“Venus Sophia is a jewel. The food is sophisticated and down-to-earth. The quality is consistent. The tea room is lucky to have a Swiss-trained chef talented with both the entree and the dessert dishes. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is cozy with vintage elegance. I have enjoyed several visits over the past year and have highly recommend this charming tea room to many friends. Give it a try!” – Review taken from www.bcliving.com
Launched in 2011, Venus Sophia Tea Room & Vegetarian Eatery is a local, family owned restaurant in Victoria, BC. The bistro offers gourmet vegetarian meals prepared from scratch, a wide variety of signature organic teas, fair trade coffees, decadent desserts and much more. The downtown location is hard to beat, only a few minutes walk from the inner harbor, and set in a 200 year old historic building in Chinatown. Once inside the tea room, one is whisked away into a unique world of “contemporary charm” and “vintage elegance”. The open space boasts high ceilings with exposed brick and hanging wooden fans, while classic chandeliers and tear drop lights adorn the interior’s sky line. Mismatched vintage chairs, comfortable arm chairs, and a couch corner make for a very cozy dining area … paying attention to details, the unique decor is tasteful and abundant through out.
We specialize in afternoon tea – or high tea – and offer the customer to experience a much loved tradition at an affordable price, while enjoying high quality food and service. We take pride in only serving the finest organic loose leaf teas, served from our beautiful collection of antique tea ware. All our teas are carefully hand packaged and available for purchase to take home with you as well.
Our food is sourced from top quality and seasonal ingredients, featuring many organic and local products. We are inspired by culture and artisanal foods, embracing world flavours in our cuisine. We love preparing our soups, bread, cakes, quiches, lasagna, dressings, sauces, dips, and much more, from scratch.
We work together with a team of dedicated staff members, who share our same values of universal respect and integrity, and who find joy in serving others with kindness and a genuine smile. Offering warm hospitality is one of our main focuses in operating our business, and we treat all our employees with this heartfelt approach too.
MEET THE FRIENDLY OWNERS!
When Sallie and Alain El Alaily first met in Toronto a few
years back, they each just knew they had finally found the
love of their life. Soon after, the Egyptian/Swiss natives
sealed their commitment to one another and got married.
They spent their honey moon travelling all over the world,
with their final destination in Victoria, BC.
Between them, they had the right ingredients to make
their restaurant dreams come true: passion for food &
beverage, talent in hospitality, experience in the industry,
and a positive entrepreneurial attitude. So, when
serendipity came knocking on their door in 2011,
they took a leap of faith and purchased the Venus Sophia
Tea Room to transform it into the family bistro they longed
They decided to keep the name and add “Vegetarian Eatery”, which is the heart of their vision. Being vegetarians themselves, they love to share their hearty, creative and healthy dishes. Like the name suggests, Sallie and Alain wanted to create a unique, contemporary tea house concept. They wanted to serve afternoon tea in a relaxed setting, with focus on a home-made menu, and highlight the use of organic coffees as well as teas. Creating and maintaining a modern, European style atmosphere with warm hospitality is integral to their mission; something that regulars and new customers appreciate. By going with the flow of what was presented to them, they were able to re-invent Venus Sophia into the breath of fresh air it is today.
Alain, 39, is a Swiss-trained chef specializing in Vegetarian cooking, having worked with many prominent chefs in Italy, Switzerland and Toronto. He also holds a Bachelor of Business and Communications. Sallie, 29, has experience in the hospitality field with the prestigious Westin Turnberry Resort of Scotland, UK, and holds both a Bachelor of Business, and Swiss Diploma in Hotel Management. When they are not running their restaurant, they enjoy spending their family time and playing with their beautiful daughter, Salina. They also take time to nurture their hobbies: Alain practices Aikido and takes beautiful nature photographs, while Sallie channels her creativity in writing, marketing and decorating.