In the cold.
But Tea & Sympathy has been on my afternoon tea radar for sometime, and seeing as how we blocked off the entire Saturday afternoon for the small pleasures of scones and British accents, we wo-manned up and stuck out the wait (this was a few weeks ago, on one of those 17 degree days…pity party, table of 3 please!)
Not only does the cafe not take rezzies, they also don’t have a proper list where they write your name down in order of appearance…it’s all done on the honor system of who-got-here-first, which can be a bit confusing when there’s a large crowd of people milling outside the cafe. And every time someone would ask how long the wait was the standard response was “30-45 minutes” (even after we had been standing there over an hour.)
Oh! And your entire party MUST be present when they finally do get around to calling your name, or else they skip right on over to the next group. Important to know that you can’t just leave one person there to hold the spot while the rest of the group window shops the West Village, as was my original idea;-)
With all these rules that go directly against my Type-A personality, I was prepared to dislike Tea & Sympathy, I really was. Once we finally were called in, fingers full of frostbite, tummies a’ grumbling, I was muttering “this better be the best scone I’ve ever put in my mouth after that nonsense”–(what can I say? NYC has robbed me of my patience.)
Now–I can’t say for sure if I was so cold and ravished by the time we sat down that anything would have tasted like the best scone ever, or if it really was the best scone + clotted cream + jam ever, but it was a really enjoyable tea. (Tea turned dinner at this point–and the veggie pie was really hearty and delicious, too!)