Friday, January 10, 2014

Two for Tea - Mandarin Oriental and St. Regis Hotel

View over the park and Columbus Circle

Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

Arctic cold came to New York this week and pushed the temperatures below zero; As soon as we got momentary relief from the freeze, the clouds opened full force. My antidote for the wet and cold...a soothing hot cup of tea enjoyed in an elegant and transporting setting. Here are two of my favorite places for afternoon tea.

The Mandarin Oriental - Columbus Circle. Step from the elevator to floor to ceiling windows overlooking nothing less than a staggeringly breathtaking view over Central Park. As you are lead to your table, don't be surprised if you feel a bit tipsy as if you are precariously walking on top of the world. It is absolutely imperative to call and reserve a window table to fully appreciate and marvel at the stunning panorama of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline.

The menu offers several interesting tea choices, like Lychee Green and Mountain Berry besides the usual Earl Grey, English Breakfast and Darjeeling. Breath in the delicate aroma of your tea selection as you enjoy tea sandwiches, and delicious scones; The pastries are very small and just okay. If you are not big on dessert, when you make your reservation, you might ask them to prepare more scones or tea sandwiches for you instead of the dessert, or try them, they may be to your taste.

In the mood for luxury and old world elegance? 18th century Period French furniture under a grand painted ceiling that simulates the outdoors, richly upholstered chairs and sofas, crisp linen tablecloths, long stemmed crystal glasses, and a pianist playing romantic melodies at the grand piano, make afternoon tea at the St. Regis Hotel, a memorable experience.

You can order a cup of tea without the frills, but for more fun, order the formal English Tea served in silver tea pots. Cucumber, watercress, smoked salmon, and egg salad tea sandwiches, little scones, and mouthwatering delicate pastries arrive on a tiered silver server. My advice, ask them to warm the scones while you enjoy the sandwiches. When they are returned, slather them with marmalade, jams, lemon curd and thick rich Devonshire cream, while you flavor your tea with honey or rock sugar swirls.

Hmm, hmm, so good!

The perfect place to meet a friend and spend hours catching up away from the cold.

Bon appetit!

Jacqueline Cable
For Postcards from New York

Addresses to Remember: Mandarin Oriental, 80 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023, 212-885-8800,

St. Regis Hotel, Fifth Avenue at 55th St. New York, NY 10022, 212-753-4500,

Directions: Mandarin Oriental, from Time Square MTA A, C, or 1 to 59th St. & Columbus Circle.

St. Regis Hotel, from Time Square MTA E to 5th Avenue and 53rd St. Walk two blocks north to 55th St.

  •  If you like today's issue, why not become a subscriber to Postcards from New York? To start receiving your own copy of Postcards each week in your email inbox, click here and enter your email address on the far right side of the webpage. Be sure to check your email in-box for a confirmation email, then just click where indicated to activate your subscription.  Or, forward this e-mail to a friend so they can sign-up to receive Postcards from New York as well.

  • You can also choose to receive Postcards From New York as an RSS feed. Click on the small orange button (subscribe as a Reader) on the right side of the webpage to activate the RSS. Then you will receive new "Postcards" on your email homepage, and you will have all past "Postcards" archived at your fingertips.  Be sure to check your email in-box for a confirmation email, then just click where indicated to activate your subscription.

  • photo courtesy of  Missy Burlin

    © Copyright 2007-14 The Cable Group

    No comments: