Back in 2015, while enjoying a relaxing afternoon sipping on Cream Earl Grey, we read with much interest an article from the Telegraph UK that highlighted the favourite foods of the Queen and the Royals. Like many things to do with tea time culture and tradition, it rather inspired us and so we thought it would be a wonderful twist to recreate Royal foodie pleasures to incorporate into one of our limited edition Afternoon Teas.
As you know by now, we are constantly creating new menus to reflect the current season, special occasions like Mother’s Day, and exciting themes to add a little whimsy to the usual tea affair. The Royal’s Favourites menu was destined for Victoria Day long weekend; ideal since it’s a celebration of Queen Victoria’s birthday. Since then, it has become an annual tradition at Venus Sophia, like many of our tasty afternoon teas.
As we investigated and put the pieces together of what the Royal’s like to eat, we were intrigued by their fine aquired tastes and the fact that they really enjoy eating farm fresh produce & fruits from the garden. Prince Philip is even said to eat a mostly organic diet. We had an especially good time creating the 2017 menu ‘with a vegetarian twist’, since Venus Sophia was mentioned in the Globe and Mail as the top choice for Afternoon Tea for the 2016 Royal Tour. We feel so honoured and we hope you love the afternoon tea menu as much as we do. If you want to know all the details and stories behind each menu item keep reading below. Or you can skip it to see the full menu here.
First, The Savory
“Queen Victoria’s Breakfast Favourite” Farm Fresh Egg & Truffle Sandwiches
According to Chef McGrady, Chef to the Royals for 15 years, “The Queen loved scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and a grating of truffle”.
“Simple English Pleasures” English Cucumber Sandwiches
Afternoon Tea is a daily fixture for the Royal Family, and no tea time is complete without classic English Cucumber sandwiches
“Queen Elizabeth’s Sunday Roast” Whisky Mushroom Cream Pinwheels
When t’s time for Sunday Roast, a staple favourite is to serve steak with a sauce of mushroom, cream and whisky.
“Balmoral Strawberries” Fresh Strawberry Mascarpone Sandwiches
The Queen relishes the strawberries grown at Balmoral, perfect to include in our tea as it’s strawberry season on the island!
Now, for the Scones
Freshly Baked Earl Grey Orange Scented Scones with Cream and Jam
These delightful scones are adapted from the Kensington Palace recipe, which you can read here. It is a tribute to Queen Anne, who built the beautiful Orangery glass structure in 1704 to house her collection of citrus trees.
Last but not Least, the Decadent Homemade Desserts
“A Royal Birthday Treat” Belgian Chocolate Cake
Chocolate has a special place in the Royals’ hearts. Several chocolate makers including Bendicks, Charbonnel et Walker and Fortnum & Mason carry the Royal Warrant – the Queen loves chocolate. Chocolate Biscuit Cake and a rich Belgian Cake are also top choices for special occasions and birthdays.
“For Princess Margaret” Raspberry Jam Pennies
Jam pennies – buttered bread with jam cut into circles the size of the old English penny – used to be the special treat for the Queen and Princess Margaret as children. We recreated recipe with homemade biscuit instead of bread. Yum!
“Never Enough Chocolate for the Queen” Chocolate Cheese cake
Another tribute to chocolate, because really, who can ever have enough of it?
“Windsor Castle Peaches” Victoria Sponge & Peach Preserve Cake
Peaches grow at her Majesty’s greenhouses at Windsor Castle, so it goes without saying that she relishes them as much as strawberries. Imagine a fresh peach preserve married with traditional Victoria sponge cake and layers of fresh cream – mmmm we’re in heaven!
Organic Blue Sapphire Earl Grey Short Breads
Need we say more?
The Royals’ Favourite Loose Teas
Organic Earl Grey is an afternoon favourite of the royal family, while Darjeeling is reserved for breakfast. Chinese Lapsong Souchong – best described as a smoky tea with a fragrance that is reminiscent of a campfire – is sipped on to warm up after long days in the outdoors surrounding Balmoral Castle. Princess Diana is said to have enjoyed a cup of rose tea every afternoon.
Please call 250-590-3953 to reserve your table now for Royal Afternoon Tea. Available 17 – 22 May, with seatings from 11 am through to 5 pm daily.
Price: $35 per person (children’s tea available for $25).