Our brethren across the pond have mastered the art of teatime, but New Yorkers can still embrace that most British of traditions. While we can’t promise a Kate Middleton or Meghan Markle spotting, we’ve still found the best places in the city for a truly indulgent scone-and-sip that’s fit for the most ardent of Anglophiles. Below, our top choices for an elegant afternoon high tea in New York.
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The Peninsula New York
The afternoon tea at the Peninsula’s Gotham Lounge received a decadent upgrade this season. The hotel partnered up with La Maison du Chocolat for a special offer available now through April 28 that includes its usual selection of high-end teas along with chocolate-inspired sandwiches and treats, including the chocolatier’s famous Dark Chocolate Traviata crème brûlée pastry. Afternoon tea is always served from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., but by May, it’s back to regular old high tea. So if you’re a chocoholic, book now. From $80 a person, The Peninsula New York.
A crystal-filled tea experience at Baccarat is as opulent as you’d expect, with glittering chandeliers and glassware complementing plush velvet chairs and mirrored surfaces. All the teas there are named in honor of past royal families around the world, like the Sultan Abdülaziz, King Louis XV, the Prince of Wales and Tsar Nicholas II. The Prince of Wales is a classic English choice, with many a tiny sandwich and jam-filled treat, which you can enjoy while sipping your tea (or champagne) and channeling your inner British royal. From $65, Baccarat New York.
You can choose from three set menus for fancy high tea at the Lowell’s Pembroke Room: the Classic, the Royal and the Imperial. A Leading Hotel of the World, The Lowell is one of New York’s more formal settings, where you’ll select Dammann Frères loose leaf teas, herbal infusions or champagne while dining on caviar, tea sandwiches, petit fours and scones with loads of Devonshire cream. From $63, The Lowell Hotel.
The Blue Box Cafe
Consider it a British tradition with a Hollywood twist. Pay tribute to Audrey Hepburn and live out your Breakfast at Tiffany’s fantasy for a day at The Blue Box Cafe, located on the fourth floor of Tiffany’s Fifth Avenue flagship store. The restaurant is prix fixe, and one option is the afternoon tea. Dishes include sandwiches like chicken salad and salmon cucumber and hummus, and sweets like Tiffany blue petit fours and lemon meringue tarts. From $49, The Blue Box Cafe.
The St. Regis New York
Caroline Astor is the one who first brought the concept of afternoon tea to the St. Regis, and it’s still held in the Astor Court restaurant today. The hotel serves it daily from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and guests can select from choices like Lady Astor’s Tea and Caroline’s Tea (the latter launched last year and is a more modern take, with lighter and gluten-free options) paired with lump crab salad and foie gras mousse. The latest addition is the Salvador Dali tea. The artist lived at the St. Regis in the 1930s, so the menu takes inspiration from his famous works and Spanish heritage, with offerings like a Basque pâté and lemon poppy Madeleine. There’s plenty of actual tea, of course, but it’d be downright criminal to ignore the “tipsy tea cocktails” like the Green Tea Martini. From $65, The St. Regis New York.