I think it is pretty standard procedure, and most likely thoroughly expected, that any restaurant inside a major tourist attraction will be severely overpriced. It is the same no matter where you go, I think. Blue Poppy is one of several options inside the Butchart Garden, and the surrounding area is mostly residential, so there aren't any very close options when it comes to eating outside the garden.
While the prices inside Blue Poppy are fairly high for what you get, it wasn't quite as bad as it might have been. Victoria, unfortunately, is expensive when it comes to restaurant prices, and while the Blue Poppy seemed at first like it was overpriced, the fact of the matter is that it was the first place in Victoria I ate. As I experienced other restaurants, I found Blue Poppy compared more favorably with what other places were charging.
For a buffet style meal, the restaurant is elegantly decorated - but then again it is 7 December!
A sign on the cashiers desk said $1 US = $1 Canadian, so they at least aren't trying to make a huge profit on the exchange rate.
Menus with prices are everywhere - at the entrance door, near the place where you get your tray, near the actual food items, etc., so it isn't as though they intentionally try to convince you to purchase overpriced food here. You know what you are going to have to pay before you get in line, and besides it really didn't seem as overpriced as some places in some other internationally known tourist attractions would charge for the same amount of food.
When I visited, the restaurant was configured with two entrances from the main entry plaza from the gardens. The closest door to the main entrance requires that you go down stairs immediately upon entering the door. The other door is really intended to be the main entrance to the restaurant, I think, as it is the one with the menus and the most welcoming entrance is on the lower level. The doors face the same direction, but the one on the lower level is closer to where visitors to the garden would find it, but it is not the first restaurant entrance that you come to when you walk past it from the entrance.
Favorite Dish: Eggnog (without the rum!) $2.70 - with rum added, it would have been well over $7. It was pretty good, and a fairly good sized helping compared to what I would have expected from a Seattle restaurant.
Pasta Tortellini (Three Cheese) + Bowl of West Coast Seafood Chowder for $17.70. There is a slight savings with buying them together, but not much. both were excellent, and with quantity that I would expect for the price being in line with what the more expensive restaurants in Seattle sell. Normally the chowder is $5.95 and the Tortellini is $11.95, for $17.90.
The tax added another $2.45 to the $20.40 sub-total.
Apparently tips are not expected as there is no tips jar, as one would find in a typical restaurant in the USA of this type, nor is there a place to leave a tip on the credit card processing paperwork.
These items are from the December 1st through January 6th Christmas Season menu. The menus change from season to season, and there is a special menu just for Christmas day.
The Blue Poppy is conveniently located in Butchart gardens. After strolling the holiday themed gardens in freezing temperatures it was really nice to step into the warm and nicely appointed restaurant. They have a somewhat limited menu and a kids menu. Food is cafeteria style, where you slide your tray down ordering items as you go. A lot of items were ala carte and not included with your entree. They had a magic show to entertain the youngsters while we dined. Not the cheapest place but that is to be expected for the convenient location. Wonderful display of poisettias, really there were a whole lot of them.
Favorite Dish: I had the roast beef and it was really good. They have the hottest horseradish I've ever tasted, I loved it. I tried a bite of the halibut and it was also quite good.
This was a nice place to eat lunch - better than your average tourist attraction cafeteria! Food was decent, not over-priced, and the ambiance was decent.
Favorite Dish: I had the ham and cheese sandwich with cole slaw.