The town of Niagara Falls – and by extension, Niagara-on-the-Lake – is an area very conscious of tradition. The locals’ love of traditional finery and pastimes is reflected in the well-preserved buildings and historical sites all over the place, notably the grandiose McFarland House south of Fort George.
Niagara's McFarland House
The estate, built in the early 19th century and still a prime example of Georgian architecture, is an example of the architectural period. For anyone in Niagara Falls over the holiday period, they may learn that it’s seen as a tradition in itself to take Holiday Tea at McFarland House. And the activity has become very popular in recent years with locals and tourists alike.
The Holiday Tea takes place across one weekend in early December – in the case of 2016, the dates are 10–11 December, from 10am until 5pm on both days. It’s the last event for the year in the Conservatory Tea Room, and bookings are essential for seating times throughout both days.
McFarland House Holiday Tea
The tea room has garnered a strong reputation for both its tea and its non-herbal selections of treats and snacks. Selections of:
- traditional sandwiches
- cheese platters
- various desserts
cater for just about every taste bud. There are dozens of teas available, from the full gamut of black blends to rooibos, green and fruit-blended varieties. For those favouring the grape over the leaf, the tea room also serves local vintage VQA wines.
Niagara Holiday Tradition
The appointment for the Holiday Tea is for a prix fixe menu – with the promise of making all their traditional Christmas treats available, the selection may favour the sweet tooth a touch more than the usual savoury options, but everyone looking for a good taste will be satisfied.
High tea is fashionable again in recent years, but events like the Holiday Tea at McFarland House acquired a reputation all on their own from local support and tourist curiosity. It’s a great opportunity to act out a tradition both with long-standing roots and a new resurgence of support and interest – and the quality at the Conservatory speaks for itself.
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