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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.

            2. I'm rather partial to a good afternoon tea and highly recommend Lady Mendl's - perfect for a civilized ladies afternoon. Tea & Sympathy is a little small and not so refined for my tastes - feels a little too cosy for my liking at times. Many of my friends swear by Alice's but their cakes are overly sweet and buttercreamy for me and it does tend to get a little rowdy with all the kids (save it for the baby shower...? ;-) )

              1. My bridal party threw me a tea party at Arium in the meatpacking district. I highly recommend this place - it's in an art gallery type of space and we practically had the place to ourselves! The tea selection was extensive and the food was decent. They do a nice job and service was attentive.

                1. little cupcake, for something really unique and offbeat, try Podunk on east 5th and 2nd avenue in the East Village. Its a homey cozy lil "podunk" teahouse that serves proper tea with all the trimmings in a "shabby chic" environment --really unique, check the reviews on yelp and such. The scones with strawberries arrive warm from the oven----delightful!