Average at best. I have been to many tea rooms in the US and abroad and I did not feel that this high tea was tradionally English. I have been here twice now, hoping to give them a second chance. The service was poor as was the tea. Our pot was not warmed up with additional hot water after the first pour. The food was overly diminutive and ridiculously 'gourmet', not traditional in the least. The atmosphere felt like we were sitting on the set of an episode of the Golden Girls. Florida tacky. The palm room I believe it was- each time. Hardly a traditional tea room feel and atmosphere. Especially during the holidays. In England, at Christmas, High tea has not Christmas 'themed' anywhere I have ever been. Nor should it be here. Tacky. I expected a lot more from the Fairmont. If you want a 'traditional' English high tea, please don't spend your money here.
This tea room is western Washington's best kept secret. I am so, so excited that they are moving to Sumner! We (girlfriends and I) would drive to Bellevue just to have tea there. Now they will be in our beautiful little Sumner (less than a half hour south of Bellevue for all of you sad to see them leave Factoria). I've been to tea rooms from London to BC and this is the best food and selection I have ever had in this country. The price is outstanding for all the goodies served (including unlimited pots of tea, scones, lemon curd, cream & jam- unheard of anywhere else that I have ever been). There is always a wonderful assortment of warm savories and also yummy finger sandwiches, fresh fruit, cookies, pastries, chocolate confections, etc. So, so yummy. It is the closest tea to an original English tea that I have had. The food (and decor) is not fancy-gourmet ridiculous like many of the other tea rooms out there in expensive hotels, etc. that really take away from the experience of eating a very traditional English high-tea. No random exotic ingredients, no skimpy pieces of art inspired funky fish or meat on bread with carved veggies, etc. None of that business. Just plenty of good, high quality traditional English fare at the Secret Garden for a great price! Go and enjoy!