I had a lovely afternoon tea experience at the DEQ Ritz Carlton in downtown Toronto over the weekend. The DEQ Ritz Carlton is located at 181 Wellington St W, Toronto, right across from the Roy Thompson Hall. The DEQ is located right at the end of the main lobby. My first impression was the place was dark, it had very dim lighting but the ambiance is simple and sophisticated. The terrace outside looked beautiful with large lounge chairs and a perfectly groomed hedge surrounding the terrace. Unfortunately they do not serve tea sets in the terrace so I had to stay inside the main lounge. I think I would have liked the interior had it been a bit brighter.
I ordered the Classic Tea ($44) which includes assortment of savory and sweet delights and a selection of tea. The other choices came with sparking wine but everything else is the same as the Classic Tea set. Each party member must purchase their own tea set, you cannot share.
You get to select from a wide range of loose tea leaves from Sloane, a well for it’s premium tea and cute packaging. The sample tea came in an intricate tea box and you are allowed to smell each flavour before choosing the one you want to brew. I chose the heavenly cream which a signature blend black tea. The loose leaves are aromatic with a blend of vanilla. It reminds me of an Earl Grey but it smells more flavourful. The tea is served in these cute brightly coloured China tea pots. It reminded me of the ones used in the tea parties in the Alice in Wonderland movie. My friend chose the Oolong Creme which is also another signature blend of Sloane. This was a lot lighter than the normal Oolong tea and it also smelled really nice. I thought the water in the tea pot was not hot enough and my tea kept getting cold whilst I was enjoying my food and chatting. Make sure to ask the waitress to make your tea extra hot if you are like me and prefer your tea to be steaming hot.
The delicate mini selections was arranged nicely in an intricate tiered tray. I love savory food so this set was my favourite. Everything was made with great care and detail. They looked so cute I didn’t want to eat them but glad I did because they were amazing! Usually miniature sandwiches and cute things are only mediocre in taste but this excelled in both appearance and taste. I can’t recall all the names of the sandwiches but my favourite one was the smoked salmon croissant and curry egg salad buns. They were all really tasty and well made, just wished I could have had more.
Once the savory foods were devoured the tray was promptly replaced with a full tray of sweets. They were also made with great care and every detail was on point, including their signature DEQ Ritz Carlton logo chocolate. Surprising the sweets were all very light and creamy, not overpowering at all. However, I was quite disappointed by their scones which I thought would be a hit. It was cold and quite dense compared to the other pastries. I much preferred the scones from Mildred’s Temple. My favourite was the cream puff. It was absolutely delicious, although a bit messy to eat since it’s impossible to bite into it without having the puff spill out unless. The puff is made in house so it’s extra light and fluffy, not like the cream you find in an aerosol can. The pastry was the perfect compliment and only wish I had an extra one.
When we arrived at the entrance we were greeted by the bar tender and were prompted to wait for the hostess. It took a while for them to find my reservation but once that was figured out the hostess led us to our seats. The servers are very prompt and informative when explaining the menu and tea selections. Each entree and dessert was described to us in detail.
Overall Verdict on the DEQ Ritz Carlton
Overall I had a really great time at the DEQ Ritz Carlton, not only because I had great company but because the overall quality of the food, tea, service and decor was great. It’s a great venue for social events and gatherings such as bridal showers, baby showers, birthdays, or a date with your girl friends. Like most places they do charge a set gratuity for large parties, 18% gratuity for groups of 8+ and 20% gratuity for groups of 21+. I would definitely return on another occasion.
My star rating on yelp: DEQ Ritz Carlton Review.