Friday, August 05, 2011

Afternoon Tea at The Banff Springs Hotel

I am feeling rather spoiled (when I am not having blistering migraines this summer). I went for afternoon tea again...this time at the marvellous Banff Springs Hotel, last weekend, with my dear friend M.
Historical photos from The Banff Springs collection, circa 1910

One of the supreme benefits of living in Calgary is our proximity to the Rocky Mountains, and my favorite hotel, the inimitable Fairmont Banff Springs. The Banff Springs was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway, and opened in 1888:

A short 1.5h drive puts us here (Mt Rundle, to the right). Life is beautiful!:

Here we are, M. & I, ready for serious eating after a brief stop at the Willow Stream Spa, inside the hotel:

After a brief wander 'round the hotel, we headed towards the restaurants, passing this lovely recital hall along the way (you can get married here!):

Afternoon tea takes place in the breathtaking setting of the Rundle Lounge, which sits above the hotel's back foyer:

Beautiful tables await in this charming old room...(how romantic!)

We had a window seat, which was perfect for watching the fog lift whilst perusing the tea selections. I ordered the Cascade Mountains Peppermint Tea, imported from nearby Washington state (where some of the best peppermint tea in the world is grown):

A charming silver pot of dainty flowers adorned each table:

The views are rather smashing. The Banff Springs sits in the shadow of Rundle Mountain, with views of the icy green Bow River:

The food is not bad either. In fact, the tea was lovely and compared favorably with afternoon tea at The Empress, which I posted about a couple of weeks ago (here). Servings at the Banff Springs were only slightly smaller, but cost $20 less! And, you could have as many pots of different tea as you like!!

I loved the miniature yellow creme brulees and adored the raisin scones (I need a recipe!). I am addicted to them, and their companion...Devonshire cream. If you've not had it, you have not lived.

The day was perfect for our luncheon! Banff is heavenly...

I hope some day you get to visit Banff!

Here is my favorite viewpoint to see the hotel, from across the river. It is most stunning in winter:
xo Terri


  1. That looks incredible! I love those little flowers and the green fabric on the chairs too. But, wow, those views!

  2. This is only an hour and a half away from you? I think I'd be there every Saturday...for tea, and scones, and fruit tarts in a beautiful green velvet chair with an unbelievable view! I'm about ready to move.

  3. Absolutely Breathtaking! I love mountains, and I remember that feeling of being lost in them when I saw these pictures. the hotel looks wonderful, even the creme brulee looks divine.

    Best Vie

  4. Oh glorious! Had not realized how close you were to Banff. It is a dream to travel there by train one day. Thank you for all the beautiful scenery not limited to the mountains and the views.

  5. Breathtaking photos! How nice for you to be able to enjoy a feast for the eyes, and a lovely luncheon at the same time. I love those mountains around Banff! (and I believe my favorite scene is Moraine Lake)

  6. Anonymous7:19 am

    Elegant. Stunning. Amazing. Even that overused word: Awesome. Your photos capture it beautifully.

  7. hi terri,

    larry has always wanted to take me skiing in banff. your photos are so beautiful and make me feel like i'm there with you. the food, views and hotel are just spectacular. thanks lovely.


  8. Banff is am amazing place. I didn't get that nice tea the time we visited...looks yummy.

  9. My oh beautiful. This is officially added to my places to visit list...which is growing and waiting for the kiddies to be a bit older. Thanks for sharing.

  10. so jealous! I've always wanted to go !
    Just watched an great old movie the other night that was shot there- believe it or not, with Carmen Miranda!
    Your photos at least let me know what it really looks like now- still beautiful.
    Tea looks utterly divine.

    Lucky you to live so close!

  11. Gorgeous views and gorgeous food. That tea tray looks scrumptious. You must have felt like royalty there.

  12. You look fabulous my friend, I love your hair!!
    We've ventured up to Banff a few times during our visits with the in-laws and I'm always in awe of the beauty. The afternoon tea looks like a must-do, so we'll aim for that next time instead of cocktails in the bar.

    Have a great week.

  13. Terri,
    What a truly beautiful place! The food looks incredible, but the green velvet damask chairs with the crisp white tablecloth...LOVE!

    Sorry to hear about the migraines, I have my share too this summer. Imitrex couldn't even kill a few. Next time we get one, let's think of these views while we sit in the dark :)

  14. Thank you for taking us to this gorgeous place! The view is absolutely spectacular.
    I think I need to put Banff on my bucket list.


  15. Anonymous6:49 pm

    The views are stunning but you, my dear look fabulous! Such a becoming style. Love the tunics (saris! You wear them well.

  16. What a breahtaking place, even if it gives me alittle shiver, after have seen "The shining" once, the hotel reminds me of that.

    But I love it, youw lovely photos the great wiew and the afternoon tea plate, i am sure it is wonderful there.

    In october I go to London with my girls and two of my friends.

    Love and hugs

  17. So gorgeous! I have been to Banff many times, but have never been to the Banff Springs Hotel. After seeing your photos I really must visit.