Celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday the 14th of May by taking your mom out for an Afternoon Tea date in New York.
The High Tea Society contributors have the terribly difficult task of tasting a lot of high teas each year, meaning we have a pretty good idea of where to go. We asked one of our New York contributors Bethany Looi about her thoughts.
What are your favorite experiences and why?
New York City is such a fast paced city so any environment that’s relaxing, quiet and perfect for sitting with a cup of tea and scones in the heart of the city is ideal. I particularly love the Mandarin Oriental. The view of the skyline, Central Park and iconic yellow taxis driving by from the 35th floor is amazing. They also have signature teas that you can only have at the Mandarin Oriental New York.
Where will you take your mother this Mother’s Day?
I’m taking my mom to the Baccarat Hotel. The hotel is part of the famous Baccarat fine crystal brand, so we’re excited to try their afternoon tea served on their beautiful crystalware.
To help you choose the perfect venue we’ve put together a list of our favorite places for soft, warm scones served with lashings of Somerset clotted cream and wildberry jams. These desired destinations for afternoon tea range from traditional and classic to quirky and surprising. Gluten-free options are also available at most salons.
The historic British tradition dates back to the mid 1700s. Funnily enough though, this now girly and lavish excursion was originally a meal for male workers, enjoyed standing up or sitting on tall stools, thus ‘high’. Oh how the times have changed… You can read more about the extensive history here.
Our Mother’s Day New York top picks:
In the midst of the city’s most prestigious shopping, restaurants, historic museums and exciting Broadway theatres, on Fifth Avenue there is The Peninsula. Gotham Lounge at the renowned hotel offers a premium tea selection as well as an impeccable afternoon tea including Maine lobster salad and a Warm Croque Monsieur with forest ham and Gruyere cheese. You can upgrade to the Champagne Afternoon Tea or if you’re feeling especially self-indulgent, the Grand Afternoon Tea which offers 1oz of American Sterling or Ossetra caviar.
Read our review of The Peninsula New York>>
Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon
Located in the heart of New York City’s Gramercy Park, here at this Victorian styled venue you can enjoy a scrumptious five-course tea from Wednesday through to Sunday. Guests are spoilt for choice with a variety of classic finger sandwiches, fresh baked scones with clotted cream and jams, and a large selection of fine teas.
The Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park
The Star Lounge is all class with its wood panelled walls, large leather and fabric backed chairs and lounges, glass topped marble tables and soft lighting. A tea unique to this venue is the Nutcracker Seasonal Blend, which features a full-bodied Ceylon black tea infused with the rich flavors of hazelnut and aromatic vanilla. Tempting sandwiches include the Mini Smoked Duck Reuben, Vodka Dill Smoked Salmon and Porcini Mushroom Duxelle.
Read our review of The Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park>>
The Plaza Hotel
What could be more exciting and elegant than afternoon tea at the famed Plaza Hotel, home to beloved children’s character Eloise? Reminiscent of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, this classic venue is ideal for a posh tea service fit for a New Yorker.
Read our review of The Plaza Hotel>>
Russian Tea Room
Members of the Russian Imperial Ballet founded the Russian Tea Room in 1927. Located just two blocks south of Central Park in New York, this historic venue provides an ornate and regal take on afternoon tea. A standout is the Rooibos Chai, a South African red bush tea with Indian spices. If it’s bubbles you need, the Champagne Pierre Jouet, Grand Brut Moët or Chandon Rosé are at your disposal. Delicious treats include the NY smoked sturgeon with dill and sour cream, Roquefort blue cheese and apples with walnuts or Shrimp salad with remoulade.
Read our review of the Russian Tea Rooms>>
Located on the seventh floor of Bergdorf Goodman, this eatery has sweeping views of Central Park. It boasts an impressive list of teas including the Jardin Bleu, a blend of teas from India and China, flavored with rhubarb, wild strawberry and cornflower petals. You can also get giggly with a glass of Veuve Clicquot.
Opposite the Museum of Modern Art, this luxury Midtown hotel offers incredible savories such as the Rose Scented Madeleine House Smoked Duck Pastrami with Plum Purée on Parker House Roll. If we’re keeping with the rose-color theme it’s worth mentioning the delectable desserts: the Raspberry Éclair, Raspberry Mousse Tartelette and Red Velvet Macaron.
The elegant Lobby Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental is the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon tea. With a wall of windows greeting guests as soon as the elevator doors open, the Lobby Lounge’s most show-stopping feature is its stunning panorama of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline. Indulge in a selection of their traditional treats and sweet temptations accompanied by their house-made scones and marmalade.
The Carlyle Hotel, A Rosewood Hotel
Inspired by the sultan’s dining room at the Topikapi Palace in Turkey, The Gallery at the Carlyle Hotel is an exquisite, private retreat for refined dining. Coffee lovers need to try a Stumptown French Press Coffee here, a perfect accompaniment for English Scones served with Devonshire Cream and Strawberry Preserves.
St. Regis Hotel
Afternoon tea is a treasured experience at the St. Regis New York and remains its most exquisite culinary journey. We see this as a great excuse to visit the iconic filming location used for the amazing The Devil Wears Prada. The menu is exquisite including delicious numbers such as the Lump Crab Salad with lemon vinaigrette and a brioche roll. If only we could list all the sweet, strong, spicy, smoky and just sensational teas. They’re all as exciting as the Leon Mango Tango that balances zesty lemons with the sweetness of mangoes.