Afternoon Tea at The Plaza

This post was supposed to go live on Thursday – I am so sorry for the delay! Between the snow and the…well, the life that had to go on despite the snow…I totally blanked on publishing it! Direct from drafts, I bring you this post!

Is there anything as lovely as afternoon tea? As refined, as relaxing, as indulgent?

I think not.

And there is something especially decadent and “ladies who lunch” about enjoying it at the world-famous Plaza hotel – I mean, if it’s good enough for Eloise…

photo 3 (5)

The Palm Court is where tea has always been served. Sitting beneath a glass dome on golden chivari chairs or plush banquette while tuxedoed servers fill your cups with fragrant peppermint tea and your glasses with chilled ice water…if there is something more “Downton Abbey than this in America, I demand to know where it is. Wear your pearls, ladies, and for heaven’s sake, leave those wretched cell phones on silence.

Just call me Lady Violet.

photo 2 (11)

The Fitzgerald Tea

Though you could go with The Chocolate Tea or The New Yorker Tea, The Fitzgerald is the way to go. It’s only $10 more and includes the best desserts and luxury sandwiches.

 I always regret not getting a glass of  champagne alongside.

photo 2 (10) Tea sandwiches

The finest this side of the Atlantic. House smoked salmon – only gently smokey and incredibly silky, layered on soft white bread with dilled cream cheese. The final luxury touch is a dollop of salty caviar. I love those little fish eggs. Don’t forget the curried lobster salad, with huge buttery chunks of lobster or the truffled egg salad, topped with a single, rich quail egg in a crumbly shortcrust pastry.  The savories are The Plaza’s forte – these tea sandwiches are without rival in either taste or variety in the city’s tea scene.

photo 4 (6)

Scones are a little dense and hard, but the buttery, insanely rich, almost mascarpone-like Devonshire cream, tart lemon curd, and fragrant strawberry jam do a lot of good in making you forget the scone’s leaden texture. Not perfect but damned good. 

photo 3 (6) The desserts are just…sigh. Lovely. The brownie is a little dry but the marshmallows are soft and sweet and the cream puffs are ideal – crunchy pastry surrounding vanilla bean flecked custard. The perfect way to end a 2 hour late lunch.

Tea at The Plaza isn’t cheap. But it’s a wonderful treat to share with out of town guests, a best friend, or a loved family member. I can’t tell you how transporting it is to stop in the middle of working and shopping and laundry and emails to take 2 hours to just sit…and eat beautiful things…and drink tea out of elegant china. It’s an indulgence that I don’t often take, but when I do, I am always glad that I did.

You will be, too.


  1. […] is served in this Palm Court, the original one that so puts the one at The Plaza to shame that it seems embarrassing that they should share a title. It’s all elegance and huge […]