Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Afternoon Tea at the Butchart Gardens

In 1904 Jennie Butchart, a woman of vision, took an exhausted and no longer used limestone quarry and committed herself to refurbishing it. The result are the beautiful Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC, Canada. Today more than fifty gardeners plant more than one million bedding plants yearly to create wild and vibrant color from March through October. Nestled somewhere on the garden grounds is a lovely tea room for the delight of afternoon tea.

Recently a lovely grandmother named Beth Ann and her beautiful granddaughter, Rozzie, enjoyed afternoon tea, relaxing and sharing time together at this tea room. The tea room is a part of the restaurant which is in what was the former home of Robert and Jennie Butchart.

Afternoon tea is served her year around. According to their website the tea menu includes "warm traditional delicacies, savoury tea sandwiches and housemade sweets".

I am drawn to this photo. To me it speaks of the essence and warmth of the tea experience. Obviously BethAnn is relaxed and comfortable as she uses her hands to express a point she is trying to make. Can you see Rozzie's mum, Julie? She's the photographer reflected in the teapot.

Beautiful flowers enhance the relaxed atmosphere in the tea room, providing a homey feeling and a fresh, natural decor; so perfect for a garden tea room.

Tea anyone? May I pour you a cup? Milk or sugar? One lump or two?

Aren't these tiny window panes beautiful? I love the way they help to draw the outside garden into the room. The window ledge plants help to achieve this feeling as well.

The three-tiered tray is well appointed with a variety of yummy sandwiches, sweet treats, and raisin-filled scones with honey. Yummy!

Thank you, Beth Ann and Rozzie, for sharing and allowing me to post pictures of your lovely afternoon tea. Although I've never visited the Butchart Gardens Tea Room, I have enjoyed sharing the experience vicariously through you. I appreciate your willingness to share.


  1. This was a fun series of photos - thanks for sharing afternoon tea at Butchart Gardens. It looked so enjoyable! Nancy

  2. Anonymous6:47 AM

    I had the wonderful experience of going to the B Gardens about 20+ years ago with my parents. Bought my first teapot in B.C. and some wonderful table linens. We had tea at the Empress though, not at the gardens. It was heavenly! Thanks for the pictures. It was fun to remember!

  3. I love the tiny window panes! They reminded me of a drawing exercise from a book I'm working through right now (Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain). With a wet-erase marker, you draw on a glass drawing board what you see through the pane. Later, with white paper behind it, you can see how your eye automatically turned a 3D landscape into a 2D drawing that looks 3d. Reading your post, I pictured myself at the gardens irreverantly drawing the flowers on the window panes with my black marker, and having endless subjects for my art! Of course, I would wash the windows afterward... :)

  4. Anonymous10:01 AM

    What a coincidence! I'd never heard of the Butchart Gardens until a cousin sent me an e-mail earlier today with some lovely fall photos taken there. The gardens in fall have a lot of purples in them which I find very unusual.

    Then as I'm reading along on your blog I find the feature on afternoon tea there. What a lovely place this must be!

  5. I love Butchart Gardens! We went a few years ago in the fall and it was so beautiful. I would love to go in the spring or summer someday soon.

    My favorite was the sunken garden in the old quarry. I could have sat and gazed on it for hours.

    Thanks for sharing your photos.
    Barb-Harmony Art Mom


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