Fancy a spot of tea? Here are the best places to bring the British tradition to the Big Apple — the best afternoon tea spots in NYC. By Rebecca Levy.
Alice’s Tea Cup
Alice’s Tea Cup is a cozy wonderland, and though the name may deceive you, it’s not just for kids. Once inside, the mismatched chairs and tables, along with enticing scents of freshly baked scones and cakes, welcome you. There is a full menu of salads, soups, sandwiches and entrees, but the tea is truly special. If you do have little ones with you, a child-friendly “Wee Tea” features fruit tea, sandwich, scone and chocolate mouse for dessert. This is the place to come for a comfy, casual tea with just the right bit of magic.
The Russian Tea Room
Since 1927, the Russian Tea Room has been a truly glamorous New York City treasure. From the deep red banquettes to the gold trimmed walls, the Russian Tea Room provides an experience worthy of her best dress shoes. Additionally, the Children’s Tea includes a carousel of sandwiches and blini, desserts, fruit teas and hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and marshmallows. You can even add some caviar for an extra $10.
American Girl Place
If you have a little Czarina on your hands, this is the place to indulge those royal fantasies – the bustling American Girl Place Store on 5th Avenue is a girl’s paradise. But no shopping trip is complete without a visit to the American Girl Café. The Afternoon Tea is a special treat. It won’t just be you and your daughter at the table, but her American Girl Doll has her very own seat as well. For $20 the tea includes a brief menu of kid friendly sandwiches and desserts. (Note that reservations are a must.)
Tea & Sympathy
Tea & Sympathy is as close to England in New York as you’re going to get. This is not fancy high tea, but a true afternoon tea complete with sandwiches, scones and a steaming pot of tea – many of which are exclusive to Tea & Sympathy. Add in some sweets (or sardines on toast) a la carte to the Afternoon Tea for One. Also, the Greenwich Avenue spot will be part of a day-long celebration in honor of the royal couple on their wedding day.
Madeline Tea at Bemelman’s Bar
The Carlyle Hotel
35 East 76th St.
New York, NY 10021
The upscale East side bar is a great recommendation for afternoon tea for two – and celebrity sightings. Additionally, in honor of the bar’s namesake (author of the Madeline series), Bemelman’s Bar is taken over by little girls in the spirit of the lead character of the children’s book. Despite its rather elegant surroundings, this tea gets quite lively and noisy thanks to the tunes from the Madeline Song Book with Tina de Varon which often turns into a full fledged sing-along. Dining options include the Madeline’s Children’s Buffet, afternoon tea, or an à la carte menu for adults. Seatings are at 10am and 12:30 pm. Reservations are a must.
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Rebecca Levey writes at Beccarama.