Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Centennial Tea and other specials offered at Fairmont Empress

The Fairmont Empress Hotel reigns over Victoria's Inner Harbour
Photo by Sue Frause

The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria continues its centennial celebration this year with special packages and lots of new looks for Victoria's grand dame.

A special
Centennial Tea will be served at 12:30 PM and 3 PM and begins with a flute of Mumm's Cordon Rouge Champagne Brut, which was used to toast the opening of the Fairmont Empress in 1908.

Executive Chef Takashi Ito and Pastry Chef D'Oyen Christie have created a special menu which includes such gourmet finger sandwiches as Dungeness crab salad with lime vinaigrette and smoked salmon on a toasted dill brioche; organic curry chicken with mango on dark rye bread; duck confit, poached pear on a toasted filone baguette; local tomato, buffalo mozzarella, cucumber and tarragon dressing on multi grain bread. Warmed scones are served two ways, along with a variety of French pastries and sweets.

And of course, tea! The elegant tea is finished off with a glass of Lustau Dry Amontillado Los Arcos Sherry, hand rolled chocolate truffles, a complimentary tin of Empress Centennial Blend and the Centennial Afternoon Tea menu to take home. 
Cost of the Centennial Tea is $100. The hotel's traditional Afternoon Tea will also continue to be served ($40-$60). Other specials/highlights include:

  • Breakfast in Bed with Royal Tea package for$269 that includes one night's accommodation, breakfast for two, tea for two and a copy of the updated The Empress of Victoria coffee table book.
  • Over $1 million invested in refurbishing the famous tea lobby floors as well as the Crystal Ballroom.
  • Centennial garden will be unveiled this summer.
  • Fit for a Queen facial or a 60-minute Scentry Experience for $100 per person at the Fairmont Empress' Willow Stream Spa.
  • The Fairmont Store is featuring The Royal China, an exquisite pattern that made its debut in 1939 when King George and Queen Elizabeth dined in The Empress Room. It was hidden away until 1951 when it was used during Queen Elizabeth's visit. Years later, it was discovered locally in an antique store and recreated for the hotel and re-launched in 1998. This is the first time it has been offered for sale to the public.
  • The Palm Court's famous dome – which was lost for years after it collapsed under the weight of snow during a freak storm - has been recreated in a commemorative bowl. The dome was rebuilt during the hotel's renovation in 1989.
  • The hotel's exterior will be lit up to highlight the architecture of the Francis Rattenbury-designed building.