Afternoon tea at the Urban Tea Merchant
My sister Silvia was in town last week. She used to live here, but since then; has moved to Winnipeg and visits the West Coast once a year.
One of our favourite things to do together is high tea. We have tried almost every tea house in Vancouver, from The Secret Garden in Kerrisdale to Hotel Vancouver. This last visit we decided to try out The Urban Tea Merchant in West Georgia.
My sister is a true tea connoisseur. She appreciates the aroma, the texture and the varieties of teas the world has to offer. Me, I am more partial to black, sweet teas. One of my favourite is the je t’Aime tea which contains notes of pistachio, macaroons and marzipan. Delicious with milk and sugar. If its green tea you crave, the Maitre Fang has hints of coconut, lime and roses.
Our Petite Afternoon tea service included 3 mini sandwiches (egg salad, salmon and cream cheese watercress) a scone with Devonshire cream and assorted pastries. The presentation is just beautiful and elegant. The food is delicious. The flavours are subtle and enhance the tea experience. My favourite was the smoked salmon. And I loved the scone. It was different from the scones I’m used to. Usually scones are soft and crumbly. This one came with a hard crust that was sprinkled with sugar. It had a rock sugar like consistency. Very tasty. The pastries were a perfect serving for our tea service. works of art in miniature and each delicious.
The tea room is as elegant as their tea service. Modern photographs of faraway places grace the walls. There is a small water fountain created with tea pots in the centre of the room. Beautiful clean linens, and tasteful surroundings make this an experience worth repeating over and over again.
What I love about the high tea ritual with my sisters is how easy conversation flows when we share a cup of tea together. Once in awhile its nice to disconnect and take a few moments for yourself and focus on the person sitting in front of you. In this age of technology and speed, sometimes we have to remember the art of conversation.