One of the last things that I wanted to do before giving birth was go to one more high/afternoon tea (one of my favorite things to do). That’s exactly what I did last Saturday with a close friend of mine. We went to the St. Regis Hotel. It was a little pricier than other teas in the city ($45+ per person before tax & gratuity) but I figured that it would be a really good tea.
Unfortunately, I was wrong. The interior was nice, but since we were seated near the door we received a blast of cold air every time someone entered the area. The tea selection was pretty minimal….I ended up with chamomile tea. We received an assortment of bite-sized sandwiches which were fine, but nothing exceptional. The scones and cream were good though, so that made me happy. None of the assorted pastries looked especially appetizing, so I (and my friend) skipped that portion. Also, the presentation was confusing…it was a combination of English and Asian looking. (The finger sandwiches and scone sides were served on long, narrow rectangular dishes?!) The best part of the tea (besides catching up with my dear friend) was the attentive service. Our waiter was great…it wasn’t his fault that the meal wasn’t great.
In any event, I would not recommend the St. Regis for high tea. My friend and I rated our favorites (thus far). Her favorite is Alice’s Tea Cup. My favorites are The Plaza (I hope that they still have high tea when they reopen in the Fall!); Alice’s Tea Cup; Tea & Sympathy; and The Harlem Tea Room in that order. If you’re a tea person, you can also find pretty accurate reviews of NY tea places at http://www.teamap.com/states/state_NY_Name.html.
If anyone else knows of any great tea spots in the city, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. (I’ve also heard that Lady Mendl’s has a great high tea…I’ll try them next.)