Casa Loma with a Side of Tea

Last month I spent an afternoon drinking tea, working my way through a plate of finger food, and literally running around Casa Loma.  The food and tea were part of High Tea at Casa Loma, a Winterlicious culinary event organized by the Liberty Group and featuring George Brown culinary students.  Besides giving me the opportunity to sit down for tea in the beautiful sunlit Conservatory, the event itself wasn’t particularly noteworthy.  But I was surprised to find out, after living within 3 km of Casa Loma for over a decade, that exploring Casa Loma makes for one fun afternoon in Toronto!

High tea was served in the Conservatory, Library, and Billiard Room.  Our choice was the bright, open Conservatory.

High tea was served in the Conservatory, Library and Billiard Room.

The food... was not very good (although not bad).  It looks pretty but it must have been plated early in the morning.  Breads and sweets were (rather randomly) offered as well.

The food…was not very good (although not bad).  It looks pretty but the offerings were either tasteless or slightly stale tasting or just not particularly interesting.  Breads and sweets were (rather randomly) offered as well.  There were two tea options – David’s Tea “read my lips” and “berry good organic,” I think – the first cup had to be picked up from the David’s Tea stand in the Library.  Maybe this was meant to help promote David’s Tea but it was an inconvenient setup.

Sir Henry Pellatt's Suite is one of the many spaces on the second floor.  The bed is smaller than I would have thought.

Sir Henry Pellatt’s Suite is one of the many spaces on the second floor.  Some history and room features are highlighted via an audio guide (included with admission).

A slightly eerie 800 feet tunnel connects Casa Loma to the Stables, Garage, and Potting Shed.  It's cold down there in the winter.

A slightly eerie 800 feet tunnel connects Casa Loma to the Stables, Garage, and Potting Shed. It’s cold down there in the winter.

This 1910 Maxwell Q 2 is one of a few cars on display in the Garage.

This 1910 Maxwell Q 2 is one of a few cars on display in the Garage.

Years of gum and graffiti in one of the towers reached via stairs from the third floor.

Years of gum and graffiti in one of the towers reached via stairs from the third floor.

Don't miss the creepy looking, never finished, swimming pool on the lower level.

Don’t miss the creepy looking, never finished, swimming pool on the lower level.

The "World's Tallest High Tea Stand" in the Great Hall.

The “World’s Tallest High Tea Stand” in the Great Hall.

Take home gift bag.

Program and contents of the gift bag.  A ticket to the event was under $40 including fees.

Casa Loma on a winter day is rather lovely but I imagine seeing the gardens in the summer are even better.

Casa Loma on a winter day is rather lovely but I imagine it’s even better in the summer when the gardens are open.

It took me a while but I can finally recommend visiting Casa Loma to Torontonians and visitors alike.  It may not be “old” (it’s just shy of 100 years old) but it’s worth exploring.  Attention to detail is evident in every room and there are interesting features throughout Casa Loma.  If you’re from Toronto I recommend going during one of the many events held there throughout the year.

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