lady mendl -- report
I was really looking forward to my tea at Lady Mendl's, and I must admit I was a little disappointed. The place looks great, beautiful chairs and china and a very soothing atmosphere. Too bad the food didn't really match up.
Our first course was a salad with mesclun and carrots, okay but nothing to rave about. Then came the crustless sandwiches, which were mediocre. We had smoked salmon and cream cheese, and cucumber and creme freche on brioche -- they sounded good, but the spreads were almost invisible, and the breads were slightly dry (even the brioche), as if the sandwiches had been sitting out on a counter for a while.
The third course was scones, which were truly amazing: light, fresh, wonderful. However, we were given one each without even an offer of another one, which was a bit strange, I thought.
For dessert we were offered either fruit salad with whipped cream or chocolate cake. We tried both, and the fruit salad was okay, although the fruit wasn't of the best quality. The chocolate mousse cake was sinfully rich and very good. The service was fine but I did feel we were a bit rushed: the courses came one on top of the other with no time between them to sit back and have a leisurely sip of tea! (The teas were excellent, BTW). We actually had to "save" the last bit of our scones as the waiter started clearing the plates before we were done... All in all it was a nice experience, but not spectacular. They charge $30 pp plus a 20% tip added to the check, which I find really annoying. For that price, I think there may be better options.
Interesting report! I have been to L.M. twice, loved it the first time, liked it OK the next. This I will say though, those dashing young waiters are nice but kind of clueless. I am always anxious not to be an annoying guest (I don't test waiters' knowledge and parade mine), but when I saw something called "Royal Blend" on the menu I merely wanted to know *what* it was (Indian? Chinese? Ceylon? all three?) and the waiter just said, "Ma'am, this is one of our best teas, it is really very good" and that was that. I had it and it was good if not great, but it probably had some oolong or perhaps even green tea in it which I wouldn't have ordered because I wanted to put milk in it.
I like the place for the ambience more than anything, and that's what you ultimately pay for.