A Taste Of England At The Plaza
Traveling to England on holiday this summer gave me a huge appreciation for a few things quintessentially British: the always “smart” way of dressing, responding to everything in question format (It’s a nice day for a walk, now, isn’t it?), bank holidays, sarcasm and irony infused in every conversation, evening pints at the local pub, and my very favorite, afternoon tea. If I ruled the world, I think instating a mandatory “high tea” everyday would be top on the agenda…(well, that and bank holidays. The British are really onto something with those!) The china, the macaroons, the perfectly brewed pot of English Breakfast…truly a girly girl’s dream. I made it my mission to, once back in NYC, find a tea that was somewhat comparable to the one I had in London. While it may not be completely practical to fly across the pond every time I’m craving sarcasm or tea, at least there’s a suitable alternative right here in the city.
While high tea may not be quite as in demand here in the states as it is in England, I was delighted to find a proper afternoon tea right here in NYC, at none other than the famed Plaza Hotel’s Palm Court. Served daily from 2pm to 5pm, you truly feel like you’re stepping into another era. Call me an old soul, but what’s not to love about feeling like you’re whiling away your afternoon in a Fitzgerald novel? Prices start at $50 for adults, so while it may not be practical to integrate into your daily routine (and hey, what New Yorker really has time for daily sit down tea, anyway?), it’s the perfect way to celebrate a birthday, bridal/baby shower, or just treating yourself to a truly delightful afternoon with a friend.
While there’s no need to mention the obvious (tea), the menu consists of a collection of champagnes and sherries, sandwiches and savories, pastries and sweets, and my very favorite, scones. Ahh, the scones. Ever seasonal, ever scrumptious, and complete with the lovely trio of double Devonshire cream, lemon curb, and strawberry preserves.
The children’s menu was a bit more vegetarian friendly (grilled cheese, PB&J, cucumber and butter bread, and sliced strawberries and cream cheese…pretty much a 5-year-old’s dream), so I opted for the grown-up version of that menu. It still left me with more treats than I could possibly swallow in one sitting, so I had a fabulous goody bag to take home. While England had left a tough act to follow in terms of afternoon tea, I promise you won’t get more on point here in New York than at The Plaza. They give a whole new career aspiration to be a “lady who lunches.”
If you are lucky enough to be able to jet set to England this summer for the real deal, I’d point you to high tea at Claridge’s, all the way. Spending your holidays in the UK might get bit expensive during the peak season, as it is one of the hottest tourist destination all across the world (tea and sarcasm, people!), and this leads to expensive flight tickets as well hotel stays, but if you are skint on money, you might want to try redeeming vouchers which are readily available on discount sites.
What’s your favorite place for afternoon tea?
By: Jessica Tiare Bowen