While it is true that the ritual and sensory experience surrounding tea is inherently subjective, I am frankly bewildered by some of the comments that have been made on this site about Silvertips. My wife and I have had afternoon tea in a whole range of settings over the years and have found two tests that make or break the experience of afternoon tea. The first involves the selection and quality of tea offerings, and their proper preparation. Time and time again, we are amazed at the freshness and breadth of the tea selections at Silvertips. Whether it is the depth and power of their classic Makaibari Estate Assam, the fragrance of their Baroness Earl Grey, the depth of their Organic Rooibos, or the chocolate and fruity aroma of their Prelude to Bliss, there is something for everyone in this tea room. Moreover, I often catch myself starring in amazement as the staff navigates the maze of clock timers used to brew the tea in precise fashion. The second involves the service and quality of the environment that the staff creates, a measure of their ability to build “chemistry” with a whole range of customers from tea novices to tea aficionados. Here, the litmus test is whether the staff is able to provide excellent service that makes customers feel welcomed and comfortable. My wife and I find ourselves returning time and time again because the staff is so dedicated to their customers. They do their best to deliver a quality experience each time, and the choice of the word “experience” is intentional here. When we go to Silvertips, we are looking for an experience that uses tea to “feed” the spirit, something which the staff really understands. (I often wonder what the hiring experience must be like here, since this is a real demanding task!) The menu selections at Silvertips are amazingly varied and of high quality. The soups are first-rate, using a host of ingredients and mix of flavors worthy of that proud institution up the river in Hyde Park. We like the olive spread sandwiches, although admittedly this may be an acquired taste for non-olive lovers. Finally, the scones are to die for. The only thing I can think of that may have turned-off some visitors to Silvertips is the fact that it does get crowded at times, with people waiting in line for tables to open up. Since this can add pressure to what should be a calm tea ritual, I suggest you visit early in the afternoon.