The Best Afternoon Tea in New York City: The Palm Court at the Plaza
The Plaza in New York is one of NYC’s most iconic luxury hotels. The Plaza New York is home to Five Star opulence, the Plaza’s Food Hall and the newly renovated Palm Court where you can enjoy Afternoon Tea (and of course Eloise resides here). Recently, The Plaza hotel had me to tea to check out the newly refreshed Palm Court.
The newly refreshed space isn’t entirely different than before but it is more contemporary. The idea was to bring in the feeling of Central Park. The room is still bright with its stained glass dome letting in lots of natural light (don’t mind my photos it was a gloomy day) and there are of course soaring palm trees throughout the room. So what’s new? Well, now there is a large circular bar in the heart of the Palm Court. Some people think it makes the room more casual but I think it just makes it more lively since there are people sipping champagne all day long. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Also, the tables, which were formerly covered in white tablecloths now have more modern mirrored surfaces.
Although the room is bright and airy it also still feels very warm to me. Here I am with my big pink menu! Life is full of tough choices. What to order…
Guests are given three choices of Afternoon Tea options. The New Yorker Tea ($65 and casual fare, champagne available for a supplement), Champagne Tea ($110 snacks are a little fancier) and the Eloise Tea ($60 with child-friendly food). It’s $30 for a glass of either Veuve Clicquot Brut, Reims or Moët & Chandon Brut Rosé Impérial, Épernay. The tea menu itself is quite vast. I personally think the Rooibos teas are to die for.
As you can see the presentation is spot on (no pun intended). My sister ordered the Eloise Tea (she ordered all PB & J that is not how it comes, she’s just a RAWWWTHER picky eater [Eloise reference]) But I digress…I ordered the champagne tea. We both agreed that the scones were the most delicious we had ever tasted. Each person got three scones with preserves, double Devonshire cream and lemon curd. The teapots seemed to endlessly pour tea.
I was very impressed with the savory bites that came with the champagne tea. The champagne tea also includes a Confit New Potato, Chive Crème Fraîche and American Sturgeon Caviar (which you can upgrade if you choose).
The service was stellar. Staffers seemed to intuitively sense when you needed something and when you just wanted to have time to chit chat. I will say that no one seemed to feel rushed. Surrounding tables (us included) lingered all afternoon and the laid back vibe seemed approving. The prices are pretty high but tea time buys you some pretty prime Manhattan real estate for a few hours so I think it’s worth it. Afternoon tea at the Palm Court is the perfect shopping break or place to come and unwind after an some time spent in Central Park.
The final course of mini sweets were divine. Not just because they were eye candy either. They were delicious. Honestly though, there is nothing like sipping bubbles at the Plaza hotel in New York City. It’s a memorable experience even for someone who lives in the city (like moi!).
Once you’ve had your fill, which I warn may take hours, be sure to visit the Eloise shop and the Plaza Food Hall in the basement. I must admit, the Plaza Food Hall is not my favorite place in the city. I don’t completely understand why people gush over it. That said, there isn’t much in the area so if you need a good snack, they’ve got some decent options. It’s quite touristy though and very expensive for what it is. You can get cupcakes from Billy’s Bakery though which are still one of my faves in the city.
If you overstay your welcome at your table, move to the bar and sample one of the literary themed cocktails at the bar like the Gatsby Mint Julep or the Hemingway Daquiri. Again a little touristy but still quite fun.
Travelingpanties approved! Be sure to check out my guide to Where to Eat in New York City, Things to Do in New York City that Even Locals Love, Things that First Time Tourists Must Do.
*I was a guest of the Plaza for Afternoon Tea*
Fabulous Dahling!!!!- December 12, 2015