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Entries in afternoon tea (45)

Monday
Apr142014

Afternoon Tea Review // Two E Bar at The Pierre [2014]

Back at The Two E Bar at the Pierre. (See my review from last year's visit.

SETTING:
The Two E Bar is a casual hotel bar/lounge where you can get everything from cocktails and small bites to afternoon tea. It has a grand, old hotel feel although it's a little dark due to the lack of natural light.

SERVICE:
Great service every time. They're great about making sure your teapot has enough hot water and they're very good about refilling it. 

TEA & TEA SELECTION:
They switched out the teapots since the last visit. Tea selection is on the small side, and I went with a black tea, which was good. 

The three-tiered tray arrived with the exact same savories, scones and sweets served as the year before, which I had loved. All miniatures, and all very good. 

SAVORIES:
A nice variety of mini tea sandwiches and savories. Exactly two of everything so it was easy to split everything on the plate. 

SCONES:
Two scones each per person and it came with lemon curd, clotted cream, and jam. Filling the tray were additional sweets like cookies and mini cakes. 

SWEETS:
A nice selection of sweets which I regretfully couldn't finish since I was too full!

OVERALL:
The ambiance is a bit cold, impersonal, and a little too masculine for my liking, but if you can overlook the ambiance, the afternoon tea is solid. Holding steady in the #4 spot on my list of top 5 places for afternoon tea in NYC.

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

Friday
Apr112014

Afternoon Tea Review // Press Tea

Once I found out Press Tea had started serving afternoon tea, I made a reservation via email (reservation required, and at least 24 hours prior) and met Georgia for an afternoon tea for two. 

SETTING:
It's a cute little cafe with different types of seating (booth, high stools, couch). Pretty decor, and casual. Not all the tables are ideal for afternoon tea though since you do need some space. There were two of us, but we ended up sitting at a table for four since the three-tiered tray took up a lot of space. 

SERVICE:
They don't have table service at Press Tea; you order and pay at the counter. When we got there, we let them know we were there for the afternoon tea that we had reserved. After we selected our teas, we sat down and they brought over both the tea and the three-tiered tray of food. It's pretty much self-service after that. Anything we needed, we had to get up and get ourselves. As for the service? Very friendly.

TEA & TEA SELECTION:
There are just four teas and they're listed on a blackboard above the counter: a black, a green, a rooibos, and a chai. From there, you can choose different ways to dress it up with flavorings, and steamed milk. We both opted for the hot pressed tea. I got a green, which was served in a tall glass, which I thought was a little odd. No teapots or teacups here. 

A three-tiered tray arrived with our afternoon tea courses. 

SAVORIES:
Georgia opted for the vegetarian afternoon tea, so we had two different savories on the bottom tray. You only get one savory for this course, and mine was a mini pork burrito with ramen. I missed having a bit of a variety since if you don't love the savory, you're out of options. Although I will say, that the afternoon tea at Press Tea is just $22 per person, so it's actually a lot of food for that price.

SCONES:
I really likes the scones at Press Tea and they were served with clotted cream and jam. We each got two different types of scones. Light, fluffy, and with a crispy crust, the scones were delicious.

SWEETS:
Four different sweets were served: a blueberry cheesecake, two madeleines, and a brownie. All tasty, with the blueberry cheesecake being my favorite. You can get these a la carte at the counter, which I have gotten on previous visits. 

OVERALL:
It's a great deal for the quality of food you're getting, if you can overlook the lack of table service.

INFO: Press Tea | 167 7th Ave South | New York, NY 10014 | 212.888.6666
AFTERNOON TEA HOURS: Inquire when making the reservation | info@presstea.com
COST: $22 

Wednesday
Nov132013

Afternoon Tea Review // King's Carriage House

Another afternoon tea outing with Georgia, of Notes on Tea. This time, we're at King's Carriage House on the Upper East Side. 

It's a townhouse and the outside is adorable, and quaint.

SETTING:
Inside this townhouse, in the back of the first floor of this restaurant is a small dining area. Upstairs, there's another, but for afternoon tea, just the first floor is used. There are about seven tables and it does feel like you're in someone's home that has been converted to a restaurant. Even the furniture evokes that look and feel. I can't put my finger on it, but the room doesn't feel very cozy and felt a little cold. Maybe it has to do with the yellow walls and cool tones.

SERVICE:
It was good although not always consistent. There were times we had to wait a while to find a server to ask for a couple of things. 

TEA & TEA SELECTION:
There wasn't a tea menu, and the server recited about five or so teas (black, green, etc.). I went with an Earl Grey, which arrived in cute teaware. Everyone gets a different teapot but we all had the same teacup and saucers. Unfortunately, the tea came in tea bags, instead of loose leaf. And just one tea bag was in the pot, so when the hot water was refilled, the tea was too diluted. 

The three-tiered tray with two afternoon tea servings.

SAVORIES:
A good selection of tea sandwiches. However, it didn't taste freshly made and the bread was slightly chilled. I prefer my savories to be room temperature. There was a goat cheese tartelette that was pretty tasty, and it was my favorite of the bunch. 

SCONES:
Served warm! Served with heaping mini bowls of homemade jam and clotted cream. Good portion sizes and two served per person. 

SWEETS:
An array of a sweets were on the bottom tray. It didn't taste like anything was made in-house and they were not that great. I was disappointed that the mini brownies had an icing that had hardened. The presentation was not so great either and this was my least favorite course.

