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Oh, How Civilized contains ad banners and sometimes uses contextual affiliate links. This means that a small commission may be made if a product is purchased through a link. The commission earned goes toward providing original content for this blog. 

I only write about things and experiences that I genuinely like. Anything gifted is noted with a c/o or courtesy of.

Friday
May032013

Insider Tips on How to Buy Chocolate

Sharing some insider tips on how to buy chocolate from someone who used to work in a chocolate shop.

- To get the freshest chocolate, ask when they were made. An approach is to say something along the lines of "It smells delicious! What have you been making today?" Flatter, instead of just asking what's freshest.
- Not unlike tea, chocolate should be stored in a cool, dark place. The freezer is better than the refrigerator, but an air conditioned room is considered the best.
- Chocolate with nuts exposed, like bark, will stale much quicker than clusters, where the nuts are completely covered in chocolate.
- Don't be shy about asking for recommendations. If you like chocolate and pecans, ask for something in that combination. You may find a new favorite that way.

Thursday
May022013

Things To Do This Weekend

I'm starting off the weekend early since I'm meeting up with friends on Friday. I was thinking about what we should do since it looks like it's going to be lovely out. I perused this blog to get some ideas. 

Go on a Tenement Museum tour, which is always fascinating.

Or head uptown and walk aimlessly around Central Park.

And while we're at the park, go up a little further up north to the tranquil Central Park Conservatory Garden.

Would be fun to take my guests to The Earth Room just so I can see their reaction when they see the room. If you haven't been, go there soon before they close for the summer months!

And stop by the Neue Galerie to get a bite to eat at Cafe Sabarsky.

But maybe we'll just take a little stroll and lounge around the High Line and enjoy the weather and a little people watching.

Dilemma, dilemma.

Wednesday
May012013

Früute Tarts

These mini tarts are adorable! I would love to try each and every one—twice—but unfortunately these tarts from Früute don't travel outside Los Angeles. They also bake mini delectable looking cookies, which they do ship. A selection of their cookies and tarts would be perfect for the sweets course for an afternoon tea party. 

Photo Credit: From Linked Source

Tuesday
Apr302013

Tea at Three: The Des Concubines & Almond Brioche

TEA: The Des Concubines [Le Palais des Thés]
SWEETS: Almond Brioche [Bouchon Bakery]

A lovely combination. From Le Palais des Thés, The Des Concubines is a blend of black and green tea with fruity notes. Rose petals and fruit pieces can be found in the tea. That's paired with a nice slab of brioche covered with toasted almonds and powdered sugar ($3.50) from Bouchon Bakery. 

Monday
Apr292013

Review: Two E Bar/Lounge at The Pierre

The Pierre used to be my favorite place for tea for many years, then they went ahead and moved afternoon tea out of the Rotunda, a gorgeous space in the hotel used just for afternoon tea. Everything was white glove service, down to the servers pouring the tea for you. They would keep the teapots at a nearby smaller serving table and would magically appear to pour your tea just before you saw the bottom of the teacup.

They no longer serve tea in the Rotunda -- now it's served in the Two E Bar/Lounge. 

SETTING:
The Rotunda was THE BEST place for afternoon tea. I was upset that they had moved it to The Two E Bar/Lounge, which is a space not exclusive to afternoon tea, unlike The Rotunda. The setting is a lot more casual, but it does feel grand and the decor is art deco.The tables are nicely spaced apart and it never gets packed in there, so that gives it an intimate feel.

SERVICE:
Service is great. I was looking for a refill of hot water and just as I was going to ask, the server already had the hot water carafe in hand, heading over to our table. 

TEA & TEA SELECTION:
There's a small tea selection with just two kinds of green tea. I went with the Lung Ching green tea, which got a little bitter too quickly. More hot water helped dilute the bitterness.

Afternoon tea three-tiered tray for two. One thing to note right away, EVERYTHING is miniature, which, of course made me swoon.

SAVORIES:
Carefully thought-out mini savorites and sandwiches filled the top tray. Everything was fresh and damn tasty. No stale bread here. A good variety and just the right amount of savories.

SCONES:
Perfectly sized and made the same day, the scones were very good. Served with Devonshire cream, lemon curd, and raspberry jam, the scones were enjoyable, flavorful, and moist.

SWEETS:
A fantastic selection of sweets. A lot of them and all none more than two-bites. The marshmallow meringue  was especially good. Oh, and the tarts were also a highlight. They were super fresh and delicious.

OVERALL:
The food and presentation on the three-tiered tray is one of the best in Manhattan. Definitely in my top 5 places in New York for afternoon tea.

LOCATION: Two E Bar/Lounge at The Pierre | 2 East 61st Street at Fifth Avenue | New York, NY 10065 | 212.838.8000
AFTERNOON TEA HOURS: Daily from 3PM - 5PM
COST: Traditional Tea Service $55 | Menu