Recently there was a group voucher fury over the afternoon tea special at Fairmont YVR, but I missed out! Fortunately, someone found that there was a coupon on this issue of the Richmond Review, page 20! It expires April 30, 2012, so you have a few more days to go try it! So I still managed to get a buy 1 get 1 deal. Since it was still a bit expensive at $36 for two people, I saved it for a special occasion -- Mama Leung's birthday!
Since we were quite early (2pm, sharp!) and it was a Monday, we were seated by the window, where we could see the airplanes. From that table, we could kind of see them take off -- well, actually only the beginning part.
My mother chose the maple maple, a sweet tea, whereas I chose the jetsetter, which is the Fairmont YVR's signature blend. I preferred my maltier tea, whereas my mother liked her sweet tea. We were also brought a timer for the teas -- it was recommended that the maple maple steep for four minutes and the jetsetter for five.
Before the tea tower, we each got a light and refreshing palate cleanser with strawberries, a blackberry, and a mint leaf.
Afterwards, the afternoon tea tower arrived! Compared to Van Dusen, there was not a lot of food, but I wasn't worried about not having enough food since the pots of teas were huge.
We started on the bottom tier -- the sandwich with white bread was the aged cheddar and apple with fresh basil sandwich. The apple slices were very thing and went well with the cheese. I didn't really like the croissant filled with the egg salad because it was a bit dense, where as all the other breads were much fluffier.
The brown rye sandwich was filled with smoked salmon, cucumber and horseradish. Even though it had cucumber, it was sliced very thinly and the smoked salmon and horseradish made the cucumber taste (I loathe cucumbers) negligible. I actually liked this one the most. The most interesting one (though not my favourite) was the curried chicken and mango on the baguette slices. We didn't really notice the mango, but the curry flavour was quite fragrant.
After we both finished the first scone, we were already quite full, but of course, there was always room for sweets. The lemon tart was delightful. I love lemon tarts! The chocolate and hazelnut tart was really rich and smooth. Not the biggest chocolate fan, but the small portion of intense rich chocolate was bearable. The cream puff was also quite nice since there was a generous amount of vanilla filling inside and the choux was quite fluffy. It reminded me of the choux pastries I made at home last year. The honey cheesecake was alright -- it was quite soft and creamy, but didn't have a lot of rich cheese flavour to it.
For $36 per person, I probably would not go back, but $18 is somewhat more reasonable. Still expensive though, since it's not something that is entirely that filling. That isn't to say we weren't full by the end of it, but afternoon tea go-ers are paying more for the ambiance and service anyway. Still, I thought the food here was quite good, service was good, ambiance was okay, but like most other fancy schmacy restos here, if you notice the decor, you can tell that there are lots of unfinished and rough edges. Regardless, it's a nice environment with all the airplanes and huge windows.