Last Tuesday on my last full day in Vancouver, my parents treated me to afternoon tea at a location of my choice. I had wanted to try Rose House ever since I’d seen photos on Instagram of rose-flavoured and -shaped jelly and rose-flavoured water. Surely the Lady (& the Rose) would have to visit!
The Rose House is located in Kerrisdale and has been around at its Vancouver location since 2013. The very first Rose House was opened by Taiwanese artist/entrepreneur/philosopher, Robert Huang, in Taipei (if not another city), Taiwan. There are now 50 stores worldwide. Everything in Rose House is rose-themed, from the chinaware to the paintings on the wall by Robert Huang, as well as the selection of food and beverage. The rose is reference to the one in The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Mr Huang loved the novella so much that everything in his English-style afternoon tea salon reflects it. You’ll even see an afternoon tea and tea blend named Little Prince. You’ll also notice that the afternoon tea and tea menus have some reference to the British Royal Family (namely, the Queen; Prince Charles; Prince William; and Diana, the late Princess of Wales). Apparently, Mr Huang had sent one of his rose paintings to the Queen and received a personal reply.
We ordered the rose-flavoured lemonade which came highly recommended. Unfortunately for us, we had missed the signature rose water by two months! The rose water contains 15 rose essence in each glass and is apparently very difficult to acquire, not to mention extremely popular with the guests. Nevertheless, the rose lemonade we ordered was the most refreshing and palatable non-alcoholic beverage I’ve ever had. Each bottle contains apples, lemons, sparkling water, distilled roses, as well as slices of lemons and tiny rose petals.
We then ordered the Prince William ($28.95), which comes with:
- one pot of tea (worth $7.95)
- 5 savoury sandwiches
- 1 mini scone with rose jam and Devon cream; 1 Quiche; 1 pastry
- 5 mini dessert
Unlike most afternoon tea salons that forbid sharing, we were allowed to share one order of Prince William between the three of us. It was enough for us to whet our appetite before wet set out for a full dinner. For our tea, we chose the Moroccan Rose, one of the special rose teas that month, which I quite enjoyed. We were allowed at least two refills for our pot – or at least until the flavour faded (don’t know if that’s the proper term).
The savoury selection was obviously gobbled up within seconds. It’s funny because even for one person, I find that the savoury plate usually takes a little longer to finish before moving on to the next plate.
At first, was a little surprised at how little jam we received but when there’s only one scone, it makes perfect sense. Why give so much and waste an entire bowl of jam and cream? I don’t remember what was in the little bowl next to the scone but I don’t recall touching it (my parents may have had it). I thought there was supposed to be an extra Quiche and/or pastry but there wasn’t.
I came specifically for the rose-flavoured and -shaped jelly but we didn’t get one! I was more than let down at this point. No rose water and no rose jelly. I had the earl grey macaron and the raspberry-topped dessert, both of which were satisfactory. I certainly didn’t want to have the taro dessert (yuck!) so I gave it to my Mum.
Overall, I liked the concept of the rosse-themed afternoon tea salon. Perhaps had I come another time when rose water and rose jelly were both available, I may have enjoyed my experience a lot more. We didn’t end up staying too long either and felt rather rushed to leave, despite there being very few diners around. My complaints probably sound like first world problems so I do apologise if I’ve come off this way. I do not discourage my readers from going. Everyone’s experiences are different, after all!
Address: 5687 Balsam St (Balsam & 41st – Kerrisdale)
Hours: Tues-Sun 11:00-19:00