We have all been tremendously good by following stay-at-home orders, getting vaccinated, maintaining social distancing, and adhering to sanitizing and masking requirements. As the country starts to open, it’s time to ease back into a more socialized environment. If you’re like me, after wearing “jogging” pants and a T-shirt for 18 months, it’s time to venture out of the house for an experience.
I decided I needed a little pampering and indulgence, so after a pedicure at Bamboo Spa, I put on a collared shirt, grabbed a friend, and headed for a royal encounter. No, we were not meeting the Queen, but we sure were treated as such at Royal Tea on King.
The tea room is beautiful with white wainscotting and pale blue walls, numerous chandeliers, gold leafed mirrors and framed wall art. There’s vintage tables and chairs adorned with antique tea cups and saucers. We were welcomed for the whole British afternoon tea experience, aptly named, as you may spend the whole afternoon enjoying your personal pot of loose-leaf tea and delicious finger foods. To top it off, Roberta offers a complete plant-based vegan afternoon tea, and I couldn’t wait to give it a try.
The first step is to choose your tea. We were given five boxes with six teas in each. Each tea is in its own metal container which allows you to explore and smell all the loose leaf teas to find which one suits your fancy. Royal Tea serves Pluck from Toronto. It’s known for sustainably and ethically sourced fresh teas infused with local ingredients from Prince Edward County lavender to cranberries from Nova Scotia, and grape skins from the Southbrook Vineyards of Niagara.
We were brought individual tea pots with our chosen East Coast Chai and Rhubarb Ginger teas. After a few minutes of steeping we used the tea strainer to pour a cup of aromatic and flavourful tea to sip on while awaiting our tea tiers. Traditionally, you would receive a plate with three tiers for your afternoon tea. The first is made of sandwiches including cream cheese and cucumber, and some made of salmon, roast beef, ham, and turkey. They are all cut delicately into fingers and served with Branston pickles and sometimes quiche. The second tier comes with scones, homemade jam and clotted cream, and the third, or top tier, with sweet pastries and cakes.
For our complete vegan tea, our first tier included a cucumber and dairy free cream cheese finger sandwich, a toasty with tomato and dairy-free cream cheese and two plant-based wraps from MegaMindful Living, served with Branston pickles. The second tier included home-made plain and Georgian Bay (blueberry/raspberry) scones with strawberry jam and coconut cream. The top tier included vegan fudge, blueberries, strawberry non-dairy cheesecake, vegan shortbread and a delectable dark chocolate mint cookie. We were thoroughly impressed with Roberta’s efforts to make our vegan tea as authentic as possible. We left feeling very satisfied with the experience. In fact, we are already planning our next visit.
After your tea service feel free to peruse the gift shop as it’s stocked with British groceries and confectionaries from across the pond. You can also pick up some Pluck tea and fresh scones to bring home to your loved ones. Royal Tea has expanded the gift shop next door provide more space for their Merano wool, Brown Betty, Halycon Days and Harry Potter collections, along with jewelry, souvenirs and local artisan goods.
Royal Tea on King offers afternoon tea in the tea room or to take-away. It even has a child’s tea for well-behaved children under 10. Be sure to book your afternoon tea 24 hours in advance, as all items are made fresh daily and they accommodate vegan and gluten-free dietary needs. You can also pop by for cream tea for two which includes two tea and two scones with clotted cream and jam, or pre-order fresh baked scones complete with clotted cream and jam to take home. Royal Tea on King is located at 256 King Street in Midland, and is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm.