The Ritz-Carlton knows how to do afternoon tea right. Great service, thoughtfully prepared delicacies and all in a posh lounge. At $55 for the Traditional Afternoon Tea, it's a tad on the higher end, but it's definitely worth it.
Off the main lobby area of The Ritz-Carlton is the Star Lounge. Clusters of plush couches and chairs create seating areas that are not only open for tea, but also for cocktails. The tables and chairs are spaced far enough apart that it feels private and intimate.
Years ago when The Pierre Hotel served afternoon tea in their Rotunda room, the best part was that you never had to pour the tea from the pot yourself. The waitstaff would come and pour it for you and the teapot was kept off to the side on another table. They would just know and appear out of nowhere to fill the cup. At the Star Lounge, they provide a similar service and the teapots were kept off our table and the waitstaff would refill our cups for us. I loved that.
TEA & TEA SELECTION:
Excellent selection of custom blended teas for The Ritz-Carlton from "T" Tea Company. I went with The Ritz-Carlton Spring Blend, a blend of white and green tea. They have everything from a number of black teas to chai. All loose leaf teas.
Every single savory was a delight — flavorful and made with a thoughtful combination of ingredients. My favorite was the smoked salmon with caviar. Everything was fresh with no trace of stale or dry bread.
Next the scone, which was just ok. It was the only thing I didn't fully enjoy. A little too dense for my liking and way too big. I was barely able to eat half of it. It's homemade and comes with fruit preserves and Devonshire cream.
Petit fours finished off the service and there was a nice mix of sweets. They were all very good.
I appreciate the attention and care they put into their afternoon tea service and they do make it a memorable affair. Definitely one of the best places for afternoon tea in New York City.
Note: Reservations are required. They suggest "sophisticated casual attire".
LOCATION: Star Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton | 50 Central Park South | New York, NY 10019 | 212.521.6125
AFTERNOON TEA HOURS: Daily at 2:30 or 3:00