Afternoon Tea: A Newfound passion

What I hate about shopping is that it never stops, at least for me. I mean it has honestly gotten to the point where just going through my favorite shopping sites takes a good 2 hours and I give myself a pat on the shoulder any time I don’t buy anything. So you can imagine my annoyance when I find new things to obsess over. The truth is I don’t need any more addictions, but new ones pop up every day. 

There is nothing I need, but there are so many things that I want. This past Sunday I went to the Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel  for afternoon tea with some girlfriends. We were celebrating my friend’s upcoming nuptials and thought it would be quite girly and cute of us to go have fancy tea. The experience itself was wonderful , indulgent, and truly unforgettable. From the miniature cucumber sandwiches to the freshly baked scones served with double Devonshire Cream and Lemon Curd, which I grotesquely devoured, to the perfectly adorned miniature desserts, everything was delicious and ridiculously elegant. Did I mention the tea itself? I don’t even like tea but I was one of the first to finish my share of the Tuscan Pear Rooibus pot – a smooth and herbaceous tea with hints of Tuscan pear and honey : Sigh :  

After feasting on food that made us all wish we lived in England during the 18th century and wore grandiose hats, we thought of a brilliant idea: What if we could have Sunday Tea Parties in our home, once a month? Once a week? Every day? In past centuries this was a common practice, especially for the ladies. A chance to meet up, gossip, drink and gossip some more. Sounds perfect!  

 

Which brings us to my current shopping dilemma. To have a wonderful Afternoon Tea you must have the necessary tools: a beautiful tea set that is both elegant and feminine, a stand for your cookies and cakes, maybe two stands, the appropriate utensils and tableware, some sort of table decoration and the cooking tools to make miniature everything. Not to mention the tea itself. If you want to go overboard you can even buy a set of your own menus and be extra extravagant. And so I get carried away… so many things are needed to fulfill this latest fantasy, but I’m sure after much Internet browsing and a few weeks of savings, I’ll be able to create my own little tea party. But before I do, I’d like to visit these top tea spots in NYC.

  •  Alice’s Tea Cup– Take a stroll on the Upper West Side and visit this adorable magical place, adorned with and modeled after Alice in Wonderland. Certain menu dishes like the the Mad Hatter, are even named after the beloved cartoon. They serve delicious freshly made goods, have a vast array of teas and even a Tea of the Month Club.
  •  Tea & Sympathy– Located at 108 Greenwich Avenue in the West Village, this British-inspired restaurant offers everything from good old fashioned grub to shepherd’s pie, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and High Tea. I half expect Mr. Darcy to walk in here…wet shirt and all.
  •  The Astor Court at the St. Regis Hotel – They say that The St. Regis offers the most elegant tea service in New York. The lavish decor consisting of fifteen tables dressed in snowy Porthault linens, Limoges porcelain dishes designed by Tiffany and Company exclusively for the hotel and plush chairs, will make anyone feel like royalty.
  •  Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon at The Inn at Irving Place – A 5 course Tea in one of the most romantic Victorian-style tea Salons in NYC for only $35, an absolute steal! They also offer Tea Classes. Extra perk: While you’re here visit the Cibar Lounge to enjoy a delicious variety of unique martinis with fun names like: The Pink Lady and Beauty School Dropout.
  •  The Russian Tea Room– This classy NYC spot offers High tea and Royal High Tea. What, pray tell, is the difference between the two? The royals apparently like to indulge in caviar delicacies. I’m personally not a fan and would rather save the additional $35 so I can buy more tea cups =)

Below are a few things I’ve already fallen in love with.

 Lenox Butterfly Meadow 7-Piece Tea Set

Spode Baking Days Blue Teacup and Saucer, Set of 4

High Tea Cookie Stand

Personalized Cupcake Stands

Monogrammed Petit Fours

As you can see I’m more than obsessed. As always, I prefer the more feminine, colorful options rather than your basic white. This might be tea, but you’re the hostess so infuse it with your own personality.

What do you guys think about High/Afternoon Tea?

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