Known as “the garden that love built”, Abkhazi Garden is a gorgeous heritage home (now a tea house), and garden located right in the heart of Victoria.
Peggy Pemberton-Carter met Prince Nicholas Abkhazi, in Paris in 1922. Prince Nicholas, the last surviving son of an ancient line of kings of Abkhazia on the Black sea, had been living there in exile since escaping the Bolshevik Revolution. The two found themselves taking walks together, visiting galleries and conversing in their common language of French. They kept in touch through correspondence and met occasionally over the next few years. When the war ended, even though they had not seen each other since 1933, they quickly made the decision to be together. They met in New York in November of 1946 where they married and Peggy became Princess Nicholas Abkhazi.
The Prince and Princess settled in Victoria, began to cultivate their one-acre property and build their beautiful home.
The Abkhazis toiled together on this incredible creation for over 40 years, often referring to the garden as their child. The gardens are full of magnificent Garry oaks, Japanese maples and rhododendrons which have developed to impressive sizes over the last 70 years. Visitors appreciate the stunning vistas from all areas of the property.
Winding through the 1.4-acre garden, you eventually reach the Teahouse, where you will find exceptional service and food providing guests with a tranquil and intimate memory to cherish. Seasonal menus showcase regional and Abkhazi Garden-grown produce, complementing the garden’s appearance when it is in bloom. One can visit seven days a week from April 1 – September 30 between the hours of 11:00 am and 5:00 pm with the last reservation and seating at 3:30 pm. Gluten-free options for Afternoon Tea and “Elevenses” are available for an additional charge of $8, and advance notice for this is kindly preferred.
Enjoy the Royal Abkhazi High Tea with scrumptious sandwiches, scones and desserts, or opt for Afternoon Tea which is a little smaller while still offering delightful bites.
If you are in the mood for more of a snack while you visit the Gardens, then perhaps the “Elevenses” is the right choice. Informal British tradition shows “Elevenses” as a short break when you enjoy a cup of tea or coffee accompanied by biscuits of varying types at around eleven o’clock in the morning.
In 2000, The Land Conservancy purchased this property to preserve the garden and the legacy of the Abkhazis.
Visitors and locals alike enjoy this unique experience. After all, how often do you delight in tea in “the garden that love built” and think about the devoted couple who brought this gem to life.
1964 Fairfield Rd.