Through the small red door next to the restaurant Sparrow on St-Laurent and Rue Maguire, and walk up the stairs to the second floor, you’ll be amazed by what you see. Salon de Thé Cardinal is a two-level tearoom opened at the beginning of December 2013 by the owners of The Sparrow. Since the Mile End is overwhelmed with cafés, the addition of the tearoom definitely created a lot of discussion.
The sunlight shines through the windows into the tearoom directly, which makes it warm and cozy. The space was originally a nightclub, but they have completely renovated the place into a classy and Victorian-style tearoom. From the antique bookshelves to the elegant fine china, the vintage décor brings you back to the 1920s. There’s a sense of calmness when sitting upstairs.
Salon de Thé Cardinal offers around 20 types of teas, from black to white tea, and classic to special blends. They also have some specials from times to times. I tried two of their teas, and would definitely recommend both. The first was Irish Breakfast, which is their strongest black tea. It’s perfect morning caffeine substitute for coffee! The other one is my personal favorite, Early Grey Lavender. I love everything with lavender, and I was happy that the fragrant and the taste of the lavender are outstanding. The teas were steeped to perfection without any astringent aftertaste.
Each person has different tea cup set with a special spoon. All their tea cups are elegant and classy. A special note of their tea pot is that they are specially made to keep the teas warm for a very long time! The tea pots are warmed up with hot water before brewing the teas.
A variety of baked goods are also offered at Salon de Thé Cardinal. The tea treats include blueberry scones (strongly recommended with their clotted cream!), Eccles cakes (a mix of sweet and source pastry), shortbread, sausage rolls and Cardinal Cake. Besides the sweets, they also have salads and sandwiches for customers who prefer a light brunch. I would love to go back to try out their egg & water cress sandwich!
If you have gotten tired of caffeine and would like to a nice, laid-back place to spend on weekends to catch up with friends, Salon de Thé Cardinal is definitely the hotspot that you would enjoy!