Nutcracker High Tea, Lobby Lounge, Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto

I recently made a promise to my 12 year old niece that we would start making the rounds at all the high tea’s in Toronto.  After experiencing high tea at Harrods in London this past summer, she loves the whole experience as do I.

I thought our first trip should definitely be to the Nutcracker High Tea at the Shangri-La hotel as it is only on for a limited period of time.

While the Signature Shangri-La High Tea (available all year round) is normally $65 per person (which also includes a glass of La Glolosa Prosecco with mixed berries or a Elderflower Fizz mocktail), the Nutcracker High Tea is $75 per person.

The cost of the Nutcracker High Tea also include the cocktail (or mocktail) along with a small takeaway item…. unfortunately we did not receive the takeaway item.  Two email follow ups regarding this have gone unanswered.  If you do make a reservation it would be good to clarify this on premises, I left in a rush that day so it completely slipped my mind.

This was not my first time at the Shangri-La, but every time feels like the first because the ambience just has something special about it.  The Lobby Lounge is literally in the middle of the lobby of the hotel.  Floor to ceiling windows allow you to view the snowy wonderland outside while a modern rectangular fireplace in the lounge make you feel cozy and festive.  Currently there is a gorgeous Christmas tree that gives the lobby the perfect elegant Christmas vibe.

I had requested a table as close to the fireplace as possible and we weren’t disappointed, a low 2 top table just to one side of the fireplace gave us the perfect view all around the lobby…. I will never stop loving people watching!

 

The whole hotel is a balance of modern elegance that makes you feel posh but not cold, everything comes off as warm somehow.  The staff are all genuinely pleasant and engaging.  I mean how irritating is it to go to an expensive restaurant or hotel and then deal with snobbery and condescension, thankfully the Shangri-La keeps that all far from their property.

 

 

Now lets get to the food details, as with most high teas, this one had 3 tiers, each one scrumptious.  Should there be any dietary restrictions, let the restaurant know in advance.  They were wonderful about accommodating my niece who does not eat meat (but does eat fish and seafood)….following is the listing of what comes with your nutcracker tea with no dietary alterations:

Bottom Tier: A Selection of Finger Sandwiches

smoked turkey breast, pickled cranberry, ancient grain bread
(was the perfect representation of Christmas but with a more contemporary spin)

poached Atlantic lobster & shrimp brioche
(delish but I would have been happy if it was just lobster but a larger amount in the brioche, the bun just overwhelmed it a bit)

truffled organic egg salad, brioche roll
(this was served on white bread as a finger sandwich when I attended, i normally do not like egg salad but I loved this one probably mainly to do with the addition of the truffle flavour)

shaved sirloin, horseradish cream, arugula, whole wheat roll
(this was served on a mini croissant when I attended – much preferred! – was perfect in every way, shaved thin enough that it didn’t feel heavy)

Middle Tier: Warm From The Oven

fruit Scones

chocolate & ginger scones

(these were accompanied by the traditional cream and fruit spreads)

Top Tier: Sugar Plum Fairy Gifts (this tier is based on the gifts featured in the Nutcracker story)

Coffee From Arabia
coffee, chocolate, and Bailey’s yule log
(my niece felt this one tasted too strong of the coffee for her, but being a Bailey’s and chocolate lover I adored it, was the perfect size as well as it is quite rich)

Tea From China
green tea fruit cake
(personally I felt this was a little too similar to the fruit scone other then the green tea icing on top which was delish)

Candy Cane From Russia
vanilla panna cotta, mandarin jelly, crumble and peppermint foam
(I could have eaten 4 of these! the flavors were so delicate yet each distinct)

Chocolate From Spain
white chocolate cranberry mousse, cranberry compote, winter spice sponge
(this was interesting…the true flavour of the cranberry was kept true which kept this from being a sweet mousse, tasted a bit more tart to me which was a surprise but an enjoyable one)

 

As far as your tea to help keep your belly warm while the treats make it full, there is a selection of 11 teas available for this service.  They are a combination of signature teas the Shangri-La always carries along with some special seasonal blends that were created.

You still have time to make it out to this years Nutcracker High Tea.  It runs until December 31st and has daily seatings at 2pm, 2:30pm, 4pm, and 4:30pm.  There is an additional 1pm seating available on Saturday and Sundays until December 31st.  Please note there is a 1.5 hour seating limit for the high tea do to the timings of the services.

Contact information for the Shangri-La high tea can be found HERE.