"Take a bite and then write" were Jenn's words of welcome as I sauntered into the lovely Secret Garden nearly an hour late. A cold bead of sweat trickled down my forehead as I took in the ambience and started to acclimate to the tony surroundings. Elegant white, wood paneling adorn the walls and Persian rugs bigger than I've ever seen half cover light hardwood floors. Half tea shoppe and half tea room the Secret Garden Tea Company puts off a distinct Alice in Wonderland vibe and everyone is grinning ear to ear!
I elected to go with a pot of apricot/ peach tea, to satisfy my sweet tooth, and was very glad I did! Delicious, aromatic and not too sweet. One of the best teas I've ever tried! As I sipped a 3-tiered tower of deliciousness was placed in front of me. Now I have developed a pretty bad habit over the last few years: croissant addiction. A severe, sometimes crippling addiction to France's second best export which only trails the French invention of democracy by a hair. I don't know what it is. I can't explain it, but when I see croissants I eat them. Without shame. The Tarragon Scented Asparagus Sandwiches on Petit Croissants were a revelation and I don't generally like asparagus. Or tarragon for that matter. But put them on a croissant and I could have eaten 20!
The Secret Garden Egg Pinwheels were a close runner up, akin to democracy trailing only croissants, and were incredibly fresh. If you've gathered that I have no aversion to carbohydrates and their prime delivery agents, pastries, you couldn't be more right. Enter the
Muffaletta with Genoa Salami, Ham, and Olive Relish on Housemade Cornmeal Biscuits. I have only been to Italy for a few hours, a quick jaunt into Trieste during a road trip of the Balkans, but if I get into Genoa I'm putting them on notice right now that they're going to need to make extra salami! This sandwich is a peppery adventure sweetened just enough by the cornmeal; excellent!
Scones are good. You might have guessed already that it'd be likely I'd enjoy them. Add some Raspberry Jam and Devonshire Cream and I enjoyed them more than I should have. A perfect 10/10 pastry! The Tea Cake Slices were a nice blend of sweet and tart, but the Tangy Mini Lemon Curd Tart was all sweet in a very good way. Bittersweet Chocolate Silk Mousse Cake speaks for itself. I remember sneaking my mom's baking chocolate out of the cupboard thinking I've stumbled upon a mother load only to find them half edible, but when you add the sweetness of the mousse to the mix thus dessert is a home run! When tourists come to Canada they almost inevitable leave with maple syrup. Why? We'll fit one its awesome. For two we have the leaf from that particular tree displayed prominently on our flag and, we'll, everywhere else! The Quebec Maple Fudge with Vanilla Chantilly scream Canada, whiskers the Anglican/ Francophone brotherhood and is just plain delicious.
When you combine the bright, airy surroundings, incredibly congenial service, amazing tea and excellent food it isn't hard to see why the Secret Garden requires a reservation! Call today and tell them the folks at Jenn Chan Media sent you and take our word for it you'll be glad you did!