Afternoon Tea Time: Lady Mendl’s

Snapshots from afternoon tea with Lisa. This time we’re back at Lady Mendl’s which I’ve written about before. Save for the seasonal tart, very little changes here. The tea salon is tucked inside a bed-and-breakfast on Irving Place. Victorian in style, somewhat grandma-ish with floral, frills and major frou frou. Not elegant, but homey. And all the waiters just happen to be male, heheh. Tea is $35 a person, served in 5-courses.

They have a strictly enforced 90-minute seating limit. Once we stayed about 100 minutes and they literally said, you need to leave now. And then promptly packed up the rest of our food in to-go boxes. The waiters do it in this firm/nice tone of voice that leaves no room for debate. They claim it’s because they need time to clean and set up before the next seating. But often times if you hang around to watch, there is no next seating. My only pet peeve about this otherwise lovely spot.

Appetizer Course: Seasonal tartelette. Served warm. Think roasted mushroom with a lick of crème fraîche or a sweet-savory sweet potato tartelette with a buttery crumble.

Second Course: Tea Sandwiches. Yes, they are sloppy. However they are delicious if you can forgive the sloppy aspect. They do give seconds and you can have another round of all four sandwiches if desired. Pretty neat, right?

Counter clockwise from top: Smoked Salmon with Dill Cream Cheese on Pumpernickel; Cucumber with Mint Crème Fraîche on Brioche; Classic Egg Salad on Rye; and Smoked Turkey and Cranberry on Seven Grain

Third Course: Scones, both plain and currant studded are served with…

…Devonshire Clotted Cream and Preserves. Big bowls! I seriously haven’t seen a larger serving of cream and preserves. I deemed the portion generous, but a friend once called it obese. Two ways of looking at things I suppose!

Dessert Course: “Lady Mendl’s Signature Cake” (Don’t forget, this is really just Lady M’s signature crepe cake disguised in raspberry sauce).

Fifth Course: Assorted Cookies and Chocolate Covered Strawberries. Melt-in-your mouth powdered sugar dusted cookies, horseshoe nuggets, and butter-rich shortbread.

Lady Mendl’s doesn’t serve the best afternoon tea in NYC, but they serve a unique one that no place else in this city has replicated. It’s packed on the weekends and quiet on the weekdays, reservations required. The tea salon is on your left as you enter the townhouse – it’s made of two rooms, each of which can be closed off for private events. Bridal and baby showers seem to be particularly popular here!

Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon
56 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003
(212) 533-4466

  • anonymous
    November 30, -0001

    I think you meant counterclockwise for the sandwiches :)

  • anonymous
    September 24, 2011

    "…but a friend once called it obese."Hmm, I wouldn't mind the portion being obese– it's better than the portion being anorexic! One spoon, spoon and half, spoon no more…ha~Very tempting to just eat the cream by itself…YUM!

  • Kathy YL Chan
    September 25, 2011

    Hi Bob! Very true! I wish I could have taken home the leftover cream. Would go well with scones for breakfast the next morning :)Hi Anon! Thanks for catching that – correction made :D

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