Sore throats healed with a selection of teas by “T” Tea Company (the January 2012 issue of Fresh Cup Magazine has a great article about “T”, a must-read if you’re interested in the tea/hotel industry). I went with the BC Forestea while April had the house Chai, creamy and served complete with milk and sugar. I wound up alternating between both drinks throughout the afternoon tea service. It’s all about balance. Gorgeous teapots to match the teacups. If you come for regular lunch service, tea is served in these rather chic teapots.
Bottom: Smoked chicken with dried apricot on whole wheat, Egg salad and pear tomato on pan de mie
Middle: Cheddar pepper scone with endive and caramelized onion, Half poached shrimp with capers cream cheese on pumpernickel
Top: Smoked salmon with cream cheese and caviar on pumpernickel
And in place of mini scones (like the ones served at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman), we each received one large “Sugar-Raisin” scone, just warm out of the oven with a crackly, browned sugar top. Our waiter declared it the best scone in all of NYC…and while that might be an exaggeration, it surely was an excellent scone down to the plump golden and and purple raisins studded throughout the pastry. A bit messy to eat (which is why most tea places serve mini-scones)…
…but nothing that couldn’t be resolved with little pots of devonshire cream alongside strawberry and blueberry jam. I could eat devonshire cream by the spoonful and one day I’ll have to learn how to make my own.
Bottom: Chocolate Tart, Financier, and Opera Cake
Middle: Cream Puffs, Pumpkin Tart (the tart filling changes seasonally)
Top: Almond Sponge Cake, Red Velvet Cake
A three-hour affair, afternoon tea is rarely “just” a snack. Food and conversation go hand in hand. I’m a big advocate of afternoon tea in small groups (never more than three people). Otherwise it just becomes a chaotic group meal, and the thing that makes afternoon tea so satisfying – the peace and quality conversation, is lost. The sun was gone when we left The Ritz, I’d say it was a mighty good Saturday.
The Ritz-Carlton, New York
50 Central Park South
New York, New York 10019