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​High Tea in British Columbia


Dai Mar Tamarack, Expedition Leader, Safari Quest

When people say that Victoria, British Columbia feels more British than Britain, it probably means they have had high tea at the famous Empress Hotel.

The Empress Hotel

Built in the early 1900s, this hotel stands as a constant reminder of the British colonialism that Canada once was ruled by. Queen Elizabeth II has stayed at the Empress and when I take guests here on the Safari Quest’s Yachters’ Paradise itinerary, they feel like royalty.

The spread

High tea turns out to be more about the dazzle of manicured desserts and finger sandwiches than it does the time of day. Three levels of goodies come out with the fabulous Empress blend tea. Adding milk to the tea adds another British touch, although I often encourage people to try it first without. There are also four options of sugar to add, ranging from molasses dark sugar crystals to maple infused sugar. Oh the options!

A walk around the town will bring distinctive Canadian flare to the eye as well, with its own storied history of residents like Madam Stella, Robert Service and Emily Carr.

An amazing amount of totems remind us of the first nations that have lived on this coast for the last 10,000 years and a stop at the Royal B.C. Museum brings all of this history to life.


It’s a fun first day before heading off to the wilds of the sunshine coast aboard the Safari Quest.

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