suit Not much can distract from the opulence and elegance of afternoon tea in New York City, especially when you’re clinking darling teacups and munching on sugar-dusted petits fours.
The British ritual of teatime has found a home in New York in many forms, with a host of price tags. (Prices can range from $39 to $155 per person.) From lavish tea ceremonies boasting French pastries and dollops of clotted cream to Japanese-inspired teahouses where matcha is hand-whisked into bright-green drinks, these are the best places for afternoon tea in New York City.
Tucked up a flight of stairs, Cha-An is the hidden gem of East Ninth Street. Designed to look like a Japanese teahouse – with a few cozy bamboo lodges to sip tea in to boot – Cha-An boasts hand-whisked matcha and house-made Japanese desserts like black sesame mochi and hoji tea jelly with sweet black syrup.
There’s no better place to pinky up like Eloise than at the Plaza Hotel’s famed Palm Court, home to an elegant and splashy high tea. The storied, luxe court – decked out with its namesake palms and ornate gold chairs – provides guests with a taste of old New York, along with decadent dishes like foie gras mousse sandwiches, warm seasonal scones, sugar-dusted French pastries and toffee-scented tea.
The husband-and-wife team behind this Taiwanese tea shop sources loose-leaf oolong tea straight from Taiwan, offering a selection of around 30 teas. Simply stop by for a pot, served in a clay teapot, or reserve a guided tea tasting: five different types of teas are flanked by house-made treats like chocolate cake and pineapple linzers, the house special.
Hovering above Columbus Circle, this London import channels all things British during high tea. There are mugs aplenty filled with English breakfast tea, carted along with towering trays of victoria sponge cake, H Forman & Son smoked-salmon finger sandwiches and house-baked scones nestled under strawberry jam and clotted cream. Clink teacups as you gaze out at Central Park West.
During high tea at The Williamsburg Hotel, tea, like wild persimmon and aromatic quince, is gently poured into multicolored, one-of-a-kind teacups. On the food side, the usual sandwiches and sweets are subbed for lemon meringue tarts, squat squares of carrot cake and hefty wedges of avocado toast, all baked at the Brooklyn Bread Lab. The $60-per-person spread is available only Friday through Sunday.
Melt into lavishness at The Gallery, The Carlyle Hotel’s living room that’s been frequented by the rich and famous. Tables are dressed with pleated white tablecloths, and you’ll lounge on red velvet armchairs. Here, herbal and black teas, like peppermint and hot cinnamon spice, mingle with handheld tea sandwiches, golden-brown scones and pastries dusted with a showering of powdered sugar.
This article is an updated version of a story created by Amanda Sparso.