On a rainy Sunday, I met up with a friend for afternoon tea. Went to The Plaza Hotel only to find out they were fully booked and we were turned away. A quick walk over to the Four Seasons and found out they no longer have afternoon tea service. Finally, we went to The Peninsula and thankfully, the third time was the charm.
Afternoon tea is served in the hotel lounge so the room is not just for tea. The tables are spaced far enough apart so you don't feel like you're joining in on the next table's conversation. The lounge has a very business casual feel to it, perhaps a little too corporate. It didn't feel special.
Great, except for one misstep. When the tiered tray was brought over, the server didn't stop to tell us what was being served. I like it when they go over what's on each plate on the tray.
TEA & TEA SELECTION:
Small but varied tea selection. I got the Earl Grey Supreme, which was very good. Perfect for a rainy day.
Three-tiered tray for two.
Five finger sandwiches each. All made with fresh bread. The sandwiches were all very good, with nice touches of caviar. I really liked the egg salad and the smoked salmon sandwiches. Nice presentation and tasty!
Odd, we were given three scones for the two of us. I've always gotten even numbers of scones so I was a little surprised. Not sure if they forgot to give us another one or if that's how it's served. With the scones came the clotted cream, lemon curd and strawberry preserves. Scones weren't warm, but the size was good.
The pastries were adorable but they were a miss with me. The cakes were too dense and it didn't taste freshly baked. I ate only a couple of bites of each one.
The afternoon tea here is $55 per person, which is the same cost as the tea at The Pierre, St. Regis, and the Ritz-Carlton but The Peninsula isn't on the same level as those three. Mostly, it's due to the setting. If the lounge had a more of a elegant or posh feel, it may be worth the cost. If this was a $40 tea service, I would have been very happy, but it's definitely not worth $55.
LOCATION: The Gotham Lounge at The Peninsula | 700 Fifth Avenue at 55th Street | New York, NY 10019 | 212.956.2888
AFTERNOON TEA HOURS: Daily from 2:30PM - 5:00PM
COST: Traditional Afternoon Tea $55 | Menu