The Empress Hotel in Victoria opened its doors in January, 1908 and began serving afternoon tea there almost immediately. Tea at the Empress is world famous and iconic. It represents a link with our colonial past and all of the baggage that entails.
In my novel Tea at the Empress, the main character Edith is very much a young woman of her time -- first a suffragist and then a flapper, she is still forced to carry the heavy baggage of a past fraught with secrets and lies.
It is at the Empress over a cup of tea that the climax of the novel takes place: Edith reveals a secret and tells the truth about her own past. Of course, lives, including her own, are shattered in the process. Nothing can ever be the same again. But it is only by facing the truth and revealing our secrets that any of us can ever move forward to a brighter and fairer future.