On Friday morning, we got up bright and early and headed back to Anacortes to catch the ferry to Sidney, B.C. It was a pretty long ride and then we had to drive south to Victoria, but once again, the views were gorgeous and we weren't disappointed with our room when we arrived. We decided to splurge and stay at the Fairmont Empress, but we ended up getting a pretty good deal. We got the tea and garden package, so for just a little bit more than we would have paid to stay at any of the other hotels in the area, we stayed at the Empress, went to tea in The Empress Room and got tickets to see Butchart Gardens. I definitely recommend looking into this package if you are heading to Victoria!
After checking in, we had about 45 minutes before we had to be at tea. We walked down along the Inner Harbour and out to Laurel Point Park.
The Fairmont Empress from Laurel Point Park:
The seaplane airport:
After walking out to Laurel Point and back, we headed over to the Empress Tea Room for afternoon tea. According to the Fairmont's website, they have served afternoon tea to famed royalty, celebrities and royal dignitaries since 1908. The most recent royalty to attend were the Emperor and Empress of Japan. It is also, apparently, Victoria's most beloved ritual. Who could miss it?
The mother and I at afternoon tea:
Our tea tray - they served the famous Empress scones, tea sandwiches and mini desserts along with your choice of eight different teas. We chose the signature Empress blend (duh).
The mother's favorite part of tea was the signature scone. I enjoyed the the egg salad tea sandwich on a mini croissant. The croissant was to die for ... I could have eaten 10!
After tea, we went on a little walking tour of Victoria.
We came across this lovely mural:
and this gorgeous church, St. Andrew's:
The Dutch Bakery (which was on our "must-see" list):
We also ventured over to Antique Row on Fort Street, which was not quite the bustling street of shops that I imagined. And I didn't take any pictures, whoops! After our little walk, we sat on the patio at Lido's on the Inner Harbour, had a drink and watched seaplanes take off and land:
Can you see all three planes?
As wewalked back towards the Fairmont along the Inner Harbour, they were having a little market:
Parliament Building from the pier:
After all that walking around, we decided we needed a little rest before dinner so we headed up to our room. We were pretty tired from all of the week's adventures, so we decided to have dinner on the Fairmont's front veranda and then call it a night.
Parliament Building at night:
The Empress all lit up:
We had dinner just to the left of the steps, in that big open window:
Come back tomorrow to read about our adventure to Butchart Gardens!