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Jul 23, 2007 10:53 AM

Seeking: Afternoon tea recs (based on places I like/dislike)

Hi. I am looking for afternoon tea recommendations in Manhattan. The places that I already enjoy (not in any particular order) are:

1) Cha-An Tea House
2) Cafe Opaline (Dahesh Museum of Art)
3) Alice's Teacup
4) St. Regis.

My old favorite was Wild Lily Tea Room (now closed)

I didn't particularly care for the Pierre Hotel. I thought High Chai was okay, but it seemed to have closed. The Mandarin Oriental tea was kind of dull.

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  1. it's hard to say based on the places you like, because they are all so different. have you tried Lady Mendl's? I haven't been, but I've heard good things. of the places you mentioned, it is probably closest to Alice's Tea Cup (a place I've never really been fond of) For something closer to Wild Lily, you could try Tea Box at Takashimaya (the Japanese department store in midtown), or Franchia (Korean).

    1. The Carlyle does a pretty good afternoon tea. The petits-fours are from Payard. It's slightly less formal than the St. Regis. I would *not* recommend the afternoon tea at the Mark hotel. It seems like they just have it on their menu as an afterthought. They bring out the food all on one plate instead of the 3-tiered tray. Sarabeth's on Madison/92nd has afternoon tea on the weekends, but I haven't tried it yet. Another place which is supposed to have an interesting afternoon tea is the restaurant at the bottom of Takashimaya.

      1. Ah, how I miss the Wild Lily Tea Room. I loved that place.

        Lady M Cake Boutique on the Upper East Side is lovely, although a very different groove from Wild Lily.

        When the Mandarin Oriental opened, I had a talk with the restaurant GM about the poor quality of the tea. Guess it hasn't improved.

        Takashimaya isn't that exciting. Okay if you are in the neighborhood, but I wouldn't go out of my way.

        3 Replies
        1. re: omotosando

          I'd love to hear other suggestions about tea rooms to try NYC.

            1. re: idia

              If the OP is looking for something in the spirit of Wild Lily, I can't imagine she would like Lady Mendl's. If I had to describe Lady Mendl's, the first words that would come to mind would be fussy and fusty. Their website touts that "Lady Mendl's Tea Salon is often used for Bridal Teas, small weddings . . ." That may tell you everything you need to know.

        2. I haven't been in years and years and years but once upon a time i enjoyed Tea & Sympathy.


          1. I also liked the Wild Lily Tea Room and was sad when it closed.

            I like Tea and Sympathy and have enjoyed the teas at Sanctuary Tea and Sympathy for the Kettle. I am not sure that Sanctuary Tea and Sympathy for the Kettle can provide the whole afternoon tea experience, however, as I have only gone to those places to drink tea while catching up with friends.

            I have recently heard about The Harlem Tea Room, but have not yet tried it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Chocoholic

              I'm very fond of the Harlem tea room. You may need a reservation.