Victoria is a lovely city with a vaguely European feeling to it. We arrived around lunch time and decided to splurge on high tea.

Fairmont Empress High TeaLast summer I went to the Canadian Rockies for a conference at the Fairmont Lake Louise and while it may not be the prettiest hotel, it does have one of the most spectactular views you’ll ever see.  We also took a quick peek at the Fairmont Banff Springs and that hotel is also stunning.  I love these grand resorts with beautiful public spaces and sweeping views. The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, British Columbia is another regal Canadian property and it dominates the waterfront skyline as it presides over the harbor.  Afternoon tea here is definitely in the “I’m on vacation” splurge category, but after the non-stop action in Seattle,  I really enjoyed unwinding with my never-ending pot of tea and three-tiered platter of sandwiches, scones and sweets.  If you’re in Victoria, but not staying at the Empress, it’s a great way to soak up the ambience and relax in a beautiful lounge with jazz piano tinkling lightly in the background. They even gift you a beautiful blue tin of Empress tea to remind you of your lovely afternoon once you’re back at home.Fairmont Empress

We took a quick walk around Victoria, but weren’t looking to spend time in the city. We were ready for Sooke and some serious relaxation on the western coast of Vancouver Island.