On Saturday, a friend and I headed over to Bar Seine at the Plaza Athénée for afternoon tea. Like almost all hotel afternoon tea services, they served traditional afternoon tea starting with finger sandwiches/savories, followed by scones with clotted cream and sweets. Their menu incorrectly stated that we were ordering high tea when in fact, it was afternoon tea. High tea is an actual meal and is more of an early dinner.
The tea is served in a small bar area inside Plaza Athénée right next to Arabelle Restaurant. The space was small and dark and is more like a foyer for the restaurant in that the restrooms was on the bar side, so there were people walking back and forth continuously.
The service was good and they were very friendly and accommodating.
TEA & TEA SELECTION:
The menu was straightforward and had an option to order a la carte and showed a selection of 8 teas from Harney & Sons. I consider a good tea selection showing at least 3 teas from each tea type (black, green, white, oolong, and herbal) so having just 2 green teas to select from was a tad disappointing. I opted for the Japanese Sencha and the tea came in tea bags (the horror!), not loose. I prefer loose since it imparts a better and richer flavor.
Sandwiches arrived to our table next and they were good with a nice variety. For a bit of a twist, the sandwiches came with a little serving of olives and cornichons. Next came the three-tiered tray with scones on the top tray, assortment of sweets on the second and chocolate covered strawberries at the bottom. Scones came with clotted cream and 5 small jars of Staud's jam. Although warm, the scones were just ok and just a little too dense dry for my liking. The sweets were a little heavy on chocolate and a bit uninspired. I rated the pastries 3 teacups since I did enjoy the chocolate covered strawberries.
Overall the experience was just average. Usually, I eat almost everything served, but this time around, I left behind quite a few pieces since it was all starting to taste the same.
LOCATION: Bar Seine @ Plaza Athénée | 37 East 64th Street at Madison Ave. | New York, NY 10065 | 212.606.460
HOURS: 2:30 - 5:00 Daily
COST: $38 / $49 with champagne