The Plaza is the one place most people think of when they think of afternoon tea in New York City. Because of that, The Plaza know they can charge a lot more than most afternoon tea places, and they do. They recently had a refresh of the design of Palm Court, where the afternoon tea is served, and I went back to check it out with Sara and Georgia. (See my last visit in 2013.)
The refresh of the space looked pretty much the same to me, but with some minor changes. Well. the biggest change is the circular bar in the center of the room so it feels more like a bar/lounge than a formal tea room, which was how it felt like before. No more white tablecloths (replaced with mirrored surface tables), more casual seating, and overall the space felt much more casual. I prefer the look of the Palm Court before their refresh.
The service was very friendly and our server was great about explaining the items on the menu we had questions about.
TEA & TEA SELECTION: ★★★★★
Great tea menu with a nice selection of Palais des Thes teas. I loved the teapot that seemed normal sized, but somehow poured endless cups of tea. (I didn't even need to ask for more hot water which is rare!) I liked how they used a rectangular piece of paper that was placed under the teapot that had the name of the tea printed on it (or written in my case).
We all ordered "The New Yorker Tea" and it came out on a round three-tiered tray. The sweets at the top, savories in the middle, and scones on the bottom tray. The presentation is lovely.
Let me first start by saying that the afternoon tea at The Plaza is a whopping $65, which is $10 more than most other hotel afternoon tea services. With the premium pricing, I want DAMN good tea sandwiches and The Plaza failed to deliver. DAMMIT, for that price I want my savories prepared tableside! The tea sandwiches looked a little sloppy and tasted fine, but not "I'll pay $10 more" amazing.
The scones came out warm, wrapped in a cloth napkin. I knocked off a star since they brought out one set of clotted cream and jams for all three of us. I really wish they had brought out a three sets. One set was definitely not enough, so we did ask for another.
The sweets were excellent, with a nice variety and they were delicate and tasty. Each mini sweet treat was perfectly portioned and adorable. This was my favorite course.
How could I not give five stars for service when our server was nice enough to get me a pink cotton candy from the kitchen after I spotted one at a table nearby. It's part of the "Eloise Tea" service and as a HUGE cotton candy fan, I loved it. (Very cute idea of using a pretzel stick to wrap the cotton candy around.)
I can't get over the inflated pricing, but I would recommend at least one visit, just to give it a try.