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