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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Tea Party Cafe - Ottawa Ontario

I got a groupon for high tea for 2 a few weeks ago, and had the opportunity to use it when Mom and I were in Ottawa the other weekend for some shopping.  Now, mom and I really enjoy having tea, and considering that she lived in England for 2 years, we consider ourselves quite the experts.  We have yet to have a better scone experience than in Sierra Madre, CA, a small town just east of Pasadena.  Now, I know that it doesn't bode well to start a review with a comment on my favorite place for the same meal, but I did want to give a shout out to one of my old haunts.

This place is right near byward market and an easy walk if you are in that area for some shopping.  The cafe is on the first floor of a brownstone on a beautiful tree lined street.  After placing out order, we had the daunting task of picking our tea flavor.  There is an entire wall of loose teas which range from the classic british varieties, to fruit teas, to asian flavors.  There is something for everyone.  I went with a favorite and picked a plain vanilla.  It smells wonderful, it's warming but light and not too deep like a traditional black tea. 

The high tea includes 4 different types of finger sandwich and 4 different sweets.  There was the classic cucumber and cream cheese, along with a lettuce and cream cheese.  There was also a pesto and tomato sandwich which I did really like.  The pesto had a ton of flavor and texture.  The tomato gave the sandwich a touch of acidity and substance with the thick slices.  The final sandwich was a roasted red pepper and feta.  Now, I do enjoy feta cheese in salads and sometimes I like roasted peppers in a dish, but I would never eat them on my own.  Let's just say that this sandwich wasn't up my alley.  Mom and I traded her pesto sandwich for my red pepper and feta. 

On the top of the tier are the sweets:  a turtle bar, a scone, a brownie and a chocolate chip shortbread cookie.  The scone was good, not great.  It wasn't flavored and didn't come with cream/butter or jam.  I thought it was a bit boring, although moist and crumbly.  I didn't really like the cookie, it was just kind of flat in flavor.  The chocolate aspects of the dessert made up for it though.  The turtle bar was definitely not big enough.  It was caramel and dark chocolate over chocolate crumbles, so it was gooey with crunch.  yum yum yum.  The brownie was amazing as well - moist, rich and gooey on the inside while having that slight crispness to the crust. 

An interesting place to stop for soup, salad, high tea or just a glass of tea.  Good service and an interesting menu (other than the high tea). 

The Tea Party on Urbanspoon

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