A Message from Ruth at Antiques And Teacups

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Monday, October 28, 2019

Visit to Abkhazi Gardens And Tea House Victoria BC

Last month we visited Victoria, BC and had a lovely afternoon at the little known Abkhazi Gardens and Tea House.

We arrived in the afternoon and had an hour in the gardens before our reservation for afternoon tea...

The gareden is really like a miniature Butchart Gardens, right in a residentional neighborhood by Oak Bay.

The gardens were a labor of love for couple with an astounding love story.

In 1922, heiress Peggy Pemberton-Carter met Prince Nicholas of Abkhazi, last surviving royal of a country that had just disappereared in World War I. The prince was a refugee in Paris where Peggy was visiting with her mother when they met and became friends. The pair were separated as Peggy and her mother traveled and lived in many places.

At the outbreak of World War II, the Prince was captured in France, and Peggy also became a prisoner of War in Shanghai.

When the war ended, they met again in New York and were married.
They moved to Victoria, BC and began to develop their property and garden, as a work of love.

Upon their deaths, the property was left to their long time gardener, who was elderly and could not keep it up, and decided to sell in 2000.

The only one interested was a developer of high rise multi condos. However, the neighbors stepped in,  formed the Land Conservancy and Abkhazi Land Trust and saved the property.

The garden and the Prince and Princess' home were renovated. The gardens opened first, then the house was opened as a social space for rent and finally as a tea house and luncheon spot in 2013.
The tea house and gardens are staffed totally by volunteer  who share a love for this magical place.
I had been to the gardens, and one to the tea house in 2013, but it was time for a repeat visit, and it did not disappoint.

The tea room space is limited, although in summer there is also an open terrace outside. As it was a very warm day, we opted for indoors, and were seated at a table for 2 in the open window in the far upper left.

One wall had display shelves of momentos, and a set of Shelley Dainty Blue china! Of course I had to photograph that!

All of the tables were set with charmingly mismatched coordinating settings....

We had a choice of 2 teas... an herbal tea and a black blend made exclusively
for the tea house by local tea blender Silk Road called the Royal Abkhazi blend, which we opted for and loved. More about that below.

The bottom of the 3 tiered served was the savories...
cucumber, watercress and cream cheese on wheat
currued chicken salad on pumpernickel
cream puffs filled with crab salad
mini cheese, onion and prosciutto quiches
cheese and ham croissants

I skipped the crab, my Honey enjoyed them... everything else was delicious!

The middle tier was orange currant scones with wild strawberry jam from the garden strawberries and clotted cream, yep, the real thing!

The top dessert tier included some delicious offerings from their in-house pastry chef...
luscious lemon tarts
Linzer shortbread with strawberry filling
mini Eccles cakes (puff pastry filled with currants and spice)
Decadent chocolate fudge cake square

Lol! We had finished the scones, and I had almost finished the lemon tart when I next remembered to take a photo. We were having so much fun talking about our various trips to Victoria, etc!

As to what was left....
it was one of the best afternoon teas we have had in Victoria...and that includes the Empress!

The photo above is from their website of their gift shop which includes the tea served and local artisan products. I bought a lovely batik silk scarf stenciled with silver leaves as a souvenir with a tin of tea.

The handout given to us about the tea room...

And my own Shelley Dainty Blue teacup. Sometimes people are confused, because the shape is called Dainty and the pattern is called Dainty Blue.

The Royal Abkhazi tea blend by Silk Road...
Tea of Refinement... Black Tea

The description says Indian, Ceylon and Chinese black tea bergamot essence, vanilla beans and essence. 
And it is like a mild and restrained Earl Grey... which is probably why I liked it. I usually find Earl Greys overwhelming and one dimensional. This is lovely!

So thanks for joining me for a lovely garden and tea room visit!

Below is the link to the website:


  1. Beautiful pictures and gorgeous china!That teacup is amazing!Hugs!

  2. Thank you for the lovely tour, Ruth! Victoria is on my bucket list so I always enjoy tagging along your Victoria outings.


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