Every few months Notch8, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s restaurant, changes their afternoon tea menu to reflect a new theme. For May and June 2019, the hotel is celebrating its 80th birthday, and their tea menu is inspired by their elegant past.
We have been to the Fairmont Vancouver Hotel before and our previous review covers many of the details of the experience.
When we were first seated, we were given a small cup of Eton Mess. It is not listed on their menu but it is essentially a small cup of jam, merengue, strawberries and cream. It was incredibly delicious and was our favourite item of the entire tea service.
Melanie enjoyed the Joie de Provence, which is described as, “beginning with mellow rooibos and to it was added dried berries for a layer of sweetness and a dash of lavender for a true french twist. We have had this tea before and it always tastes wonderful. It can be enjoyed plain or with a hint of milk.”
Lily decided upon a favourite as well. She chose the Imperial Breakfast, which is described as, “the perfect breakfast tea with burgundy depth and malt highlights. Bold and robust with a bright golden cup.”
Unfortunately, we were disappointed with the savouries. Though they looked beautiful, most of them were not to our liking. Other patrons seemed happy to eat them, so they must appeal to some. However, they did not suit our tastes at all.
Coronation Chicken Salad | Mango Chutney : To be fair, we are not fans of many yellow curries. This chicken salad was a bit too strongly flavoured in our opinion.
Cucumber Tomato Madrilene | Dill Fromage Frais | White Bread : This was the best sandwich in our opinion, even though we didn’t find it particularly special. The tomato had a mild flavour and it could have used a bit more dill. However, the bread was fresh and the flavours pair well together.
Beef Shank |Horseradish | Sour Cream | Dehydrated Blue Cheese | Artisan Sourdough : The beef in this sandwich tasted like it had been boiled and it was not appetizing in the least. The horseradish nor the blue cheese could mask the flavour.
Smoked Salmon | Ravigote Butter | Preserved Lemon | Brown Bread : This savoury was very pretty but the smoked salmon had a fishy flavour. We were disappointed, since we normally really enjoy smoked salmon.
Shrimp and Lobster | Northern Divine Caviar | Saffron Aioli | Brioche : We typically love shrimp and lobster, but once again this sandwich had a very fishy taste. We are not sure if the seafood was not fresh or if it was just not of good quality, but it did not meet our standards.
The scones at the Notch8 are always well made and this time was no exception. They are fresh, warm and have good flavour. This afternoon tea includes the following scones and spreads.
Classic English Scone | Clotted Cream | Strawberry Preserve
Golden Sultana Scone | Orange Marmalade
The sweet selection provided a wide variety of flavours and we liked some better than others.
Treacle Tart | Candied Orange : This tart was not our favourite. The taste of treacle is not familiar to us and that is probably part of why we were not impressed with it.
Linzer Torte | Apricot : The Linzer cookie was very good. We enjoyed the spices in the dough and the jam in the centre was delicious. It is quite a filling cookie as well, as there are two cookies sandwiched together to make the torte.
Battenberg Cake | Marzipan : Melanie enjoyed the Battenberg Cake quite a bit. It was moist and had the right amount of marzipan flavour. Lily thought it was a bit too sweet.
Creme Brulee Macaron | Croquant : We feel that this was the best sweet of the set. The macaron shell was sweet and had the perfect consistency and the filling was creamy and subtle.
Raspberry Trifle Chantilly | Vanilla Sponge : The trifle was also well executed. There was a strange addition of silver pop rocks to the traditional ingredients, but it was unexpectedly pleasant.
Earl Grey Eclair : The Earl Grey filling was very tasty. Though, we would have liked the chocolate on the outside to have had a stronger flavour.
Ambiance, Service and General Experience
Ambiance: This tea room is quite dark and it also became a bit loud towards the end of the seating. However, it has an elegant atmosphere and the tables are not too close together.
Service: The service in the tea room at Notch8 is always impeccable. We had a lovely server who took care of us very well. He was attentive, jovial and very professional.
General Experience: Unfortunately, our experience was soured by the disappointing savoury section. However, the excellent service and scones served to console us and we will be back to give one of their next themed teas a try in the future.
A few more images: