Local Connections: Royal Tea at Abkhazi Garden & City Highlights Created by Historian

2.5 hours | Victoria | Y Y J - 3 6 0
Average Guest Rating
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$ 104.95
Min. age: 8 years (See special notes)
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Points of Interest

  • Legislative Buildings
  • Fairmont Empress Hotel
Includes snack, Moderate activity

Description

Be sure to read the Special Notes further down this page for important requirements and restriction.

No visitor to Victoria should miss out on one of the city's best-kept secrets. Abkhazi Garden is an unhurried refuge, a magical oasis that's a world away from Victoria's hustle and bustle. Take the time to relax and rejuvenate during the 2.5-hour excursion that begins with a stroll through an enchanted garden that love built and ends with a refreshing cup of tea.

Passionate about cultural history and excellent food, Page Loten created this unique excursion fit for royalty. He extensively researched the story of the Abkhazis and designed a high tea with scones made from his grandmother's recipe and an exclusive tea blend made by Silk Road Teas.

To thoroughly enjoy your experience be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a camera to record some of the most beautiful specimens of the plant kingdom.

After boarding your coach it's just a short drive to the former home of Prince and Princess Abkhazi. Once you disembark you'll be greeted by a high hornmean hedge. Tucked behind it lies an atmosphere unlike any other in Victoria.

Upon entering the garden, you can't help but be captivated by its elegant charm. And behind its natural beauty lies a story of tragedy, survival, and love. Exiled Prince, Nicholas Abkhazi and Marjorie Peggy Pemberton-Carter first met in Paris in the 1920s. They didn't meet again until after World War II, having each endured life in prisoner-of-war camps.

Reunited after the war, they married and moved to Victoria in 1946. After they purchased the one-acre property they immediately set about creating a tranquil respite from the rest of the world that she called "the garden that love built." They continued to maintain and improve the garden throughout the remainder of their lives. After their deaths, their ashes were mingled and placed in their beloved garden. In 2000 Canada's Land Conservancy purchased the property to save it from being demolished to make room for a townhouse development.

As you meander along the well-worn paths, you may have the feeling that you're walking in a scared Imperial garden from the Far East. Princess Abkhazi envisioned the garden as a giant Chinese scroll, gently unfurling over the rocks and hills.

The colorful Rhododendron Woodland Garden boasts 50-year-old plants shaded by towering oaks with wonderfully sculptural trunks. The sprawling South Lawn flows gently down the length of the property to the Yangtze River, a flowing expanse of grass bordered by heather. The East Path boasts mature conifers that tumble down the rock face toward a hidden pool mimicking waterfalls. From the top of the path you can see the Sooke Hills, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. The Summerhouse is a focal point in the garden's design and views from the small porch are some of the best in the garden.

Equally impressive is the charming teahouse. After your journey through the garden step inside and reflect on your visit with a three-tier Royal tea including pastries, sweets and sandwiches.

Sip and savor each quiet moment before returning to your coach and a city tour on the way back to your ship.

Special Notes:

Minimum age is 8. Garden path is gravel with uneven surfaces and steps. The garden is closed to the general public.

Snack: Pastries, sweets, sandwiches, choice of teas

Unaccompanied Minor Policy: Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.

Transfer to Abkhazi Garden

Transport type:
Motorcoach
Travel time:
00:15

Guided tour of Abkhazi Garden

Time at site:
00:40

Snack in Teahouse

Time at site:
00:40
Inside visit:
Yes
Restroom available:
Yes

Time to browse gift shop

Time at site:
00:10
Inside visit:
Yes
Restroom available:
Yes
Shopping available:
Yes

Transfer back to pier

Transport type:
Motorcoach
Travel time:
00:15