This time last year we celebrated our two year wedding anniversary with a lovely afternoon tea at The St. Regis New York. As always our favorite part of the tea was the clotted cream and scones. The ambience was pleasant with a modern feel and we enjoyed the hot water refills that prolonged our very special day.
After our afternoon tea at the Ritz Carlton we took a stroll down 5th Avenue and passed this great window display outside the famous New York City department store, Bergdorf Goodman. On the top floor at Bergdorf's there's an assortment of vintage and antique china and this window is showcasing some of their beautiful pieces. We always have fun perusing the fine items they have for sale, and their window displays are so famous that we recently saw a movie that showed the care they take with them throughout the year.
This weekend we celebrated our anniversary with tea at The Ritz Carlton Hotel on Central Park South. Neither of us had ever stepped foot into this luxurious New York hotel, so when we walked in and saw the beautiful art, wood paneling, and the comfortable leather chairs we were very impressed.
Dave ordered a particularly interesting tea that was a blend of traditional English black tea from India and green tea. This unique blend tasted like black tea at first, but surprised the tongue with a green tea aftertaste.
We also loved the golden floral design of the Wedgewood table setting. We took a picture of the tea cup for inspiration on our next china purchase.
Iced tea is very popular in Texas, the warm climate makes iced tea very refreshing. On a recent trip to Houston we came across this selection of iced teas. The good old classic black tea was our favorite after taste tasting each one.
Look at what we found at Walmart. Yes, big teacup planters. These will definitely jazz up your plants on the window ledge.
We found these cute little tea timers at Les Palais Des Thes, one of our neighborhood tea shops in Soho. These sand timers measure 1, 3 or 5 minutes ideal for black, green or herbal teas.
We finally made it to the historic Mount Vernon Hotel on the Upper East Side after having it on our things to do in New York list for many years now. Mount Vernon Hotel is one of only eight New York City buildings built in the eighteenth century that still exists today. It was first used as a carriage house before it was turned into a country house hotel in 1826. It's hard to believe that East 61st street was considered country, but back then north of 14th street was open land. Today it's a museum and it contains this lovely Staffordshire tea set depicting New York City Hall.
What do you do in you have too many teaspoons? Well, you can always make a chandelier like the one we spotted at The New York Historical Society gift shop.
One of the most beautiful dining rooms in New York is located in the Carlyle Hotel. All the velvet, carpeting, and padded walls make it very quiet and the deep colors make it feel warm and relaxing. We started our meal with oysters and pâté, our favorite foods. And we ended the meal with some English Breakfast tea, our favorite beverage.
After our brunch our walking slowed from New York City pace to what we thought could be called Texas pace, nice and slow.
The hotel has a formal tea service, but the menu also lists more simple tea options. If your visiting the city and you've completely exhausted yourself, pop into the Carlyle Hotel.
There have been some beautiful blues in fashion and they're showing up on teapots too. We were strolling down Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side in New York City before dinner on Saturday evening and couldn't resist visiting the stately Hermes shop. After admiring floor after floor of the finest In French design, we arrived at the fine china section. There were so many beautiful patterns, but this one stopped us in our tracks. What do you think?
It is not easy to find a decaf organic english breakfast tea! A couple of years ago we were searching and searching and finally found one on a trip to the UK. It was in a charming box on the shelves of the Notting Hill Whole Foods Market. The company that make this tea is called Clipper and funnily enough they are based only thirty five miles from where Dave grew up.
Easter Sunday was the perfect occasion to bring out our silver tea set. (You may remember it from our first blog on Two Cups of Tea!) Dave shined it to perfection and we made a nice Irish Breakfast tea for the table when we had the pleasure of entertaining our friends Matt and Sally for brunch. Along with tea we served scones, quiche, and home-made ice cream. It was a lovely day with friends and as always Sully dog stole the show.
NPR did a recent feature on their show New Sounds that was all about sounds from the kitchen. Obviously our favorite had to be the song titled 'Totally Steaming'! This is a recording from sounds that you'll commonly hear from a teapot. Fast forward the music player above to 1:30 and start listening to this great recording by Andy Statman.
Among Dave's stamp collection is this wonderful stamp from India showing a young women collecting tea.
With a relaxing vibe, a two story dining room with stain glass ceiling, and a genuinely friendly staff, the place to go for afternoon tea is at the Palm Court in The Plaza Hotel. As a wedding gift from Dave's sister and brother and law (we saved it for our one year anniversary), we indulged in the 'Fitzgerald Tea for the Ages'. The menu is inspired by the cuisine of the jazz age and the era of The Great Gatsby.
As Sarah ordered the afternoon tea, Elvis, the waiter already knew what she was going to say. When questioned he said it was because almost everyone orders the afternoon tea, the Plaza's special blend, when they come for "afternoon tea." It made perfect sense, and we couldn't resist the trend. We also tried the Zimbabwe decaf tea because on the menu it stated that it was, "the best decaffeinated tea in the world." It was very nice as well.
We left on a sugar high, and unfortunately forgot to buy any loose leaf tea, but this gives us an reason for a second visit.
Have you ever seen a do-it-yourself chai tea kit? We haven't!
At our local tea shop, Sullivan Tea and Spice, we found this cute box containing all the ingredients you need for a great tasting cup of chai.
To-go flasks are a tea necessity, especially in a city like Manhattan where it's go go go. Two of our favorite flasks are pictured above. The flask on the left is very light and the outside ridges prevent the cup from getting too hot to handle. We found that one at Whole Foods. The flask on the right is the Thermos brand and we've had it for a number of years now and is still going strong. It keeps the tea hot and sealed very tight, Dave often takes this one to work.
We love to hear about your what tea flask your using right now.
Dave & Sarah
Last week a new tea shop opened in our neighborhood. Le Palais Des Thes is a French company focused on a direct sourcing approach where they get to know the planters directly and the way they run their plantations.
The shop offers small dishes of tea leaves for smelling next to each box of tea. We chose the Japanese Green Tea, Sencha Ariake and we really enjoy it's delicate flavor.
You can find Le Palais Des Thes at 156 Prince Street, in the SOHO area of New York City.
Dave & Sarah