White Heather Tea Room
1885 Oak Bay Ave.
Oak Bay, BC
J: Ed and I were returning to one of my favourite municipalities, Oak Bay, and in this municipality is one of the jewels of the many locally owned businesses, the White Heather Tea Room. I wanted Ed to experience their service, the food and the atmosphere of what had wowed me before. I stopped for tea with sandwiches and pastries last year. And though I didn’t review the place, I couldn’t say one bad thing against this establishment.
With Ed in tow, I thought it deserved scrutinizing under the eyes of the Two Hungry Blokes.
E: Quite often, I’d ask James, “So why don’t you move there?”
His reply is a long-winded excuse of one thing or another, but after all was said, I could not argue otherwise. But for the White Heather, there’s a crack or two at the seams which I could notice. What’s up with the canned mushrooms that were used in my eggs sconewich? For such a prestigious place, shouldn’t this place get most of its ingredients from the garden?
J: Usually money for me is the main factor. It’s not cheap to rent in Oak Bay and besides, how would I leave my new home in Oak Bay to work in Langford by 3:30am. There are no buses running at that early hour. It’s a pipe dream and dreams are the only thing that keep me going on most days.
I ordered an Eggs Panini and — for good measure — two scones. I thought the price was a little much (even with the tea) until they brought a tray of butter, jam, clotted cream and lemon meringue to the table.
E: When considering the way James acted when the scones arrived, I guess he got ‘sconed’ to death so he can die a happy man. I passed on trying the quick bread since it was coming as my oddball sandwich.
I liked it, but to find canned products used here irritated me. When this place has conjures forth images of products from a simple garden located somewhere near, I expect fresh products throughout. At least their strawberry was perfectly ripe and the side dressings of fruit were nicely fresh. Even my scone fell apart while I was trying to eat it.
J: Scones aren’t supposed to be rock hard and durable. Mine certainly weren’t. Their scones were fresh from the oven and they kept their temperature even after I devoured half of my meal. There’s nothing better than fresh scones and a good cup of tea (try their Mad Hatter, it’s my favourite). I think the only thing that pleased Ed was the fact that our server gave up two strips of bacon from their staff lunch (they were her portions) to please her customers. That is above and beyond in my books.
E: If a product is going to be labelled as a sandwich, I should be able to hold it with my hands than eat it with a fork and knife. But as for the bacon, I agree wholeheartedly with James.
We asked where the bacon came from; it came from Thrifty Foods out in Fairfield and they probably source their items from a different outlet than others. Most likely, not since I’ve found and tasted similar at other stores. Even then, I knew there was a subconscious reason why I liked that particular outlet over the others in town (I frequented that place a lot when I volunteered at Voice of BC some years ago and needed to get a quick snack nearby).
The tea I had was the West Coast Wave and it was decent. I’ve had other fruit tea blends and if I was to rank all that I’ve tried in order of preference, this would be number four on my list. It’s tough to beat huckleberry in my books, and I should’ve asked for honey. I was glad to hear that natural options for sweeteners exist. However, I did stare at James when he started to dump processed sugar in his cup of Mad Hatter. Sacrilege!
Although I was not quickly convinced about why this place was good, I think it’s mostly because of the relaxed atmosphere this diner offers. It’s decor can easily sooth the savage beast.
J: As said before, one of the reasons White Heather is so popular is because of the relaxed atmosphere, I think it has to do with the decor. They make changes from time to time (the curtains changed since my last visit). And even with Ed’s mushroom problem they still deserve another try. I’m hoping Ed will join me for afternoon tea. And who knows, maybe Ed will learn to drink tea with his pinky extended.
4½ blokes out of 5