Something that I love but have not done in a very long time is going to afternoon tea. The last time I did go to high tea was at least three years ago. I still lived in London then. My best friend Ana, from Faded Spring, often took me with her when she was invited to test such events. From an Alice in Wonderland themed high tea to an afternoon tea bus tour, it is something I loved doing.
I don’t know what to tell you. The finger sandwiches, the scones, the miniature pastries and sometimes the bottomless cocktails did make it a really enjoyable experience. Knowing that they are a typical English thing, I was not expecting to be going to high teas as much in the United States. Plus, with the pandemic, it is not like we had the opportunity that much.
But, my husband and I have a little rule that we establish after the lockdown ended in New York City and things started to reopen. We need to do at least one thing each weekend outside of our home. It can be anything from going for a walk in Central Park, cycling to the West Village, going up The Edge (or any other observatory) or booking a restaurant that we would have otherwise never been to.
The Palm Court falls a bit into that last category. Located in The Plaza Hotel by Central Park, The Palm Court is a bit of a new York institution. I don’t know how many times the hotel was featured in films, TV shows and books. So obviously, I wanted to experience it. Maybe not stay there the night but why not going for the afternoon tea at The Palm Court?
So we went.
And here is how it went…
The Palm Court offers several types of High Teas. The Manhattan Tea ($95/per person), The Plaza Signature Tea ($105/per person), the Grand Imperial Tea ($575 for two) and Children’s Eloise Tea ($68/per child). Guests also have the option to add a glass of champagne to their afternoon tea. We did not because we are doing dry September and October.
We choose The Plaza Signature Tea and here what’s on the menu:
- SANDWICHES & SAVORIES: Lobster Medallion, Truffle Aioli, Caviar, Toasted Brioche; Beet Cured Salmon, Tarragon Créme Frâiche, Pumpernickel; Foie Gras Torchon, Mission Figs, Foie Gras Jelly, Toasted Brioche; Clothbound Aged Cheddar, Tomato Ginger Jam, White Bread; Pickled English Cucumber, Green Goddess Créme, Rye Bread.
- SCONES: Freshly Baked Warm Seasonal Scones, Devonshire Cream, Yuzu Basil Curd, House-Made Preserves.
- PASTRIES & SWEETS: Lavender infused White Chocolate Macaron, White Chocolate Ganache; Strawberry & Cream Delice, Pistachio (Flourless) Dacquiose Cake; Plaza Golden Egg, Lemon Verbena Custard, Peach Red Tea Jelly; Chocolate Manjari Black Forest Sablé, Dark Chocolate Cherry Custard, Vanilla Cream; Fresh Seasonal Fruit Tart
The tea menu is very extensive and the choice is endless. Everything sounded fantastic but we settled on the Thé des Lords (Earl Grey from China, with bergamot & safflower petals) and Thé des Alizés (a fruity green tea with pieces of white peach, kiwi & watermelon). Both were absolutely incredible. We are massive tea drinkers so really, it was amazing.
But let’s get back to the food. Although I adore baking, I prefer savory food. Ironic, I know. So I was absolutely delighted by each piece of food on the cake stand. My favorite was the beet cured salmon. Something my family always get during the Holiday is foie gras and fig bread, so of course, I loved the foie gras with figs on brioche. It was like reliving a childhood memory. To be fair, I loved everything on the savory tier.
As for the scones, well, the scones… I have not had an English scone is such a long time! I bake scones sometimes but they are never as good! In the US, scones are savory and to be honest, I am not a fan. But having two English scones with clotted cream? They were so good!
As I said, I prefer savory but overall, I really enjoy the dessert tray. I was not really a fan of the lavender macaron and the chocolate Manjari Black Forest Sablé. However, everything else was delicious. Probably because they were not too sweet, and more often on the tart sides of things. The Plaza Golden Egg, Lemon Verbena Custard, Peach Red Tea Jelly was my favorite!
I have to say, it was a very enjoyable experience. The staff were so on it, helpful and available while never being pushy. Again, living in the US, I am now so used to waitering staff coming to our table every ten minutes to ask if everything is fine. I know it is part of their job and they need to do that to ensure a tip (which I would never not give anyway) but sometimes it feels a bit intrusive. Nothing like that at The Palm Court though and that made Afternoon Tea at The Plaza an absolute blast.
Now, if you’ve been on social media or watch TV, we’ve probably known how the ceiling on the ground floor of the hotel looks. It is beautiful. A sight that is worth it. Just like the afternoon tea. I am very happy I treated ourselves. Indeed, we did had a great experience. I think it is something to do at least once in your life in you are in New York City.
Do you enjoy afternoon teas? Have you ever been to one? What The Plaza? Have you ever been inside? Or tried dining at The Palm Court? What do you think of this afternoon tea? Would you do it?
Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope you liked this post.
See you soon,