February 15th, 2005


Cream tea at the Windsor Arms

Location: Windsor Arms Tea Room, 18 St. Thomas St, southwest of Bay and Bloor. Toronto.

Yesterday, pittenweem and ultrascichick joined me on the third stop of my ongoing very slow tour of the High Teas of Toronto. Each had been to one of the two previous entries, which was helpful for discussing their relative merits.

The Windsor Arms Tea Room is actually a clustered suite of rooms, just off of the lobby, just inside the entrance, a popular location for tea rooms. This one was better insulated from the rest of the world, heavy drapes obscuring the grey, rainy day outside. The decor was comforting, well-appointment couches and comfortable chairs clustered around tables of various heights. It felt warm and comfortable.

Unlike the other tea venues we've visited thus far, the Windsor Arms schedules its cream teas in two sittings, at 1:30 and 3:30 every day. Many of the downsides of the place stemmed from this. We had to wait the better part of fifteen minutes before being seated, while the 1:30 crowd finished clearing out. And it didn't have to be that way, since there were spare tables from the 1:30 sitting, and all of two groups of us having tea at 3:30. But then again, the quality of service was easily the low point of the visit.

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