Anybody up for a spot of tea with scones and cakes that won’t cost an arm and a leg as it would at the Ritz or the St-James? Yes! Good…then head on over to Westmount to the London Bus CafÃ©. This lively and bright simple meal and sandwich place – probably busy at lunch with students and lunch crowds -Â that also offers a traditional tea service during the afternoon.
Â How much and for what? Well about all the tea you can drink, cucumber sandwiches (of course without the crust), a scone, pound cake, Elizabethen cake, a cookie, plus jams and cream…for…are you ready…a whole 10$. Now that is a deal! Its nothing out of the extra ordinary but it was definitely a lot of fun!
We learned a lot as well from one of the owners who was, humm, a little special in his humor but sweet still. First thing we were corrected on is that we were not there for high tea as is often believed. High tea sounds elegant and brings to mind for many lavish tea desserts, scones and dainty sandwiches. This has never been true, and is a misuse of the term. High tea was actually a working man’s hearty tea and supper after a long, hard day of manual labor. The working person would work until late afternoon, often missing lunch and certainly afternoon tea. They would return home in the early evening and high tea would be served at the main table or “high table” rather than in the parlor or sitting room.
Afternoon tea on the other hand, would often be served at smaller, lower tables with dainty desserts and fine china. This was often referred to as low tea. While this does not sound elegant, it was the tea preferred by the upper class. In the 1800’s the practice of inviting friends to tea became popular, especially among the rich. Afternoon tea is generally served between lunch and a later dinner; anywhere from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (High Tea vs Low Tea).
Now our restaurant host joked we were somewhere in the midlle…calling his service medium tea. Definitely a fun outing for todays sophisticated foodie with leisurely time to spare ha ha!
London Bus CafÃ©
4126, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest
Westmount, QC H3Z 1P4
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Thanks for the enlightenment, but I am sure if I go to one of the few fancy places around here that offer ‘high tea’ and I ask to make a booking for ‘low tea’ they would assume I was making a stupid joke! I’d like to do high tea at the Raffles in Singapore one day, my parents tell me it’s quite an afternoon 🙂
Oh how fun! Might have to take my (English) husband there (who also happened to live in Westmount when he was a wee little one) in a couple of weeks.
Looking forward to meeting YOU too!