August 16, 2009

High Tea at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel

It is a hot Saturday afternoon in New York City. At 3 PM, it's too late for a leisurely brunch, yet too early for dinner. The sun is shining, the buildings are glistening and our stomachs are growling. Then it dawns on my sister and me - Tea Time! It was the perfect solution.

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel offers the best High Tea in Manhattan. Their traditional Afternoon Tea Service is offered in the Lobby Lounge on the 35th floor of this stunning hotel.

The elevator doors opened and it took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the bright light streaming in from the floor to ceiling windows. We walked closer to the Lobby Lounge and toward the breathtaking views of Central Park and Columbus Circle. From this moment I knew our afternoon tea was going to be more than a meal, it was going to be an experience.

My sister selected the Peppermint Tea and I decided on the Mountain Berry. It was delicately served by our gracious waiter, and we sipped the luxurious brew while soaking in the ambiance.

Our food arrived on a three-tiered caddy, filled top to bottom with house made scones and an assortment of sandwiches. Along side were cups filled with fluffy and indulgent Devonshire cream and sweet orange marmalade. The scones were perfectly crumbly and we found ourselves practically licking the rich clotted cream from our fingertips. There were sweet onion sandwiches on white bread, smoked salmon on pumpernickel, arugula and cucumber on multi-grain and, my favorite, a curried chicken salad sandwich.

And then, there was the dessert tray. The assortment of chocolate covered strawberries, madelines, coconut macaroons, raspberry jellies, short bread, peanut butter cookies, napoleons and chocolate mousse cakes seemed to never end. Although we were full, each and every treat begged to be sampled.

With each dainty bite of our sandwiches and with each sip of our afternoon tea, we were transported from the hustle and bustle of the city below. The sun streamed through the windows and we discussed the need to go to London for our next High Tea. In the end, with a dining experience this fantastic and so close to home, afternoon tea at the Mandarin Oriental is certainly a better "Budget Diva" deal!

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Lilly said...

Great idea about going to London for your next High Tea. Try the Savoy; it's amazing!!

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