. I'm not sure that I'd do it again, but you never know.

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Tea for 2 ($200 that is!)
By Mig of Victoria (11 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, February 20, 2007 - 11:39pm [Dine in]

Okay, I agree, it seems crazy to spend that much money for little crusts of bread with some deviled egg, or a bite size tart with a hint of ham...let's face it folks, it's all about location, location, location, have you checked out the view from the Empress Room?! Of course it's a tourist trap and of course we are all paying way too much for the morsels of finger food...but you are not paying for the food but for the experience of having tea at one of our oldest landmarks! It costs a pretty penny I'm sure to keep that "old gal" The Empress, well groomed for all to enjoy...that's what you are paying for, to help keep her looking pretty!

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Old World Food... but amazing.
By VancityAllie of Vancouver (Fairview) (7 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, April 29, 2010 - 8:35pm [Dine in]

Victoria is well-known for its fantastic restaurants… but my favourite happens to be right in the Fairmont Empress hotel. The “Empress Room” is the main dining room at the hotel. Whenever I eat here, I am whisked away to another world from another time…

Nothing is modern here. There’s nothing innovative or unusual about the decor or the food. This isn’t a trendy place to go. It’s not the place to see-or-be-seen. This is where you go if you want delicious, traditional food that is incredibly rich with absolutely the best service in all of BC.

The Empress has recently reworked their drink menu and their bartenders have gone through extensive training to mix drinks the “classic” Victorian way. I don’t know what that is, but each drink we had was strong, clean, fragrant, and tasty.

The food is SO good here. While it may not be for everyone’s palate, it really does suit mine. The flavours are always spot on, and their menu is always local and seasonal. But best of all, it’s always extremely rich. Nothing subtle here. I can’t say enough about the service. Although we always try to be seated at Earl’s table (my favourite waiter), every member of staff is impeccable and courteous. Yes, the silver platters are an over-the-top traditional touch. I don’t care. It’s awesome.

Dessert is always amazing too. This time Allan tried a peach cobbler, and I had the chocolate marshmallows with gold leaf. No ordinary marshmallow, it was filled with homemade marshmallows, hazelnut filling, and a crumbly dark chocolate crust at the bottom… then dipped in dark chocolate. Mmmmm.

You can’t help but feel a little small in the room. All the furniture, lighting, wallpapers and fabrics are ridiculously decadent. But there’s a large wood burning fireplace at the end of the room that softens it all and makes you feel like you’re at home. It’s kind of like being in your rich grandma’s house from another life.

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Not Worth It!!!
By gurdeep of delta (6 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, October 1, 2006 - 11:48pm [Dine in]

Went there for the afternoon tea and that cost about $80/person with the tax and a 15% tips.

The tea and refreshments are not bad but definitely NOT worth the price they charge you, all together it probably should cost $20/person. It is a nice hotel lobby with someone play the piano, but the seats and tables are getting old, I wonder for that kinda price they charge you, can they replace something decent? So much fame about this hotel, but they don't perform to the par, actually it's way below....

I gave a 15% tip for it's fine dinning's sake, but when the waitress poured our tea to the cups, it spilled all over the place, strange, it seemed she didn't see that at all!

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don't go for high tea
By jcont of Kitsilano, Vancouver (26 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 5:06pm [Dine in]

We went to the Empress Hotel for High Tea as it is something the Fairmont has been known for. The experience was a terrible disappointment. Starting with the fact that the server was not at all helpful. It took forever for the food to arrive and we were not given our tea pots until a good 15 minues after we were seated. To make matters worse, our server's shift ended during our tea, and we were passed to another server who had even less interest in checking on us. We ran out of tea, and it took 15 minutes to get some additional hot water. Furthemore, the finger sandwiches were stale. They were obviously mass produced and then saran-wrapped for serving. As the crusts were cut off, and they had been sitting there for a few hours, the edges were now a bit stiff. I would NEVER recommend this venue for high tea. You'd be better off going to Butchard Gardens.

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Fit For A Queen!
By diamond of vancouver (5 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, May 9, 2006 - 9:37pm [Dine in]

The Empress is so much fun! The outside to in inside tea room reminds me of how beautiful it must have been in the olden days to have tea in this room. Everything has been restored in this room and it's so much fun to go with my mom and share a girl's brunch/ morning tea experience with her. I think that if you are in Victoria you should go try the tea experience at the Empress.

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