A few weeks before Christmas John and I were invited up to the Teahouse in Stanley Park for dinner. My only other experience at the Teahouse was at an office dinner about nine years ago so my memory definitely needed refreshing.
Located at Ferguson Point in Stanley Park, just up from Third Beach (and across from Pauline), it’s a wonder why we haven’t stopped in for lunch or dinner before. With a wide Western view from the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean it’s the ultimate place to catch a sunset over supper. Nestled among the Cedars, and formerly known as the Sequoia Grill (2004 – 2009) the Teahouse has quite the history.
In 1938 the Teahouse at Ferguson Point in Stanley Park was built as an officersâ€™ mess for a military defense garrison at Ferguson Point. Military historian Peter Moogk writes: â€œCanadian resources during the Great Depression permitted only a beginning in 1938 on the Ferguson Point Battery in Stanley Park, which was to cover detained vessels anchored in English Bay and to provide close-in defense. A three-gun counter-bombardment battery was to be located on Point Grey and close-defense guns were to cover the First Narrows, where a boom with net was to act as the harbor’s gate. Aircraft patrols would provide an early warning of attack. Ten searchlights along the shoreline would furnish night-time illumination of the maritime approaches. The local Field Brigade, Royal Canadian Artillery, (established in 1920) was converted to a coast artillery regiment to man the guns here and on Yorke Island, at the head of the Inside Passage.â€
After the war, the city operated it as a summer teahouse. In 1978 a young entrepreneur named Brent Davies came along and leased the building from the Parks Board. – VancouverHistory.ca
It was re-named the Sequoia Grill for a few years and is now a part of the Sequoia Group of Companies.
We had a lovely meal as John selected the featured pork dish and I had the steak & frites (just coming off my Switzerland trip, I had a craving). We also had some wine although for a place that would seemingly attract a more out of town clientele, I didn’t see an overwhelming number of BC wines on their list. There was a nice representation, but depending on the varietal, European and California wines greatly outnumbered the local selection.
The meals themselves were scrumptious but what really wrapped up the experience for us was the atmosphere. Vancouver has seen a growth spurt when it comes to giant cavernous restaurants with towering cement walls that remain bare and lifeless. The Teahouse is cozy. A crackling fireplace, candlelight, cloth, fresh flowers, and paned windows through which you can see a garden, greenery, and where the ocean meets the sky.
One of the only drawbacks, for a couple such as us without a car, is that you can’t really take transit in so your options are to drive, grab a cab, or walk over on the Seawall and take the steps up. Walking would have been ideal for us but since it was a late evening in mid-December it wasn’t the most practical. You could even walk over from the number 19 Stanley Park bus but again, maybe not the best option in the dark, during winter.
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The cab ride from downtown was only about $10 and since it’s at the end of the one-way loop around the park it is sort of a nice pre-dinner tour.
I know many people have been there for work functions, banquets or weddings but I would recommend it for a lovely, quiet dinner date or meal with family and friends. We’ll be taking John’s parents when they’re in town next and we’ll make our way back again a bit earlier in the evening next time so that we can walk over and catch a sunset as we enjoy the delicious menu.