sweet memories of Ottawa


My friend Barb (on the left) and me enjoying Afternoon Tea at Zoe’s Lounge in the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa.

Ringing in the New Year brought back sweet memories of my trip to Ottawa, Canada, when I had the opportunity to enjoy the amazing Afternoon Tea in Zoe’s Lounge at the Chateau Laurier. I have stayed at this landmark property in the past and loved it. But this visit was focused on a special look inside the “heart of the house” i.e. the kitchen, and the opportunity to meet Anne Marie Milk, the very talented pastry chef who overseas the decadent creations we enjoyed with our champagne and tea at Zoe’s.



This tray of incredible pastries was just one of the three courses offered during the Afternoon Tea at Zoe’s Lounge at the Chateau Laurier. We began with Moet et Chandon Champagne and ended with personalized choices from the extensive tea selection.


Choosing from the extensive selection of teas at Zoe’s Lounge at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa was a perfect way to top off a superb tasting experience.

My time in Ottawa was brief, but I had time to hop in a cab and visit The Glebe, one of the city’s trendy neighbourhoods known for its unique shops and red brick buildings.


This decadent chocolate treat is called the Royal, which I was fortunate to find at the Sweet Bite French Pasty Shop at 769 Bank in The Glebe district of Ottawa.

Another recommended stop for visitors to The Glebe neighbourhood of Ottawa is Alicja Confections for the “postcard chocolate bars.” These bars are packaged in artful cardboard housing pre-printed with the template of a postcard on the reverse side so that you can actually mail them to someone! I must tell you that the Potato Chip Milk Chocolate Postcard Bar was a big hit with our guests over the holiday season. The picture below shows the full selection of colourful postcard chocolate bars from which to choose.


The postcard chocolate bars at Alicja Confections at 829 Bank Street in Ottawa make a visit to The Glebe with a trip. The photo below shows the front and back of one of the mailable postcard chocolate bars available at Alicja’s.


While in Ottawa, be sure to walk around Byward Market where you can enjoy a taste of just about anything. And be sure to at least walk by the Parliament Buildings, as they are breathtaking.


I had a gorgeous view of Ottawa’s Parliament buildings from my room at the Andaz Hotel as well, but snapped this amazing sunset from the hotels’ Copper Spirits and Sights rooftop lounge.

While in Ottawa, I had the pleasure of staying at the Andaz Ottawa Byward Market. This is a relatively new hotel built right on the edge of Ottawa’s famous Byward Market with terrific views of Parliament Hill right from your room or from the scenic roof-top lounge. I loved the friendly staff at this hotel, and the nice touches like a complimentary disk of Ontario-made Hummingbird Chocolate (one of my favourites!) and a glass of local Ontario wine on check-in.


The Andaz Hotel in Ottawa features a complimentary taste of multi-award-winning Hummingbird Chocolate from nearby Almonte, Ontario, as well as a selection of fine Ontario-made wines.

Ottawa has long been one of my favourite Canadian cities, and it’s no wonder with all the chocolate diversions this eye-popping historic city has to offer. My thanks to the incredible staff at Ottawa Tourism who always make sure I have the opportunity to enjoy a new taste of Ottawa each time I visit.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

54 Responses

  1. Wow, those post cards are a work of art! Just beautiful. I wonder if they will ever venture into the Hemp added industry as there is so much benefit. What better the chocolate and healthy hemp. What are your thoughts? https://directlyhemp.com

    • Hello Mary. Yes, I have tasted chocolate made with cannibas and it is quite fine. I am not endorsing it though, as my experience is that it is extremely difficult to predict the impact of edibles in the body.

  2. Bola says:

    Would love to taste the Royal and in fact every piece looks delicious. What a luxury!

  3. We used to travel to Ottawa every once and a while as my husband is from Ontario, but clearly I’ve missed some of the best parts of the city! Afternoon Tea is always a great way to spend some time and the version in Zoe’s Lounge looks delicious! Chateau Laurier certainly presents an amazing collection of cakes!

  4. Afternoon Tea in Zoeโ€™s Lounge at the Chateau Laurier sounds heavenly! The fact that you also got to peek into the kitchen is icing on the cake…and what wonderful cakes and treats they have!

  5. I have to admit it’s never even occurred to me to visit Ottawa! I’ve seen Quebec and Montreal and Vancouver and the Canadian rockies, but that’s about it. My travel list just keeps getting longer and longer…

    • Right on, Rachel! Don’t forget. Canada is the second largest country in the world, so there is lots to see. Every province is quite different and has its own unique personality. Perhaps on your next visit, you will check out Toronto and Ottawa in Ontario, Canada’s most populace province.
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  6. I always enjoy reading about your latest chocolate discoveries. After reading about the food and chocolate you sampled while in Ottawa, I think I’ll have some breakfast! Of course it will pale against your experiences!!

