In that I’m not British and actually have never even been to England or Great Britain to begin with, I could be mistaken and this day may not have been the least bit British. But it did include gardens and tea, which are common with our friends across the pond, amIright?
We caught a tour bus to the Butchart Gardens at around 9 AM.
The Butchart Gardens are amazing. They are built in what was formerly a quarry – I think for limestone. Mrs. Butchart began planting lovely flowers on the grounds and even into the walls of the quarry. Now, over 100 years later, it’s still owned and operated by the Butchart family. The flowers and plants are changed out seasonally and I’m certain that it must be a gardener’s dream-come-true kind of job.
It’s a bit overwhelming to visit because there is so much to photograph. You have this desire to document every step of the way, and then you are annoyed when the pictures don’t do it justice. Or maybe that’s just me.
After losing ourselves in the flora and fauna for a bit, we caught the bus back to The Empress. Such a strenuous morning that we had a take a nap to muster up some energy for tea.
We took tea at three in the tea room of The Empress.
First there were strawberries with whipped cream. Light and fresh and simply perfect.
Then the three-tiered tray was brought to our table and we dug right in.
There were around five varieties of sandwiches: a chicken curry, salmon pinwheels, egg salad on a croissant, cucumber, and a pork on rye. Kevin’s favorite was the chicken curry – my favorite was the cucumber.
Next were the decadent scones and cream. Mmm. My mouth waters just thinking about those.
Finally – the dessert. There were macaroons, lemon meringues, cherry frosted cakes, shortbread cookies, and the unanimous favorite – little chocolate espresso cups.
Tea time food is deceptive. It’s so little and cute that you think there is no possible way it will fill you up. Somehow it does though. We left groaningly full. Two pots of tea probably helped with that.
The Empress has old-fashioned mail chutes, so we stopped off to post some postcards to our parents.
Then it was about time to call it a day. (Naturally we snuck up to the Gold Room Lounge for some appy’s later that evening. I hadn’t had any cheese all day and was going through some withdrawals.)