The Baccarat Hotel is offering the best afternoon tea in NYC. Consistently offering great food and tea, the hotel is in the lead with their fresh and luxe afternoon tea service.
Baccarat Hotel New York
The Baccarat Hotel New York is right across the street from the MoMA museum in Midtown.
Afternoon tea in served in their Grand Salon every day.
Baccarat Hotel is a luxury hotel from the well-known French crystal company so it’s not surprising that the entire Grand Salon is floor to ceiling crystals.
To get to the Grand Salon for tea, take the elevator from the dark, moody ground floor entrance to the second floor. Right off the elevators, the Grand Salon is directly ahead.
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What is Afternoon Tea?
Afternoon tea is a set menu which comes with tea and food. You don’t choose the individual food items but you do choose your tea.
Everyone at the table orders their own afternoon tea so the pricing is per person.
The three courses consist of tea sandwiches followed by scones with clotted cream and jam, and finally, the sweets.
The concept of afternoon tea was originated by a Duchess in England who wanted a small meal in the afternoon between lunch and dinner. This mid-afternoon meal was made of small bites of food with tea and she would invite friends to join her.
If you want to do a deep dive into the history of afternoon tea, I recommend this book.
Baccarat Hotel Afternoon Tea Menu
There are four afternoon tea options on the menu.
King Louis XV
$65 per person
A pared down version of afternoon tea with 2 savories, a scone, and 2 sweets.
Prince of Wales
$90 per person
This is what I ordered and it’s the classic afternoon tea on a 3-tiered tray.
$300 for two people
This is their Turkish Tea for Two and it’s 5 courses.
Tsar Nicholas II – $400 – $2900 (!!!) per person depending on the champagne
An extravagant caviar tea with Champagne starting at $400.
The menu and prices may change at any time so please contact the hotel or check their site for latest info.
Do I Need to Make a Reservation for Afternoon Tea at the Baccarat?
Yes, absolutely a must! Call the hotel (212.790.8867) least 24 hours in advance for a reservation.
For any afternoon tea, it’s always best to make a reservation or you may be turned away.
What Do I Wear for Tea at the Baccarat?
No jeans or sneakers, please. Business casual dress code at the minimum.
How Long is Afternoon Tea?
Afternoon tea usually lasts roughly two hours. It’s a leisurely affair and shouldn’t be rushed.
What Time is Afternoon Tea at the Baccarat?
The afternoon tea is served everyday from 1PM – 4PM. Please note that on Mondays and Tuesdays, the Prince of Wales (the traditional afternoon tea) is the only afternoon tea served.
Good for Large Parties?
I wouldn’t recommend the Baccarat for large parties for afternoon tea. The tables and seating is ideally for up to 4 people.
How Does Afternoon Tea at the Baccarat Work?
The afternoon tea menu is a little confusing at first so let me walk you through how to order.
First, select one of the four afternoon tea options.
Next, select a tea. There are recommendations for each afternoon tea but if you flip to the back of the menu, you can pick any of the teas listed.
The tea will come out first, then the food. Feel free to start drinking the tea before the food arrives.
When eating from a three-tiered tray: start with the savories, then the scones, and finally, the sweets. That’s the proper afternoon tea course order.
Baccarat Hotel Afternoon Tea Tips
- ALWAYS make a reservation for afternoon tea.
- Feel free to order any tea from the tea menu — you don’t have to pick the recommended tea if you don’t want to.
- Best seating at the Grand Salon are the tables for two by the windows with high-back chairs.
- If you don’t finish everything, ask for it to be packaged to take home.
Staying at the Baccarat Hotel
If you want to splurge and stay at the Baccarat Hotel, you’ll see Baccarat crystals and the same floor to ceiling windows in every room.
The location is ideal for tourists since it’s right in the middle of everything without it being crazy hectic when you step onto the sidewalk unlike hotels in Times Square.
Bring your bathing suit! There is a giant 55-foot indoor pool downstairs.
Check rates: booking.com
Grand Salon Setting: ★★★★★
Opulent. That’s the word I would use to describe the Grand Salon.
The space is brightly lit, with light bouncing off shiny objects everywhere. The lounge is decadent with plush seating and crystals EVERYWHERE your eye lands.
Baccarat Hotel Service: ★★★★★
Baccarat separates itself from other afternoon teas in the city by having an in-house Tea Sommelier, Gabrielle.
Gabrielle is the mastermind behind the entire afternoon tea program from conception to execution. She comes up with new afternoon teas like the Turkish Tea for Two, and they’re all exceptional.
Every server we encountered was very friendly and attentive.
NYC Afternoon Tea Checklist
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Baccarat Hotel Tea & Tea Selection: ★★★★★
Baccarat initially had an exclusive partnership with Mariage Fréres and you could only find their tea blends on the menu. But I’ve noticed that has changed recently with whole leaf tea selections from other tea companies on the menu.
I ordered the Milky Blue, a milky tea with notes of chestnut and almond cream, which I really liked.
The afternoon tea menu is a tad confusing. On the menu, it says “paired with Earl Grey D’or” which makes it seem like that’s the only tea selection available, but it actually should be read as “best paired with” since it’s just their suggestion. You can get any tea from their tea menu.
Baccarat Hotel Afternoon Tea Savories: ★★★★★
Not gonna lie, I balked at the $90 afternoon tea price tag since it’s the most expensive in New York City, BUT I have to say, it’s pretty DAMN good.
Out of all three courses, the savories are my favorite and the Baccarat does it right. Each bite was better than the next and it’s all beautifully presented. Everything tasted fresh and delicious.
Baccarat Hotel Afternoon Tea Scones: ★★★★☆
Assorted scones are served warm with Devonshire cream and crab apple gelée. Tasted great but I hated the huge saucer-sized portions. Wish they were as cute and small as the savories.
They brought out only one set of cream and gelée for the table which was not enough for all three of us. After we asked, they brought out another set.
Baccarat Hotel Afternoon Tea Sweets: ★★★★☆
The sweets were adorable and tasted good.
By the time I got to the sweets course, I was pretty full so I took two bites of each pastry.
I took off a star since one dessert needed a fork to be eaten with. I made a mess when I tried to eat the chocolate dessert with my fingers. (Uh, something I realized after touching it and getting it all over.)
Baccarat Hotel Afternoon Tea Overall: ★★★★★
Is Baccarat serving the best afternoon tea in New York City? Yes! If you can get past the $90, you should definitely give it a try.
Grand Salon, Baccarat Hotel New York
28 West 53rd Street
New York, NY 10019
AFTERNOON TEA HOURS:
Daily, 1PM – 4PM
Reserve at least 24 hours in advance.
The Prince of Wales, $90 per person (as of 2018)
Call 212.790.8867 to book your afternoon tea.