High tea is on every tourist’s to-do list when in Victoria, with the most famous spots being The Empress Hotel and The Blethering Place. The price for a full set can run in the environs of $60. I reject that.
Plus, although I love my tea I don’t enjoy musty places no matter how authentic they may be.
A few years ago a local tea doyenne tipped us off to the White Heather, an off the beaten track spot in a commercial block on Oak Bay Drive. It was perfect, with its fresh and soothing seafoam-colored walls, crisp white linens, porcelain pots and shiny silver place settings. It’s where you can walk away having spent as little as $8.00 or so for a single scone and tea, or up to $40 for the full “muckle” of tea sandwiches, oatcakes, cheese, Devon cream, pastries and more.
The owner, a Scottish lass who is always on site and audible by her throaty laugh, worked on the recipe for the puffy scones for years before opening up the shop and they’re unlike any other. Not dense or sweet, they are a nice foil for butter, homemade jam, goat cheese or lemon curd. The White Heather’s objective is to make you “more cuddly.” I guarantee regular visits will make you so.