My friend Cat got married about a month ago and just prior to the wedding, I attended her bridal shower. Luckily for me, it was afternoon tea and even luckier for me, it was at the Secret Garden Tea Company in Kerrisdale. The last time I was at Secret Garden, it was actually for my own bridal shower and I remembered the food being extremely tasty.
The arrangements for afternoon tea was organized by one of Cat’s bridesmaids so I wasn’t privy to all the details. However, upon perusing Secret Garden’s online menu, it looks like the option our group had was the High Tea, which was also advertised as their “premiere tea service”.
I neglected to take a picture of my tea, but I chose the Creamy Earl Grey, which is one of Secret Garden’s most popular teas. The normal Earl Grey tea blend had bergamot and vanilla added, which gave the tea a wonderful creamy flavour without the cream. It is definitely one of my favourite tea blends and I think I will purchase some to take home the next time I’m in the area.
As is with most high teas, the food came organized in the recommended order that you should eat the items. We started first with the bottom tier, which had a variety of dainty little sandwiches. My favourites were the mini croissant sandwiches with salami and cheese. The croissants were buttery and crispy and went well with the saltiness of the salami. I also liked the little multigrain toasts with mushrooms and caramelized onions. I think mushrooms and onions are one of the ultimate combos and the little toasts added a sufficient amount of crunch. I wasn’t too crazy about the egg salad pinwheels though, which I felt were too mushy and did not have much flavour.
The middle tier had a selection of baked goods. My favourite from this tier was the mini scones, onto which I slathered quite a bit of Devonshire cream and raspberry jam. Probably not the healthiest but I thought the Devonshire cream and jam went so well together and the scones had a slight crust on the outside while the inside was nice and soft. I found the banana loaf to be ok but I definitely preferred the scones more.
The top tier had all the desserts. By this time, I was starting to get pretty full but how could I stop when I was getting to the best part? The mini lemon tarts were perfectly made with a buttery shortbread crust and a slightly tart lemon curd that was packed with flavour. I also liked the little pistachio cream cakes but I would have preferred there to be more pistachio flavour. The mini chocolate mousse cakes were very chocolaty and rich with the little fan of baked filo on top providing a slight crispiness. I enjoyed all the sweet desserts but I liked the lemon tarts the most.
I really enjoyed our afternoon tea at Secret Garden. One good thing about Secret Garden is that they have a sitting at 12:15PM so you can have these goodies for lunch rather than having a fairly large “snack” in the middle of the afternoon. At $25.95 per person, it is about the typical price you pay for most nicer afternoon tea places and for the quality of food you get and the selection of teas, I think it is very reasonable.
5559 West Boulevard, Vancouver
Price: $$ and a half