Afternoon Tea at The Lowell

The Pembroke Room, inside The Lowell hotel, in NYC is one of my favorite afternoon tea spots. My review of the tea service includes the service and the food.

Pembroke Room

Pembroke Room at The Lowell

The Lowell is a boutique luxury hotel in New York City and it’s one of my favorite places to have afternoon tea. I’ve gone many, many times over the years and it’s one I recommend over and over again.

On the second floor of the hotel is the Pembroke Room where afternoon tea is served. I fell in love with this hideaway tea spot the minute I entered the room years ago and it will always have a special place in my heart.

What is Afternoon Tea?

Afternoon tea is a light meal in the middle of the day consisting of a pot of tea and three courses of tea sandwiches, scones, and sweets.

It’s a set menu which means you don’t pick each individual food item. You get what everyone else gets. You do get to pick your tea.

RELATED: What is Afternoon Tea?

Does the Pembroke Room Have More Than One Type of Afternoon Tea on the Menu?

Yes, there three options on the afternoon tea menu:

The Classic Pembroke Tea (what I always order), The Pembroke Royal Tea (comes with an alcoholic beverage), and The Lowell Imperial Tea (Champagne and caviar).

How Much is Afternoon Tea at The Lowell?

The Classic Pembroke Tea is the traditional and it’s $63 per person. It includes five tea sandwiches, warm scones with Devonshire cream and lemon curd, and an assortment of tiny sweets. Don’t forget this comes with a pot of tea.

The Pembroke Royal Tea is $73 per person and it’s the same food as The Classic Pembroke Tea plus a choice of either a glass of Rosé, port, or a sherry.

The Lowell Imperial Tea is the priciest of the three at $110 per person. You get Champagne and caviar in addition to the The Classic Pembroke Tea.

Do I Need to Make a Reservation for the Pembroke Room? 

Yes, always make reservations for any afternoon tea. Call or reserve at least 24 hours in advance.

What Do I Wear for Tea at The Lowell?

Smart casual. No ripped jeans or sneakers, please.

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How Long is Afternoon Tea at The Lowell?

Tea service usually lasts about two hours. Take your time enjoying each course.

What Time is Afternoon Tea at the Pembroke Room?

Afternoon tea is served Wednesday – Sunday from 2PM – 6PM.

The Pembroke Room starts dinner service at 5:30PM so I wouldn’t make afternoon tea reservations too late in the day since sharing the dining room with the dinner crowd may not be as relaxing.

How Does Afternoon Tea at the Pembroke Room Work?

Select one of the three afternoon teas on the menu: the Classic Pembroke Tea, the Pembroke Royal Tea, or the The Lowell Imperial Tea.

No need to figure out the food since everything listed on the set menu you select comes with the tea service.

After selecting the one of the set menus, pick a tea.

Can I Go for Afternoon Tea Alone?

Yes! The Pembroke Room is the perfect setting for afternoon tea for one.

PEMBROKE ROOM TIP
The best seats are the banquettes at the corners of the room. If they’re not busy they’ll seat a party of two at those tables so don’t be afraid to ask.

The Lowell afternoon tea

Pembroke Room Setting: ★★★★★

Tucked away, this elegant room is the perfect setting for tea service. You would never know this place was here unless you knew to seek it out.

The Pembroke Room is only used for tea service in the afternoon and it’s usually nice and quiet — just how I like it. It’s ideal for an intimate gathering with friends or for small bridal or baby showers.

Pembroke Room Afternoon Tea Service: ★★★★★

Knowledgeable, friendly, and attentive, the service is excellent as always.

Never intrusive, the servers appear out of thin air when you’re looking for more hot water and know to leave you alone when you’re deep in conversation with a friend.

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Pembroke afternoon tea

Pembroke Room Tea & Tea Selection: ★★★★☆

Nicely curated tea list ranging from black tea blends to herbal infusions but no white tea or oolongs. Would be nice to see more whole tea than blends.

I rarely need to ask for hot water here since the servers always seem to know when the pot needs a refill.

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Pembroke afternoon tea

Two of the three courses are on the three-tiered tray.

The top two are the sweets and the bottom tray holds the savories.

The second course of scones is brought out separately, all toasty and warm, after the savories are eaten.

RELATED: Complete List of Places for Afternoon Tea in New York City

Lowell afternoon tea

Pembroke Room Afternoon Tea Savories: ★★★★☆

The bottom tray holds the savories — five tea sandwiches per person. I used to think the Pembroke Room had such great tea sandwiches UNTIL Baccarat’s rolled into town. 

The savories are still tasty, but they’re not as pleasing to the eye as they once were now that the bar has been raised.

