Lovin’ Vancouver! Our favorite places : the Secret Garden

It’s a restaurant, it’s a shop, it’s a destination, it’s an event – the Secret Garden!

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Every year for the past 5 or so years, I have taken the girls to the Secret Garden for “start of summer” lunch. Well, ok, I’ll admit we go a lot more often than that… But we love it! It’s quaint, it’s pretty, it’s YUMMY. What more do we gals need??

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They do serve “high tea”, which you MUST rsvp for. It’s a real treat, but don’t let those tiny little sandwhiches deceive you – it’s filling. We have never – ever – finished the entire thing. We generally order breakfast : french toasted croissants or apple pancakes; lunch : shrimp salad on croissant with roasted tomato soup; or demi-high tea : a smaller sampling, also very filling, of the yummy tiny creations.


The tea is a pleasure, too. Lots of great flavors, although I must say I always order the same thing. I’m a real creature of habit – either vanilla or strawberry rooibos. Hmmmmm. It comes in your own individual little pot and they refill your hot water frequently.

Their wall of teas – you can go sniff ’em out before you order your flavor. Or take some to go, like I did – Buckingham Palace and Secret Garden teas. Hmmm.

My favorite part?? THE SHOPPING, of course! Throughout the middle of the store and the cash area (of course) are alllll kinds of cute little things TO BUY! Especially handy if you know or have any wee girls, but I always seem to find something pour moi. Oui!

We were stuffed and had to take our desserts to go. The puffy thing w the gooseberry on top is TO DIE FOR YUMMY! Well, maybe not, but it’s super super yummy.

Definately one of our absolute favorite places in Vancouver.
To get in on a weekend, you almost have to make a reservation or JUST happen to hit it between high tea sittings. They only take rsvp’s for high tea, so you  may as well just make one and have high tea ;-). Oh, the sacrifices.


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10 Responses

  1. Ohhh….that looks so yummy! It makes me want to get in my car and drive the 3.5 hours to Vancouver for lunch! lol 🙂

  2. Sarah : Funny – a month ago we were talking to a couple in lineup at Vij’s here and they’d come up from Seattle JUST for dinner! But ooooh, Vij’s is so worth it. As is Secret Garden – I’ll meet you there ;-).

  3. SO cute! I love little places like that. Just charming. : )

    (Oooh I’m here from your comment in my blog excess baggage)

    I totally laughed out loud when I saw your comment about wanting to be an FA but becoming and architect. Funny thing is in 8th grade they made us do those quizzes to decide what we should be and my number one thing was architect. I rolled my eyes and said I’d be flying. LOL

  4. Brandi : That’s hilarious! Maybe architecture and flight attending ARE totally related somehow!

  5. I also ADORE the Secret Garden. It’s a special place because my grandma and I would go there when I lived with her in the neighbourhood. I love the tomato soup. I have to pronounce it the way she did, in her scottish accent: Tow-mah-tow.
    The owner’s family were neighbours of my Grandma’s when she lived on Churchill Street. I also think there’s a scrapbooking connection too- the owner is a scrapbooker or something like that…

  6. Joan : HOW have we never been for tea together?? We’d better get on that once school’s out 😉

  7. What an utterly lovely tradition. I wish my family and I did something similar. So lovely and so tasty.

    I doubt one could find a more perfect combination!


  8. BayBChicks : Well, never to late to start something new ;). We just started 4 or 5 years ago, so when my eldest was already 13 or so!

  9. Those are amazing pictures! I heard about the Secret Garden, and looked on the website because I thought it would be somewhere my mom would like. No worthwhile pictures, so I didn’t really know if it was a good idea. THANKS!

  10. Mel : Oooooohhhhh, totally worthwhile. If it’s just you + your mom, splurge on “high tea”. Very quaint, but the food is also incredibly yummy! In the summer they also have a sparkling iced tea available if you prefer s’thing cool… oooohhhhh, I’m itching to get back there already!

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