Forget the chain coffee places. Drop in to the Chateau Laurier for a bit of civility and a spot of tea.

Or the next time your mother drops in, treat her by booking a tea sitting, complete with your choice of more than one dozen teas and a silver, multi-tiered platter laden with goodies like crustless sandwiches, homemade scones with fresh cream and jam, cakes and tarts.

The next time you’re feeling up to a bit of pampering, escape reality (and the throngs of tourists and downtown workers) with a visit to Ottawa’s own castle.

It’s a refined way to spend the afternoon.