We didn't have High Tea, but we had Afternoon Tea at the Empress. Before we went, I asked on the Boards for some advice as to whether we should do this or the Butchart Gardens since we could not get an excursion to do both. The votes were probably pretty evenly split. However, those who favored the afternoon tea were pretty adamant about it. Now having done both, and I can explain how we eventually managed to do it, I would vote for the gardens. People advised that afternoon tea at the Empress was a once in a lifetime experience and in that regard they were correct -- I will never again in my lifetime pay $160 (tip incl.) for two people for afternoon tea anywhere.But was it worth it -- hell no! Yes it is one of the grand old hotels from the days when the gentry did this sort of thing and there is a degree of ambience there. But no way can this possibly carry a value of $160. The sandwiches, scones, pastries etc. were all typical of what I have had at teas elsewhere for significantly less money. There are many places in Victoria that do this just as well for a lot less, including Butchart Gardens. While we could not get an excursion to do both the gardens and the tea while we were there with the ship, we had planned to rent a car and drive to Vancouver for a few days. We decided to take one of those days and go back to Victoria to see the gardens and we were so happy that we did.
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