  7. I’d never thought of Ottawa as a place to go to for the food. But that afternoon tea at Zoe’s Lounge looks amazing!

    • Hi Karen. As Ottawa is the national capital of Canada, it is no wonder that the standards for restaurants, accommodations, and culinary offerings are varied and of high quality as it hosts many international travellers and dignitaries.
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    • Barbara Lehtiniemi says:

      Hi Karen,
      Afternoon tea at Zoe’s is a sublime experience. It’s worth every penny, and you definitely won’t need supper that evening, because you’ll be too full! Which is too bad because the variety of dining options in Ottawa is amazing.

  8. Hi Doreen, Happy new year! The images made my mouth watery, the chocolate postcard is something I never thought about. I really wish to visit Ottawa after going through this.

  9. This is such a sweet perspective of Ottawa. Totally in love with it. Alicja’s Confections seems the place to head to as soon as you land in Ottawa. The offering seem simply irresistible.

    • Hi Sandy. I didn’t mean to mislead you. Alicja’s is a very tiny shop with limited offerings. But the one thing they offer that is truly unique is their chocolate postcards. Ottawa is a fabulous city with many chocolate offerings to fill every need. Please check the link in my post that highlights quite a few more in the chocolate walking tour of Ottawa.
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  10. Wow, chocolate postcards! thats a lovely idea. Being a chocolate lover, I would totally love to receive a chocolate card. Its good to know that there are so many chocolate options at Ottawa. Will keep it in mind when I visit the place.

  11. Sue Bowness says:

    Good to learn about the chocolate opportunities in Ottawa, a city where I used to live and try to get back to! Now I know where to go next when I am there.

  12. Doreen, you always seem to find the sweetest destinations. Ottawa was not on our travel radar, but your article certainly presents a valid argument for a visit. Perhaps we will have the opportunity to sample the “Royal” treat for ourselves.

  13. neha says:

    Thanks for a delicious (chocolaticious!!) start to the new year! All the preparations sound yummy. But what stood out for me was the Potato Chip Milk Chocolate Postcard Bar! I had never heard of a chocolate postcard bar. It must be a unique experience to send or receive one ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. The cakes look absolutely delicious. I dribbled over the afternoon tea cakes until I spotted the decadent chocolate treat! This is certainly a place to visit if I ever find myself in Ottowa. A brilliant post to burst into the New Year!

  15. Yum! It all looks so delicious. I don’t know how you pick what to nibble on first! I’ll get to Ottawa one of these days.

  16. Lovely pictures. These pastries looks mouth watering to say the least. Stunning sunset and I want that postcard! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. I love the idea of a chocolate postcard although I am not sure it would get through Australia’s quarantine and who knows what it would look like when it arrived!

  18. I’ve walked by Alicia’s many times but didn’t know about the postcards! I’ll have to check them out. I’m always looking for excuses to go to chocolate shops. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Barbara Lehtiniemi says:

    Great spotlight on some Ottawa treats for tourists! I live relatively close to Ottawa and I forget to enjoy what’s in my own backyard. Thanks for a memorable afternoon at Chateau Laurier, Doreen!

  20. Kathy Andrew says:

    Oh it all looks lovely Doreen! On my to go list now.

    • Right on, Kathy. Ottawa is such a cosmopolitan city. I know you are an art lover, and there are a couple of really terrific art galleries in the city: the National Gallery and the Ottawa Art Museum. Not to mention the Canadian Museum of History that is a truly worldclass facility.
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…sweet memories of OttawaMy Profile

  21. I’ll be on the lookout for some good chocolate in New Zealand and let you know what I find.

    • Thanks! The one I have tried is Donovan’s. It is made from imported cocoa and is OK but not outstanding. I’ve not yet had any NZ chocolate made from cocoa grown there. I know quite a bit is being grown in Australia, but am unsure about what’s happening in New Zealand. Will look forward to your report. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…sweet memories of OttawaMy Profile

  22. I loved Ottawa, especially the changing of the guards at the Parliament. And the Art Center and Notre Dame behind it beyond the canyon.

  23. Those postcard chocolates are a brilliant idea! I’ll have to scout them out next visit. We just returned from a weekend in Ottawa and also enjoyed afternoon tea at Zoe’s. I love the modern decor and the bright, airy feel of the lounge ( plus the treats). A must-do in Ottawa!

  24. We live in southeastern Ontario so Ottawa is relatively accessible. I will be sure to check out the spots you mention. Even though we could go to Ottawa, see the sights and come home the same day, staying at that lovely hotel might be nice. If we go I will be sure to send you a postcard chocolate.

    • Hi Christine and thanks for stopping by. I would LOVE to receive one of those postcard chocolate bars in the mail to see how they survive the process. You are so lucky to live nearby to so many of the amazing places in southeastern Ontario. Enjoy your upcoming travels! ๐Ÿ™‚
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  25. Peter Johansen says:

    As an Ottawa resident, I’m delighted we treat you well! And I thank you for introducing me via this post to the Glebe “postcards.” I wasn’t aware of that store and will check it out — once the post-holiday guilt subsides.

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