Afternoon tea is a long-standing tradition worth celebrating over and over again, especially with so many luxurious options right here in NYC. Head to one of Luxury Attaché’s top spots for a spot of tea and prepare for plenty of pinky lifting and a delectable scone or two.
1 The Plaza
When it comes to raising that pinky, there’s no setting more perfect than The Plaza’s posh Palm Court. In a luxurious mix of innovative fare and formal tradition, afternoon tea at The Plaza has become a longstanding--and quite famous--tradition, enjoyed by ladies who lunch, families from near and far and the elite-minded alike. After undergoing an immense renovation, the Palm Court is more alive than ever, each of its mirrored doors, stained glass sky lights and intricate columns brimming with vitality and charm. Guests choose from one of four grand displays, named quite aptly after F. Scott Fitzgerald, Eloise (a favorite of the younger set), the Classic New Yorker and lastly, the rich, dessert-only Chocolate Tea; each more perfect than the last for indulging whilst whiling away the afternoon.
768 Fifth Avenue at Central Park South
2 The Peninsula
It’s a time honored tradition worth experiencing, if only just once. The classic, understated elegance of the Gotham Lounge truly lets the tea--guests’ choice of Harney & Sons or The Peninsula’s Signature blend--shine all on its own, and sets the stage for a high caliber of service, unmatched to this day. With tri-tiered silver servers, overflowing with delectable scones, finger sandwiches and petits fours, and the perfect tea pairing to match, The Peninsula’s display is simply special. Additionally, tea in Gotham Lounge, where jackets are required, and the only dainty touch is that of the fine china, has been highly lauded as a gentleman’s favorite, so take note, lads.
700 Fifth Avenue at 55th Street
3 The St. Regis
No, this is nothing like the average, run of the mill hotel tea service, far from it. For starters, there are over 25 blends of tea, a list so comprehensive it dazzles even the most high-browed tea aficionados. Next is the realization that those soothing notes, just barely audible over the sound of clinking china and muffled conversation, is in fact coming from a live harpist. Very classy, indeed. Finally, the delightful realization that the uber-palatable sandwiches are the best of any tea service around may in fact seal the deal, if the charm of the King Cole Bar and Salon hasn’t done so already.
2 East 55th Street, between Madison and Fifth Avenues
4 Lady Mendl's Tea Salon
Tucked away inside the charming Inn at Irving Place, Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon takes its place as the most romantic and inviting spot for tea on the list. With Victorian details and whimsical touches abound, it’s no wonder why parties of all sizes--and ages--flock through its doors on a consistent basis to indulge in this unique experience. A five-course tea, including a delectable array of classic scones with clotted cream and jam, finger sandwiches and so much more add to the sublime elegance of this long-standing tradition. With such ongoing popularity, it should come as no surprise that they’ve added multiple seating options throughout the week, like their special ‘matinee’ seating on Wednesdays and Fridays at noon.
The Inn at Irving Place | 56 Irving Place
5 The Pierre
Afternoon tea inside The Pierre’s Two E Bar/Lounge is as chic as it gets. The stylish digs, custom mood-setting playlists that take the space from day into night, and an overall cool factor make this a standout alternative to more traditional settings. Both a classic tea service as well as a sweet tea service, each of which includes such delicacies as their zingy homemade ginger scones with Devonshire cream and Meyer lemon curd and a smooth take on coffee rum opera cake, offer black, green or herbal loose leaf teas to make for that perfect palate-pleasing combination. Care to tarry off the menu path? Ask for the “warm sunrise”, a tantalizing combination of chamomile, orange, lemon, honey and cinnamon.
2 East 61st Street at Fifth Avenue