While coffee is the ‘get up and go’ boost that starts many a day, tea invites the mid-day respite from the hustle and bustle. This afternoon practice brings with it a sense of calm and luxurious indulgence. It speaks to a time when life was slower and device free — as it was when the Prince and Princess Abkhazi began cultivating their stunning estate in the mid-1940s.
Today, the 1.4-acre spread is known as “the garden that love built.” It’s a lush estate prized for its collection of rhododendrons and rare flowers. Overlooking the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Georgia, it’s tucked within one of Victoria, BC’s most prized residential areas. And despite being surrounded by neighborhood streets and homes, the garden feels like a private oasis thanks to the well-established hedges that surround the property.
Tea here is an affair worthy of a celebration. The menu is driven by seasonal, local ingredients. It lends itself to those who dabble in both savory and sweet cuisine, showcasing small bites that delight and inspire. The four-course High Tea can range from a wild rice blini with smoked trout to a freshly baked currant-cranberry scone served with house-made clotted cream and strawberry preserves. Egg salad is served on marble rye. Profiteroles are packed with spring peas and shrimp. And, strawberry macarons are paired with lemon lavender slices.
Before and after tea, visitors are invited to stroll the grounds. Throughout the garden, you’ll find the grounds graced with dramatic glaciated rocky slopes. Native Garry Oaks tower overhead. Flowers are tucked around rocks and deep pockets of the flowerbeds. It’s truly a sight to behold.