Nestled in the Rocky Mountains of Banff National Park and perched high above the spectacular and infamous turquoise waters of Lake Louise sits the humble Lake Agnes Tea House.
The menu boasts more than 100 loose leaf teas and a selection of homemade pastries, biscuits, desserts, soups and sandwiches to supplement a lovely afternoon tea. The snacks and brews may be comforting and delicious, but they undeniably take second place to the views.
And there’s a slight catch.
You’ve got to earn tea time, because it’s not easy getting to Canada’s oldest and highest tea house. It requires a 3.5 km hike from the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, steadily climbing a trail that rises 367 metres in elevation.
The rustic log house has no running water or electricity, so the owners use an old propane army stove to serve their customers. And sourcing ingredients isn’t without its challenges. The dry goods are flown in by helicopter once a year, and to stock up on fresh items like bread, cheese and vegetables, staff either hike them up on their backs daily, or they pack them in by horseback.
The hike is well worth the moderate climb once you’re situated on the patio, sipping a hot cup of tea, surrounded by those breathtaking Rocky Mountains.