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What is the Seattle Fairmont High Tea [Afternoon Tea] Experience Like?

There’s nothing quite as posh as having high tea in a beautiful hotel lobby. And when you’re talking about afternoon tea and hotels, you can’t overlook Fairmont Hotels. They’re world-renowned in North America to have properties that blend history with luxury and invite guests to raise those pinky fingers and take a sip. So, what is the Fairmont High Tea experience really like? Here’s what you can expect.

family enjoying afternoon tea at fairmont olympic hotel in seattle
Afternoon tea is a great time to chat as a family while you enjoy some yummy food! © Kim Tate

Thank you to the Fairmont Olympic for hosting us, all thoughts and opinions are my own based on our experience.

Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle

I’ve enjoyed afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and it’s definitely a classic hotel! But recently I had high tea during my stay at the Fairmont Olympic Seattle, and it’s the perfect way to enjoy an afternoon in the Emerald city.

The Fairmont Olympic recently renovated its lobby and opened an eye-catching bar in the new space. The Olympic Bar is a popular spot for happy hour and also currently hosts the afternoon high tea at the Fairmont Seattle.

hotel lobby at fairmont olympic in seattle
The new lobby renovation at the Fairmont Olympic in Seattle is beautiful! © Stuffed Suitcase

The Fairmont is located in a great area of Seattle, it’s at 4th and University in the heart of downtown. You’re a quick 5-minute walk to Pike Place Market as well as surrounded by plenty of restaurants and activities. The Seattle Monorail is also nearby where you can hop on board for a quick trip up to Seattle Center where the Space Needle and other popular Seattle attractions are located.

Tip: the Seattle CityPASS is a great option for tourists wanting to see the popular sights in Seattle.

When is Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont?

At the Fairmont Seattle location, you can enjoy Afternoon High Tea on Saturdays or Sundays between noon and 4 pm. You’ll want to make reservations in advance which are available online through Open Table.

fairmont olympic seattle hotel front of building
© Stuffed Suitcase

If you’re planning your day and wondering how long to allow for your afternoon tea, I’d recommend giving yourself an hour and a half. We actually were there for an hour and ten minutes and felt like we enjoyed a leisurely experience. Of course, if you’re really enjoying talking and nibbling on all the food, you could probably spend up to two hours enjoying your tea and conversation.

What is Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont?

For some who are new to the idea of Afternoon Tea, I thought I’d give you some insight as to what to expect. Afternoon tea is a British tradition that dates back to the mid-19th century. Of course, tea drinking has been around way longer, but this specific orderly tradition is attributed to an English duchess who used to get a bit peckish in the late afternoon.

I’ll mention that some call it High Tea, however, it truly is Afternoon Tea. High tea was not associated with the aristocracy and instead was a reference to working-class citizens who would come home after work and eat a more substantial meal at a high table.

Traditional afternoon tea now consists of a towering tray of finger sandwiches as well as sweet baked goods, and of course, fresh tea. At the Fairmont, each guest will get to choose their tea from a menu with a variety of blends and teas. Your tea will be brought in a ceramic teapot and you’ll be provided a china cup and strainer to pour yourself a cup.

tea pot pouring tea at fairmont high tea
It’s fun to enjoy real tea from a teapot instead of a bag! © Stuffed Suitcase

And your group will be given a tray of food – enough for each person to sample each item. Sweet and savory food will be provided. Cucumber, chicken salad, and filet mignon sandwiches will be served alongside madelines, bon bons, and macarons. And you’ll also be given some freshly baked scones with sides of fruit preserves and Devonshire cream.

trays of food at fairmont afternoon high tea
You’ll be served both savory and sweet food on a 3-tier food tower at the Fairmont Afternoon Tea. © Stuffed Suitcase

Currently, the cost for afternoon tea at the Fairmont in Seattle is $75 per person, children 12 and under are $40.

What About Allergies?

My youngest, Mia, has allergies to nuts and eggs and the Fairmont Olympic was extremely friendly in helping her be able to enjoy tea with us. They provided her own food tower with vegan (no eggs) and nut-free treats. It was so nice to know they could help create an experience for her that was safe and enjoyable and similar to what the rest of us were served.

kid with food allergies at fairmont afternoon tea with special allergy friendly food tower
The Fairmont created a special allergy-friendly food tower for Mia so she could enjoy the tea experience with us! © Kim Tate

We really enjoyed our afternoon tea experience at the Fairmont, especially in the brand-new lobby! We also stayed at the Fairmont and were very happy with the service and location of the hotel. If you’re searching for a luxury stay in Seattle, the Fairmont Olympic is a classic!

fairmont high tea afternoon tea experience in seattle
What is the Fairmont Afternoon Tea (aka high tea) experience like?

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