One of Vancouver’s most iconic afternoon tea services is now available for takeout

A new way to enjoy the decades-old tradition from one of Vancouver’s most storied hotels

Afternoon Tea To-Go from Notch8 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is available now through the summer | Courtesy Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

For over eight decades, sitting down to an elegant Afternoon Tea at the Hotel Vancouver has been a cherished tradition, and now Fairmont has found a way to pack up the meal perfectly for you to enjoy at home or at the park.

Offered through the hotel's in-house restaurant, Notch8, the new Afternoon Tea To-Go is now available on the weekend.

With the restaurant closed to indoor dining for the time being, and with hotel guests being chiefly in rooms on the property as part of their mandated post-travel quarantine, Notch8 knew making one of its signature meals available for takeout would be the ideal thing to do for the warmer months in Vancouver. However, transporting a tea service, with its iconic tiered serving dish, is no simple feat.

The hotel staff found a source from - where else? - England to make a portable cardboard tiered tea tower, complete with a snug cardboard protector for the outside. Fresh scones are packed in their own box, which you can carry out in a paper bag with your tea (bottled iced tea or hot tea sachets, both featuring the hotel chain’s Lot35). Pro-tip, if you’re driving in for the pick-up: Belt your tier in with a seatbelt to secure the goods and you’re good to go; I got to take the takeout Afternoon Tea for a literal test drive, and every single item on the tiers easily survived the trek back out to the ‘burbs.

On the menu: A mix of modern and traditional tea treats

And just what are those items? This is a classic take on Afternoon Tea from the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver - a practice that celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2019. While Notch8 has gotten wildly creative with what’s on the menu for tea, from fairy tale or cinematic inspired-spreads, this spring and summer Afternoon Tea To-Go includes a number of more traditional tea items, like finger sandwiches and small sweet bites.

Each order includes one each per person of a buttermilk scone and a sultana scone with citrus marmalade and creme fraiche; tea sandwiches like chicken salad, smoked salmon; and prawn and cucumber; mini cheesecake with berries; a macaron; a blini with cream cheese and macerated strawberries and a few more delicious bites. It’s not just a full meal (with some leftover bites to enjoy later likely) but also a really special treat to be able to whisk the whole tea service out of the hotel restaurant and into your own home, or on a sunny day to your own patio or favourite park. 

“It is a unique time for Vancouver restaurant patrons, with the continued limitations to indoor dining and restrictions in place to keep us all safe,” says David Baarschers, Executive Chef at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. “This tea to-go experience offers Vancouverites a way to enjoy the tradition of afternoon tea wherever and however they feel most comfortable.”

Notch8 will offer its new Afternoon Tea To-Go through the summer. The meal is priced at $69 per person with a two-person minimum per order. Add-ons include options like bottles of prosecco or champagne, too. Orders can be placed online and contact-less pick-up is available Saturday and Sunday at noon and 2 p.m.