Victoria has long been celebrated as one of the most British corners of Canada, and its royal namesake is known for popularizing that sandwich-and-scone snack we know as afternoon tea. Fast-forward 150 years, and the West Coast mantra of all things healthy and fresh has also spawned a modern tea tribe.
Daniela Cubelic, the tea savant behind the city’s Silk Road Tea—a local shop known for stocking more than 100 varieties—has inspired culinary experiments with leaves around Victoria, including Oolong Tea and Sour Cherry ice cream at Cold Comfort, and a tea-infused beer at Spinnakers Brewpub. Cubelic says the city has always been ahead of the curve thanks to a long history of tea-loving locals.
“There’s a strong British afternoon tea culture, but a real interest in Asian culture, too, with the oldest Chinatown in Canada,” says Cubelic.
This may be why this drink flows into every culinary corner, from the tea-inspired treats at La Roux Patisserie, which has previously included Earl Grey lavender cream eclairs and jasmine macarons, to the more than 40 single-estate varieties offered in tea flights at Terroir.
But afternoon tea remains a beloved local tradition, with options ranging from classic Victorian at the Pendray Tea House to princess parties at Venus Sophia. For an upscale option, head to The Lobby Lounge at the Empress Hotel and try a pot of the hotel’s unique Empress Blend, which is served from the hotel’s traditional royal china, alongside scones and sweets.
Where to Try Lapsang Souchong tea
While there are endless options for enjoying tea in Victoria, here are three spots that use the intense flavour of Chinese Lapsang Souchong tea in unique ways.
Here, cocktails are created with B.C. craft spirits and herbal elixirs. The Ritual combines Sheringham Dark Chocolate Vodka, Sons of Vancouver amaretto, and Blasted Brew coffee liqueur, all shaken with a splash of FLORE frankincense water and Lapsang Souchong tea.
The vegetarian menu at this popular spot includes scones flavoured with chai tea and a savoury quiche with a flavour reminiscent of bacon thanks to a touch of Lapsang Souchong tea.
Pastry chef, Kimberley Vy, offers a seasonal Smoked Chocolate Pâté with yuzu white chocolate ganache—the cream is steeped with Lapsang Souchong to create a bold backdrop.
Where to Go Shopping in Victoria
Whether you're looking for antique treasures, locally made bath and beauty products or unique clothing, Victoria delivers. Shop for retro treasures at Zeitgeist Vintage Store, buy records at The Turntable in Fan Tan Alley and pick up some cool stationary at The Regional Assembly of Text.