Le Café de l’Horloge
168 Rue Saint-Pierre,
Rigaud, QC J0P 1P0
Phone: (514) 941-0616
Cost: $ 57.50
Chef Hats: 3
We came across Le Café de l’Horloge while looking for a cute place to have tea during one of our Sunday day trips. Situated in a historic building on St Pierre street across from Presbytère Ste-Madeline in the town of Rigaud, it is a little far off- island for people who live on the Island of Montreal and can only rely on THE BMW. For those who live in the West Island or neighboring towns, it is close to and part of Vaudreuil-Soulanges, a municipality that has been booming exponentially since the early 2000’S. This little cafe has earned quite a reputation with the locals as a great venue for weddings and now as a Tea House for High Tea.
Opened in September 2016 by Yasmine Wrzeszcz, what was a dream, turned into reality when she found this old building for sale. Her inspiration was to open a venue that would not only showcase her passion for art and culture but also her knack for recycling. She loved to visit garage sales and pick up beautiful items and re-purpose them into beautiful works of art. As her ideas came to fruition, she had to incorporate her treasures into the renovations of this historic old Post office. Items like recycled stained glass doors, moldings, furniture, fine china and an old typewriter that now sit in the foyer entrance. The venue which is about 1800 square feet has impressive windows overlooking the river, fifteen-foot ceilings, and a majestic fire place. It also has a capacity to seat 95 people inside and out. Its grounds nestled by the Rigaud River is the perfect location for an outdoor wedding. In 2017, it was featured in a few popular wedding magazines as the place to have a chic country style wedding. Situated about 70 kilometers west of downtown Montreal and 130 kilometers east of Ottawa, it is relatively still obscure for many die- hard Montrealer’s who love the city life. For those who love weekends dining out in the country while day tripping this can be the ideal place.
Three years later, in March 2019, she opened the venue to the general public as a quaint little cafe serving English High Tea on Sunday’s. For High Tea aficionados and any foodie, who just loves to relax in the country, nice cafés or tea houses, Café de l’Horloge, would be the place for you. With plenty of parking across the street, it makes for a stress-free afternoon lounging around like high society.Not only is the space, intimate and quaint inside, it is tastefully decorated and simple. In the summer the café opens its wonderful outdoor terrace perched high above the grounds, overlooking the running river.
It is pure country life at its best being suspended above the river as it rolls by. The sense and atmosphere here is tranquil and the epitome of relaxation. Which comes to the second part of this equation the pace at Le Café de l’Horloge is very slow, service is also very slow. If you are in a rush, do not expect to get served quickly, it can take hours. But you can take all you time munching on a three-tiered tray that comes served with homemade scones and delectable desserts and mini sandwiches. In colder weather you can sit by the fireplace and admire the lovely stained-glass windows and the beautiful eclectic mix of fine bone china, teapots and tiered serving dishes that line the bar where items that have been recycled for a new life.
During our first visit at Café de L’Horloge, we were pretty impressed with the décor, and we loved the fine bone Royal Dolton teapots and cups, the hard wood floors and the clean sophisticated look of the place. We sat down and were given the menu, explained how it works and left to our demise.
We received a tea box with different teas to choose from which had multiple choices and interesting options of black tea, green and herbal. They also serve coffees, smoothies, mimosas and wine. The menu consists of ten salty savory and sweet treats of your choice as well as scones. You receive a choice of 5 from both. Scones are an additional $ 4,00.
From the tea box, we ordered a Cream Earl Grey Tea and Buckhimaham Palace, a mix of Black Tea and Jasmine. They brought us an hour glass, to time the tea, but forgot to bring us cups, it was only a half hour later, when we managed to flag down the waitress, were we told to pick the cups we wanted off the shelves in the corner of the room. Too late, by then the tea was too strong, so the hourglass was unnecessary, cute and whimsical it really defied the purpose. In the world of tea connoisseurs, they do not strike points on this part. We waited another hour to get our tier of goodies by then our tea was finished and the waitress quickly walked away before we can ask for some more. I had to get up to ask for another pot at the counter and she seemed irritated at my request.
After receiving another pot of hot water, we sat down to much on the two tiers of goodies that stood before us. Some of the items we ordered, From the Salty Savouries portion of the menu were Brie, Fig and Pecan Crostini, Ginger Shrimp Avocado Crostini, Cucumber sandwiches, Smoked Salmon Sandwich, Chicken Sandwiches with turmeric and cranberries and Apple Raisin Grilled cheese sandwich. From the sweet sections we received, choice of macaroons, Lemon sable Bar, Chocolate Pistachio Mousse, Carrot Biscuit with cream cheese, Lemon Madeleines, Alfajores, Salted Caramel Pecan Brownie and Chocolate Praline crunch.
The finger foods were delectable, and delicious, and comparable and even superior to some Montreal Tea Houses. But as we sat relaxing, we could see the irritation of a few patrons who at this point we’re getting upset because of the slow service. Upon finishing our High Tea, we decided after three plus hours, it was antsy. After being there for over three hours, we proceeded to checkout. There was a woman with her daughter in line behind us complaining loudly and very upset about the service. We surmised she must have been complaining while sitting outside too, as she approached to pay, the owner spoke over us and offered her a complimentary meal, which she declined. Stuck in the middle with you, left us with a sour note, and it was not the cranberries in my chicken sandwich. Albeit the delicious food, the experience was quirky and inconsistent, we had to agree.
Would I recommend and return to Le Café de l’ Horloge? It’s a big maybe, but not for the lack of it being a good place. Firstly, I rarely go to that area and secondly, more than three to four hours is required for a sitting here. Service is scattered, and not professional, although the girls did try their best, it was a busy day and lots of people were out on this beautiful Sunday. They will either need to get more staff or get their act into high gear, hopefully with time this will happen, but for now they will lose clients like High Noon.