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High Tea Series: Bacchus

on Jul 25, 2009 in Drink, Eat | 2 comments

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Another recap of a jaunt with Island Bites contributor Bruce. Where did we go? To the Wedgehood Hotel, home of the luxurious Bacchus Restaurant, whose lobby delivers an afternoon tea in the midst of purple plush.

Inside Bacchus

We were both impressed by the refinement of the Bacchus lobby. A fireplace exuded warmth at the far end of the room; the bar reached floor to high ceiling, slightly resembling the elegant yet creepy bar in The Shining.

Inside Bacchus

We were much less impressed by the people that served us. Our receiving hostess was pleasant enough, but our server! By God, I swear she could have been an Air Canada attendant, from her haughty demeanour to the figure skater’s bun to the scarf she tied to her neck. That is not a favourable comparison, dear readers.

Bacchus: afternoon tea

At any rate, we did our best to enjoy the food and drink despite the chilly reception. Our servicable Pear Tree Green and Thunderbolt Darjeeling teas were served in ultra-modern clear teapots that are basically French presses.

Bacchus: afternoon tea

Our sweetener was a nice touch: multi-coloured rock sugar in a little bowl at our table by the window.

Bacchus: afternoon tea

I particularly enjoyed the bottom-tier savouries that accompanied our tea. My favourites were the smoked salmon pinwheel and shrimp salad sandwich featured above (even though I had to spit out a piece of shrimp shell during one bite – oh well, at least I know they peeled it themselves!).

Bacchus: afternoon tea

Bacchus’ scones are on par with the others that I’ve had to date. While no one has yet to top those made by the Secret Garden Tea Company, Bacchus does stand apart in offering chocolate eclairs as an alternative (or addition, as is your fancy) to scone indulgence.

Bacchus: afternoon tea

The sweetstuffs were just that – too sweet. Even the lemon curd cakes were sickeningly overloaded with sugar. It competed too much with our rather delicate choices in tea, and caused Bruce, who already has an aversion to sugar, to barely touch the top tier.

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The verdict

All in all, the quality of the tea and dainties plus the ambiance that we experienced at Bacchus merited the $29 a person price tag. The customer service was disappointingly lacking – both of us felt like our server didn’t think we were classy enough to be in her Lobby. It was more than enough to taint our afternoon and dissuade us from being regular patrons.

That is really a shame, because everything else is something both Bruce and I would have otherwise endorsed.

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2 Comments

  1. Marian

    March 15, 2010

    I had tea here as well – the service was attentive & friendly on my visit. The food was as you say a tad disappointing. My biggest complaint was the way the tea was served. I am a traditionalist when it comes to tea having been taught by my British Grandmother on the proper way to brew a pot of tea. I could not get my head around the press being used instead of a china teapot. By the time I got to the 2nd cup of tea it was cooling down quickly. I think they’d do better to use tea cozies. After all I’m quite certain that the Queen does!

  2. elle

    February 10, 2010

    I had the same experience with the staff there! Particularly with the stewardess woman you mentioned. Completely condescending. Will likely never return because of it.

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