cups of comfort

Claire Lui


Enjoy a leisurely high tea around the City this Thanksgiving holiday. It’s a welcome treat after a day of sightseeing, whether you’re alone, with friends, or the entire family. Savor traditional teatime fare, including crustless cucumber sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and delicious pastries, at some of the City’s most luxurious locations.

If you’re in Lower Manhattan, try the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park. A proper British high tea is served Monday through Saturday from 2 to 5pm in the hotel’s lobby, which has magnificent views of the harbor and the Statue of Liberty. Watch the boats go by as you enjoy a selection of made-to-order finger sandwiches and such sweets as fruit tarts and pots de crème. All the teas are from Britain’s Taylors of Harrogate, including an afternoon Darjeeling,  chamomile and spiced orange fruit tea. ($42;  a children’s menu is available)

Closer to Union Square and Gramercy Park,  Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon, at the Inn at Irving Place, is the spot for a quiet and cozy afternoon tea. A five-course high tea includes salad, a selection of tea sandwiches and two dessert courses. And, naturally,  unlimited tea. Tables are decorated with fresh flowers, and a fireplace provides a homey warmth to the room. Tea is served every day at set times throughout the afternoon; reservations are required. ($35)

In Midtown,  there are a number of options. Located in the basement of the elegant Japanese department store Takashimaya, the Tea Box restaurant offers an East-West afternoon tea. Stop by this hidden gem for a restorative pot of tea,  accompanied by a bento box of sandwiches and cookies. Sandwiches include salmon or cucumber on pressed rice, chicken with spicy wasabi mayonnaise and a spring roll. Desserts exhibit a similar Asian influence, and the tea selection boasts 39 varieties from around the world. (Bento box, $18; items may also be ordered à la carte)

One block further up Fifth Avenue,  the St. Regis hotel offers high tea daily from 3 to 5pm. This is a classic hotel high tea served on linen tablecloths and fine china in the elegant high-ceilinged Astor Court,  and accompanied by live music. The menu includes more than 20 varieties of tea and an ample selection of sandwiches and pastries. ($48)
  Uptown, Alice’s Tea Cup has two locations, one on the West Side and one on the East Side. A popular restaurant for kids, this tearoom serves its menu all day long, so you can stop by for a late-morning tea or an evening tea if you choose. Sandwiches and desserts can be ordered individually or in a set menu, which comes in four sizes: the Wee Tea, for children under 10 ($14); the Nibble ($22), the Mad Hatter ($27), or the Jabberwocky, which comes with unlimited sandwiches ($35).

No matter where you enjoy your high tea, it’s an outing sure to be popular with the whole family. Pinkies out!



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