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Aug 25, 2008 11:58 AM

Where should I have my tea party?


I'm looking for a place to take my bridesmaids for tea. I can't decide if I want to do a super-fancy high tea, or something more offbeat. Any recs?

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  1. Hi. For the tea itself, I like the St. Regis the best - amazing food, but it's a bit sedate. I haven't been, but Lady Mendl's offers private rooms. Alice's is cute in a kitschy kind of way, but there are a lot of kids around, especially on the weekend. I don't recommend the Mandarin Oriental (great view, but blah food) or the Pierre (they let the tea steep a long time). If you're doing offbeat, I suggest Asian ones: Cha-An or Franchia.

    1. I also like the St. Regis for the overall experience, but you should check it out to decide if it is suitable for a bridesmaid's tea. I actually had a large party there once, and it was fine, but it is very quiet and subdued. I haven't been to Lady Mendl's either, but I hear that it is good for that sort of thing. I don't know if it is still open (i haven't been in a few years) but there is a little tea place in the east village called Podunk. It is very cute, and there is basically one woman that works there, and everything is baked fresh. I remember the service being a bit slow since it was just the one woman, but the food was very good, and it was a cute spot. There was actually a small bridesmaid's party there, and they seemed to be having a good time. I don't like the food or atmosphere at Alice's tea cup, but it actually may work for your needs.

        1. I went to The Plaza for tea on my birthday and I had a wonderful time. It's fancy, it's expensive and it is more for the ambiance than for the food. But I would go back there anytime.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Toot

            Is that since they reopened? Can you give more details on the food? Thanks!

            1. re: MMRuth

              It was past May. We had the $60. tea with a bottle of champagne. They first bring you a selection of 7 tea sandwiches. Very, very small (one bite size) but all good, although my husband thought that some of the bread was a bit dry, like they were sitting for a bit in the kitchen. Then they bring a scone with cream and a madeleine. Both very good, the waiter came again to offer us a second scone, which we both had. Then they bring the berries - raspberries and blueberries - and the dessert plate. The desserts were good, it's exactly what they have in the menu online, all very small and pretty.
              I don't have a big appetite so I was ok with the amount of food. I didn't think any of the items were amazing. Just good, it's really more about the ambiance. I did love the scones but the rest was just ok. That said, I would go back, no doubt, it was really pleasant evening.

              By the way I really enjoyed the tea I had - pear roibouss from South Africa. I liked so much that I found it online and ordered. My husband enjoyed his too.

            1. re: meinNYC

              I've been to The Plaza for tea and it was indeed very fancy and the tea was nice, but it did cost about $80 pp.

              For a much cheaper, cozier and casual alternative, I also had an afternoon tea at Sympathy for the Kettle on St. Marks. The teas on offer there were excellent. Not a fancy experience, but it will be cheaper.

              Unfortunately, nothing in the States quite matches up the high tea that I had at Claridge's in London.