Reinette Cafe: Affordable Luxury
High Tea or Afternoon Tea is one of my favourite food adventures to experience! Last weekend, my friend and I stopped by Reinette Cafe for their Afternoon Tea after going to the Ice Castles. This cute and cozy French-inspired cafe is tucked away in a Millwoods neighbourhood. It has the perfect atmosphere to catch up with friends, or escape Edmonton’s -31 degree weather in the winter. I’ve been meaning to stop by for a while but never had a chance to. When I saw that they offered Afternoon Tea, I knew I had to go! Along with Afternoon Tea, they offer pastries, sandwiches, and quiches. This is a place of affordable luxury – quality items for an inexpensive price!
Afternoon Tea is available every weekend from Friday to Sunday, and on weekdays, it’s available through special order at least 48 hours in advance. It’s only $20 and meant to be shared between 2 people, but if you’re really hungry, I guess you can have it all to yourself! This is super affordable compared to other high tea in the city (Cafe Linnea – $55, Fairmont Hotel Macdonald – $55 or $29 weekdays, Cally’s Teas – $40). Unlike other places where you don’t get to choose what to eat, there are options available here. There’s a set menu with 3 categories, A+B+C, where you are able to choose your options from. One of these categories (C) is picking your own drink! Afternoon Tea at Reinette is more of a dessert because there’s only one savoury food item to choose from. All of the mini items from Afternoon Tea are available for separate purchase in their regular size as well.
Mini Lemon Meringue Tart
The first category, A, allows you to choose 4 items from a list of 6. The items that my friend and I chose were mini apple cheesecake, mini Mont Blanc, mini Paris-Brest, and mini lemon meringue tart. The items we didn’t try were try the mini rose green tea macaron because they ran out and the mini key lime tart.
- Mini lemon meringue tart (pictured above): This had the perfect combination of zest and sweetness! The meringue was creamy while the crust wasn’t too flaky. I’m a big lemon meringue lover so I really liked this item.
- Mini Mont-Blanc (pictured above): This was a dessert with whipping cream covered with chestnut, on top of a macaron shell. My friend and I both thought this item just tasted like pure sugar and we didn’t enjoy it.
- Mini apple cheesecake (not pictured): Their cheesecake might be one of the best cheesecakes I’ve tried! I’m literally craving it right now as I write this. The cheesecake was very light and not thick or heavy like most cheesecakes. It’s covered in apple slices that are braised in caramel and cinnamon. This is certainly a must-try!
- Mini Paris-Brest (not pictured): This was a soft-choux pastry with almond cream on the inside, then topped with almond flakes. If you enjoy nutty pastries then you would like this!
Financier & Mini Madeleines
For the second category, B, we were able to choose 3 items from a list of 5. We decided to try the mini Madeleine, a Financier, and an onion & cheese scone. The other items that we didn’t choose were biscotti, mini Financier, and apple & raisin scone.
- Mini Madeleine (pictured above): I think these were the cutest Madeleines I had ever eaten! There were 4 mini ones in the shape of rubber duckies!! (Can you hear my excitement?) These tiny sponge cakes had hints of lemon zest throughout.
- Financier (pictured above): The regular-sized Financier was shaped like a bear so I knew we had to get that instead of 2 small Financiers. I seriously love anything that is cute and animal-shaped! (Sometimes I think I’m actually 8 years old….) The Financier had raspberries and chocolate pieces throughout it. Nothing special but super cute!
- Onion & cheese scone (pictured below): This was the only savoury item from the Afternoon Tea menu. I enjoyed it as the parmesan cheese wasn’t overpowering. There were onion bits throughout that I didn’t really taste.
Onion & Cheese Scone
The last category, C, was picking two drinks of your choice (1 for each person). For drink choices, there are tea lattes, teas, hot chocolate (white & dark), and coffee. Syphon coffee is offered for an additional cost.
I had earl grey tea while my friend had dark hot chocolate. She commented that the dark hot chocolate was too bitter and she couldn’t finish it. I wanted to try the hot chocolate or tea latte except they only offered regular milk. I was told that if I wanted a different milk alternative I would have to bring my own. The worker suggested that there was a convenience store down the strip where I could buy soy milk and bring it over, which I found to be a bit odd??
Turkey & Bacon Quiche
Along with the Afternoon Tea, I decided to try one of their quiches because I was still hungry. I had the turkey and bacon quiche (around $4). I liked the quiche but it might have been because I was really craving something savoury after eating all the sweet pastries.
The one thing I would have to comment on that threw my friend and I off during our visit was one of the workers. It didn’t really bother us but we found his service to be a bit off. For example, we requested napkins since they weren’t given to us or on tables. He commented that this was a “self-serve place”, which we were not aware of since it was our first visit. I was also confused about whether the Afternoon Tea was for one person or two people. I thought it was for one person then when my friend and I paid, we were surprised by the total amount of our bill because it was less than we had expected. He informed us that it was for both of us then commented how he had already told me “three times” that Afternoon Tea was for two people. I believe that’s just how his personality is but it can probably come off as the wrong way towards people. Other than that, the service was fine and didn’t bother me aside from those comments.
If you’re looking to stop by for Afternoon Tea, I would definitely recommend making reservations. The cafe is quite small and fills up quickly! This place is definitely a hidden gem in my books. I will probably return for another Afternoon Tea experience, or for that apple cheesecake..
Address & Hours
301 Woodvale Road
Mon – Sat: 7am – 9pm
Sun: 11am – 5pm