Destination Tea: TWG Tea Salon

Where:  Vancouver, BC
Style:  Traditional Luxury
Tea Selection:  500+ loose leaf teas
Teatimes:  Daily 12-6 pm
Reservations:  Recommended, walk-ins welcome
Contact: 604-692-0071 or via OpenTable
Cost:  $48 West Coast Tea Set; $48 Jubilee Tea Set; $42 Summer Tea Set; $39 Fortune Tea Set; $32 Chic Tea Set; $19 1837 Tea Set
Destination Tea Tips:  VERY SPECIAL — this is the only TWG Tea Salon in North America! Although teatime hours are listed as 2 to 6, they welcomed us earlier with a reservation. This would be the ideal place to win over the gents to the pleasures of taking tea, as several of TWG’s tea menus feature the hearty fare of a true high tea (supper).

Destination Tea Notes:  Outstanding. One of the top 3 best afternoon teas we have had yet. Gods of afternoon tea, thank you for our “finding” TWG Tea Salon completely by chance, when passing it on the street. If one is not sufficiently blown away by TWG’s wondrous never-ending tea list, just wait until the food arrives, that should do it. There are half a dozen creative tea menus, some with tea pairing recommendations, each presenting sophisticated concoctions, locally sourced ingredients, and recipes infused with TWG teas. It was bittersweet discovering this recent addition to the Vancouver afternoon tea scene. We were so enamored of our experience that we immediately wanted to share it with all of you, but because TWG (The Wellbeing Group) is Singapore-based, their locations are logically prevalent throughout the Eastern hemisphere, with this being their only tea salon on our side of the globe. We’ll certainly keep our peepers peeled for any news of TWG Tea salon additions in North America. In the meantime, you’ll just have to make do with this visual feast.

TWG’s space is divided in two, with the dining area encased in mirrored walls on one side and stacks of tea on the other.
The girls already in deep conversation at the teatable set with TWG teaware

Tea Service

Every “tea set” as TWG calls its afternoon tea menus, comes with a $10 credit toward your tea selection. The choosing is quite a challenge with tea from every tea-producing country on the menu.
Our hostess expertly navigates us through the tea list, fetching tea tins to allow us to smell some of her recommendations. Looks like I am developing a thing for Milk Oolong…
A first in our tea travels: a teapot with its own tailored jacket! TWG sells these porcelain pots and fitted gold warmers with inner felt lining in the retail shop.
Two of the girls ordered iced teas which they appreciated for their pink colors alone and one loved her Creme Caramel Tea so much that she dipped into her savings to buy her own stash for home. My milk oolong was delicious.

Scones & Spreads, Savories and Sweets

The Fortune tea set began with a warm croque monsieur topped with greens, followed by a scone with TWG Tea jelly and whipped cream, one patisserie from the dessert trolley and a choice of macarons. All were perfectly done.
The Summer Set Menu is akin to a proper high tea, with a choice of two main courses followed by dessert. Every bite of my dish was fabulous: Thai green curry with BC spot prawns, local sablefish and kanpachi, purple fingerling potatoes, fresh hearts of palm and gem lettuce topped with a White Earl Grey infused savory granola.
In honor of Canada’s 150th birthday, TWG’s Jubilee Tea Set opens with tea-infused savories: Wagyu beef slider with maple bacon and Moroccan Mint Tea infused BBQ Sauce, salmon confit and Lemon Bush Tea infused panna cotta, miso maple sablefish infused with Caramel Tea, tourtiere with Weekend in Hong Kong infused rhubarb chutney and Imperial Lapsang Souchong infused chicken cone. Next follows four tea-infused desserts: Red Balloon Tea macaron, petite maple éclair, Napoleon Tea infused croque-en-bouche and Passion Fruit Tea infused passion fruit and mango tartlet.
Try and choose just one of these desserts for the sweet selection that comes with some of the teas.
In addition to its teas, TWG’s shop sells its macarons, teaware, samovars and tea tins (some of which are originally hand-painted). It feels like the tea-lover’s version of the candy shop in 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Pitchers for iced tea and fun canisters of blended teas
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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