I'm back at the Mandarin Oriental New York on the 35th floor at the Lobby Lounge for afternoon tea. I went with Georgia and Sara and we were taking turns to take pictures of the sweeping views of Central Park South and Central Park. The view alone is worth a visit.
The Lobby Lounge is spacious with tables spaced far enough apart that it feels intimate. It doesn't feel stuffy and strikes a balance between casual and luxury with its comfortable seating and lack of tablecloths -- although I do prefer tablecloths. (See pics of the interior space and my review from 2012.)
Getting a table by the windows are a bit tough and never guaranteed, but make sure you ask for one when making a reservation -- you may luck out.
Service is usually excellent (friendly and efficient), but I'm going to knock off a star since we had a lot of trouble towards the end trying to find a server to get the check. It seemed like everyone disappeared.
To make a reservation, you have to call the Lobby Lounge directly which can be a pain since they never seem to pick up the phone.
TEA & TEA SELECTION: ★★★★★
There are two pages of tea to select from. There isn't a huge variety, but the selection is excellent. I had a bit of a hard time trying to choose one since so many looked tempting. Tea comes in a white teapot with a paper filter with loose tea. I had the Mandarin Oolong which had citrus notes.
They used to serve savories and sweets on a three-tiered tray with warm scones served in a basket but they now have each course come out separately.
This is the first time I've experienced this, but they serve scones first, instead of savories. I thought it was odd and inquired and was told that's how they have always done it.
The scones are excellent. Warm and in perfect portion size. Devonshire cream and homemade jams are on the table to be shared but I didn't mind the sharing since they had enough on the table for three people.
After the scones plates were taken away, the savories arrived. On each plate were four mini savories. Each one was better than the next. Fresh and delicious.
For the last course, sweets, they were presented on a circular shaped three-tiered tray. Gorgeous. Some of the mini sweets were excellent, but a some were just eh in terms of flavor and by being overly sweet. I loved the variety though.
The afternoon tea service at Mandarin Oriental is number four spot on my list of afternoon teas in NYC and with its view and tasty savories and scones, it remains at the top of the list.