RELATED: Afternoon Tea 101: Course Order

Pembroke Room Afternoon Tea Scones: ★★★★☆

A basket of warm scones are brought out after the savory course and you can choose from two scone selections. 

Start with one scone and see how full you are before asking for another scone. They’re more filling than you think.

Scones are served with Devonshire cream, lemon curd, and two types of fruit preserves.

They used to serve round scones and now they’re triangular in shape which aren’t as traditional. They were good but I really miss the round scones they used to serve.

RELATED: How to Eat a Scone Properly

Pembroke Room Afternoon Tea Sweets: ★★★★☆

The top two trays hold the sweets course — five sweets for each person. The selection is good, but a little too plain.

I would love to see something a little more exciting and innovative.

Pembroke Room Afternoon Tea Overall: ★★★★★

On my top two list of places to have afternoon tea in NYC. A must.

If you’re looking for a place to have an intimate gathering for afternoon tea, this is the place.

INFO: The Pembroke Room at The Lowell | 28 East 63rd Street | New York, NY 10065 | 212.838.1400
AFTERNOON TEA HOURS: Wednesday – Sunday from 3PM – 6PM
COST: The Classic Pembroke Tea, $63 per person | Menu

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Afternoon Tea at The Lowell in 2015

Afternoon tea lowell

The chairs has changed over the years and they used to have these striped ones back in 2015.

lowell afternoon tea

Tea pots and teaware have always been silver but the look has changed slightly over the years. Tea cup and saucer  from Wedgwood are the same though.

Pembroke room

Same three-tiered tray with the same layout with savories on the bottom and sweets on the top two trays.

Pembroke Room afternoon tea

Savories do change over the years.

Pembroke Room afternoon tea

Oh, how I miss these scones! They were perfect! Perfect shape, perfect size, and perfectly delicious.

Pembroke Room afternoon tea

Pembroke Room afternoon tea


Sweets have changed over the years too but the macarons were always a part of the course.


Afternoon Tea at The Lowell in 2012

Tea at The Lowell

This was afternoon tea at The Lowell back in 2012 when it was $39 per person.

Their three-tiered stand back then.

How their scones were served.

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5 Comments

  • Stephanie
    2 years ago

    Hi Jee!
    I went to the Lowell this past Saturday and I was a little “confused”… 🙂 I do afternoon teas in Paris whenever I can (in grand hotels) and it was my first in NY, on your recommendation (I’ve been reading your blog for a while). I just wanted to share some thoughts about my experience and see what you think if you don’t mind. First, I wouldn’t call the room “elegant”: I thought it was outdated, very dark (but the weather was really overcast on Saturday) and the two AC units in the windows don’t exactly belong in a peaceful tearoom; also, there was a birthday party that day and it seems from one of the staff that they have a few on weekends so it can be bothersome if you want peace and quiet (although this party was very nice); staff was great, as you said, from concierge to doormen and in between; savories and pastries were indeed very good and fresh yet, as you mentioned, very traditional and classic; nothing “revolutionary” indeed; scones were excellent (I got two and the waiter asked if I wanted more); lastly, the tea… I’m no expert but is that a good thing to get a pot of tea with the leaves directly in the pot so there’s no way to remove them?? I usually don’t infuse my tea for long and my Mandarin Jasmine became VERY bitter very quickly; it was so bitter I had to say something at one point so the waiter just brought me another pot but after a few minutes, of course, the tea got very bitter again. 🙁
    Well, that’s it! 🙂 Would love to have your expert opinion on that (especially on the tea leaves) and will try another NY afternoon tea very soon! Thank you.

    • Jee
      2 years ago

      Hi Stephanie, actually, you’re the second person to tell me that The Lowell wasn’t as good as they had hoped. I think my experience was slightly different since I always go on a weekday, and not on a busy weekend. About the tea, yes, totally agree with you that the tea shouldn’t be sitting in the pot since it does get bitter. That is a negative for sure. Sorry to hear your experience wasn’t the same as mine!

  • Stephanie in Philadelphia
    2 years ago

    Thank you for your answer, Jee! Have a great week,

    Stephanie

  • JadeG
    5 months ago

    I completely agree, this is the best afternoon tea in the city. I’ve been often with friends, and appreciate being left alone, with plenty of t8me to chat, no staff rushing us out.
    And recently I arrived with my two teens after a disappointing museum outing. This wasn’t an obvious choice for them, especially a 17 year old boy. But the food was delicious, the tea was hot and strong, and the staff offered refills until my ravenous boy said “Uncle.” I was so grateful. The Lowell saves the day!

    • Jee
      5 months ago

      Hi Jadeg, since I wrote this post, I would rank Baccarat Hotel’s afternoon tea the best in the city but with The Lowell one of my favorites.

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