With the sweets, came chocolate dipped strawberries that came on a separate plate. This I enjoyed. 

OVERALL:
If you're on the Upper East Side and looking for afternoon tea under $30, this is an ok option, but isn't as good as other below $30 tea services.

INFO: King's Carriage House | 251 East 82nd Street | New York, NY 10028 | 212.734.5490
AFTERNOON TEA HOURS: Tuesday - Sunday from 3PM - 5PM 
COST: $24.95 | Menu 

Monday
Oct282013

Afternoon Tea Review: Le Jardin Francais at Le Bristol Paris

Another leisurely afternoon tea in Paris, but this time, at the five-star hotel Le Bristol Paris. 

Before even walking through the doors, I was awed by the enchanting entrance. Pretty!

SETTING:
Deep into the lobby, is a seating area, Le Jardin Francais, for afternoon tea, cocktails, and small bites. I didn't love the space since with all that marble, it doesn't feel as warm as I would have liked. It didn't help that the space was open to the lobby, so it felt less cozy. However, points for the chandeliers and plush seating.

SERVICE:
Excellent! I got there a little earlier than my friend Diane, and I was asked by two different servers if I wanted to read a newspaper. Everyone I encountered during tea service was very friendly and aimed to please. I felt totally pampered.

TEA & TEA SELECTION:
A lovely and varied selection of loose leaf teas.  I went with a Jasmine green tea, which was very nice. Diane ordered a black tea and the server asked if she warm milk to go with it. What a thoughtful touch!

We ordered two of the Thé Complet Bristol, their afternoon tea service. Oddly, it doesn't include scones, but instead, we got a madeleine and a muffin.

SAVORIES:
Loved the varied types of sandwiches and how they tasted freshly made. A grilled cheese with ham sandwich was a bold move, since hot sandwiches never hold up very well once they cool. I made sure to eat that first. My favorite, which I want to recreate at home, is the roasted tomato on puff pastry. I also like the presentation of the salmon and dill tea sandwich. 

SCONES: Not Applicable. No scones were served. A regular sized blueberry muffin and a madeleine were served instead. The top tray was a bit of a disappointment since everything on there was full-sized, and not miniature versions. 

SWEETS:
The middle tray held most of the sweets, aside from the top tray with the cookie and brownie. Loved these mini treats! I was a bit shocked at how many were served per person and even asked if these portion sizes were the norm. Indeed, they were. Two pieces each from every row of sweets per person. Great selection, and great flavors. As for the cookie and brownie, they seemed a little bit of an afterthought and I just took a bite of each. Since it was afternoon tea for two people, it was a little hard to share the full-sized sweets on the top tray.

OVERALL:
The savories and mini sweets were excellent, but I wish we had scones instead of the entire top tray of sweets.

INFO: Le Jardin Francais at Le Bristol Paris | 112, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré | 75008 Paris, France | + 33 (0)1 53 43 43 00
AFTERNOON TEA HOURS: Daily from 3PM - 6PM
COST: Thé Complet Bristol, 48€ 

//Afternoon tea courtesy of Le Bristol Paris. All content and opinions expressed here are my own.//

Monday
Oct142013

Afternoon Tea Review: La Galerie at Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris

Oh wow, did I love the afternoon tea at Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris! They really know what they're doing with their tea service.

SETTING:
Gorgeous! The chandeliers, the piano player, the plush seats, lush curtains, elegant yet warm decor is perfect for afternoon tea. It felt so grand yet intimate.

SERVICE:
Ok, I have to say, I knew right away this afternoon tea would be special the minute they offered small stools for handbags. The last, and only other time I was offered a handbag stool was at Daniel in New York and that dinner was fantastic. I love these little extra touches. 

Service was beyond excellent. Tea was topped off for me, and they were one step ahead of me with anticipating my needs. I also loved that they would touch the teapot every once in a while to make sure the water was still hot. For the first time ever, they were the ones to offer hot water since the tea was starting to get bitter. 

TEA & TEA SELECTION:
Excellent. A wonderful and varied selection of teas. Not too many to choose from, not too little. I went with a lovely oolong, Dong Ding from Taiwan. 

Here's the three-tiered tray holding afternoon tea for one. My friend, Nana, met me a little later, so I asked them to serve me first, before she got there.

SAVORIES:
Basic tea sandwiches with a pretty twist. Everything could be eaten neatly in 2-3 bites, and they were all delicious. 

SCONES:
The scone was served warm! One per person, which is great with portion size. It was a good, basic, tasty scone.

Scones were served with clotted cream and jams. The clotted cream was a little bit more liquidy than I'm used to, but it tasted great. One thing I would have liked to have seen was homemade jams and preserves instead of the ones from jars.

SWEETS:
On the tray with the scone, were additional sweets (carrot cake, brownie, and a cookie) aside from the sweets tray. I thought there were a couple of sweets too many, but I loved the variety. The mille-feuille was my favorite from the sweets.

OVERALL:
Amazing! The decor and the service alone makes this one of my favorite afternoon tea experiences. I can't wait to go back!

INFO: La Galerie at Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris | 31, avenue George V | 75008 Paris, France | +33 (1) 49 52 70 00
AFTERNOON TEA HOURS: Daily from 3PM - 6PM
COST: George V High Tea, 48 Euros | Menu 

//Afternoon tea courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris. All content and opinions expressed here are my own.//