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Afternoon Tea

m
Mark Feb 21, 2001 05:04 PM

I'm looking for a place to indulge in afternoon tea (on a Tuesday if that info matters). I know there's one at The Drake... anybody been and how was it? Also looking for other suggestions and reviews.

Cheers,
Mark

  1. l
    lee Feb 23, 2001 06:25 PM

    I've been when they have the hat fashion shows on a Saturday (or Sunday?) afternoon. Service was not great. I found it stuffy, a dark room where you feel like you're perched on a tuffet. There was a harp player, it's quiet and pleasant in an airless way, but I liked the Ritz Carlton better.

    1. b
      bryan Feb 22, 2001 01:51 AM

      If you're looking for a formal tea, I would highly suggest the Ritz. It's not a stuffy tea service but has everything you would expect: finger sandwiches, scones, etc. It's not that pricey for the luxury either. And if you've drinkers in your party the bar is open and serving as well. It's really a beautiful room. Sunny and spacious. I think you'll love it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bryan
        m
        Mark Feb 27, 2001 06:50 PM

        Thanks- we had a really nice time at the Ritz.
        Had some crazy tea (the name escapes me, but it's the last one on the "Traditonal Teas" list). I asked the server what it was like and she told us that, having not tried it herself, others described it as "smokey and tarlike in taste- might as well have a cigarette."
        Well- with that "recommendation" and this being the Ritz, naturally- I HAD to try it (she was also nice enough to offer any other tea in exhange in case I regretted my decision). It was good- good in a really interesting way. Smokey like savory smokey. I didn't dare put cream or sugar in it (should I have?). The scones and finger sandwiches were tasty, but just not enough for two lunchless teas drinkers: HENCE my discovery that the tea went really well with the cheese plate.

      2. e
        Efrain Feb 21, 2001 10:54 PM

        Check out Ten-Ren on Wentworth in China Town. Authentic! Great teas to take home, especially the white tea.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Efrain
          s
          Seth Zurer Feb 22, 2001 10:06 AM

          There is a little tea shop up in Lincoln Square called Villa Kula, just south of the Old Town School of Folk Music, next door to Simplon. I have never had their high tea (apparently for 17 bucks a person they will whip out the triple decker cucumber sandwiches, along with a selection of their good brews) but I did enjoy the tea they made for me on my one prior visit.

          Link: http://www.villakula.com/

          1. re: Seth Zurer
            r
            Rhiannon Feb 22, 2001 12:24 PM

            i have been to villa kula twice and both times the service was very spacey to say the least. it put me off so much that i doubt i will make a third visit here. otherwise the room (and garden in nice weather) is very charming and the food and tea is pretty good. i would try the four seasons hotel for a swanky tea.

            1. re: Rhiannon
              b
              bryan Feb 23, 2001 05:27 AM

              Darn, it's close to home and I've been meaning to try it. Could you go into more detail regarding spacy? And what did you eat?

              1. re: bryan
                j
                Jamie Feb 23, 2001 01:26 PM

                For the original poster: Villa Kula is closed on
                Tuesday.

                Now, about the service. I would call it leisurely rather than spacey. It's pleasant, competent, but can be quite slow. Don't go when you're in a rush, go when you have good company and time to savor the experience.

                Tea service is $15 for one or $10 for two. For this you get a pot of tea each, a plate of tea sandwiches, scones, and tea dainties.

                There is a quiche of the day, salads, hot sandwiches like croque madame or monsieur, pate, cheese plates,
                and some specials at lunch. I can't speak about dinner.

                If you go in the summer, there is a lovely garden.

                Dainty trifles charmingly presented.

                1. re: Jamie
                  b
                  bryan Mar 6, 2001 07:24 AM

                  Your post reminded me of a "ladies who lunch" place on West Montrose just west of Western called Lutz's. It's a little bakery on the outside but if you look a little closer you'll see there's a rest. right behind the bakery. They serve quiche, etc. But here's the thing. It's got an enclosed garden patio in the summer that is just beautiful. Service can be kinda sucky but it's worth it for that garden. Bet they serve tea too.

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