Wednesday, March 4, 2009


In his best ode to Foreigner, Mr. Monkey has been singing to me the past few days, "They've been waiting...for a post from come into their lives."

Wait no more, my pretties!

Early on Saturday, we boarded the Victoria Clipper IV from Seattle to Victoria.
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Oh, Canada!
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We disembarked, walked a few steps to our hotel, left our bags there, and started exploring.
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Mr. Monkey had made reservations for an early afternoon tea at The Fairmont Empress Hotel. It was a dainty little lunch for us.
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According to the hotel, the Empress Blend is a selection of seasonal quality teas, created exclusively for The Fairmont Empress by the Metropolitan Tea Company. With components from Assam (thick malty and full bodied), Kenya (floral-like flavor and a golden coppery infusion), South India (superb fruity and sprightly flavor), Ceylon (airy, almost piquant flavor), and China (burgundy depth with light oaky notes), it is truly one of the finest blends in the world.
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Yeah, it really was some great tea.

We also tried the Berry Berry, a caffeine-free tart herb and fruit tea with the essence of orange and pineapple, hibiscus petals, rosehip chips, elderberries, dried currants, strawberries, currants, and cream.
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Loved this tea, too. Mr. Monkey thought it tasted like juice.

Our three tiers of happiness.
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Tea sandwiches! Smoked salmon pinwheels, mango and curried chicken, carrot and ginger cream cheese, mushroom pate drizzled with truffle oil on multigrain crostini, cucumber with light horseradish mayonnaise.
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Scones with strawberry preserves and Devonshire cream!
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Pastries! Lemon tart with lemon curd and strawberry garnish, chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream and topped with ganache, Battenberg vanilla and chocolate sponge checkerboard cake wrapped in marzipan, marble chocolate tulip with cherry inside, Earl Grey tea shortbread.
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I adored the Battenberg, perhaps more for its cuteness than its actual taste.

We are a silly pair.
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All done!
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But wait! There's more! Each guest gets a box of the Empress Blend to take home!
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A parting shot before we left The Empress.
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We walked around downtown and the inner harbor some more.
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Black oyster catchers! How awesome are those orange beaks?
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On our way back to our hotel, we stopped by the Parliament Building.
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We took a peek inside, and it just happened to be time for a free guided tour.
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Next: Friday night and the best hotel room we've ever had in our lives.


  1. Looks amazing. What a thoughtful husband monkey!

  2. Mr. Monkey seriously rocks. I love the photos of the parliament. Looks amazing.

  3. so fun! I love the afternoon tea.

  4. Mr. Monkey is a very good trip planner.

    We were only in Victoria briefly and unable to enjoy afternoon tea. I am so glad you did! I love a fancy tea.

    It looks like you had nice sunny weather!

  5. i hate tea, but maybe I'll give it another chance because of this post.

  6. yum... afternoon tea! my top 3 things about this post: foreigner, shamu, and darth vader (playing the violin, no less). pretty much amazing.

  7. Looks so pretty!! You always make me sad I'm not on vacation too...

  8. Great photos! I particularly love the one of Darth rocking out.

  9. You are one lucky monkey. A+ for Mr. Monkey. And my favorite picture is the sign of the dude picking his nose. Those Canadians are so silly.

  10. this brings back some wonderful memories of our own trip to victoria.

    mmmm, tea!

    i canNOT wait for the next installment. best room YOU'VE ever stayed in? shit.

  11. Your tea photos are making me hungry and thirsty! Can't wait to see more!

  12. LOVE TEA! Canada is sooo Europe-lite. Been to Vancouver and Toronto and I think that's it for me.

  13. I LOVE high tea - and apparently, now, The Empress as well.

  14. We weren't worthy enough for the Empress when I went with my family! We had the misfortune of wearing jeans and were denied the pleasure of great tea. :(

  15. Oh my God how breathtaking. I am seriously on pins and needles to see the best hotel room...

  16. I love tea. This is not the Victoria Island I remember. Mr. Monkey wins again for planning a great wkend getaway.

  17. tea at the fairmont empress! so lovely!

    the parliament building is as i remember. all else i remember from victoria are the butchart gardens, which my brother and i called "butt gardens" all trip and giggled about. hey, i was 9.

    nice photos.

  18. and now i want to go to victoria.

  19. My grandma and I used to spend the weekend at the Empress when I was living in Seattle and she'd come visit!! So, so glad you had tea there! I think it's one of the best teas I've ever had!


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