Since an out-of-town colleague wanted to meet with an associate from Hamilton and me within a fairly tight time frame today, we settled on getting together for Tea at the Four Seasons at 4:00 pm
Our well-situated table was reserved as requested by phone; and when two of us had gathered we were asked our preferences by a pleasant, but not very adept in English, waiter. Shortly after, our teapots arrived - the brew was not piping hot to start with, seemed somewhat watery even after steeping, and were not refilled with hot water until we asked (this involved catching one of the two busy staff's eyes). Curiously, the second infusion of hot water seemed to produce a stronger tea. Go figure. A hotel like the FS should have staff hovering to provide more boiling water as required.
The rest of the offerings, presented all at once on an étagère, were reasonably good, but certainly nothing either memorable or spectacular. (NB: ordering tea for two plus a pot for the third person provided plenty of food, with leftovers.) Top tier: sandwiches, the best of the food - moist, fresh, tasty - cucumber, beef, cheese, etc. Not too fussy. Middle tier: generous assortment of mini tartlets and small patisseries - the chocolate one was outstanding, the berry ones pleasant, the cheesecakey ones blah. Bottom tier: scones. (A very mini portion of whipped clotted cream, not the real Devonshire plentifully available in Toronto, plus two jam jars, were served on a separate plate.) To me, it is INEXCUSABLE that a hotel of the FS' standing does not present scones warmed, in a basket covered with napery to keep them hot. The scones were delicious and light - but would have been better served separately and warm at the stage when they were to be consumed. It is also INEXCUSABLE at $29.00 or whatever to offer a tiny ramekin of some whipped cream in lieu of the real thing, Devonshire or clotted cream.
The check came quickly once I could catch a waiter's eye. I did not raise the above issues with them, or seek a manager, due to the presence of our out-of-town colleague. But I am disappointed. We had a run-of-the-mill tea shop, not a Four Seasons, experience. Anyone have similar experiences ? Is it worth writing the Manager of the Hotel ?