Over the past year or so, I have become a big fan of high tea, so much so that I have come to make it my mission to try high tea, when available, during my travel destinations. This weekend, I invited a few close friends to join me at Alice’s Tea Cup. Given how much fun we had, I’d like to invite more women to enjoy high tea – whether at a tea place or at home.
My love of high tea started when my sister-in-law booked a girls’ day out when our mother-in-law was in town. We went to Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon and were served sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserves, and an endless pot of tea, where we each had the opportunity to choose our own flavor. Admittedly, when I first walked into Lady Mendl’s, I felt a little uncomfortable. It was the type of place where everyone was dressed up and some even wore the little white gloves. However, once I sat down and experienced my first high tea, I was in heaven!
Since Lady Mendl’s, I have been to a few high tea places. Below are some of my experiences with links to each so you can check them out for yourself.
- Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon – New York, NY
- This seems to be a popular place for bridal and baby showers. They have a main room for their general guests and side rooms for events. Since we were there on a weekend, we noticed all the side rooms were filled with women celebrating various events. They seemed to be having fun.
- Ritz Carlton Naples – Naples, FL
- This was a beautiful place to have high tea. We went as a family over Christmas time and the hotel was beautifully decorated. They even had a life-sized gingerbread house made out of actual food, which we had a view of during tea. If you decide to go with children, they are very accommodating of children’s food and drink preferences.
- Amstel Hotel – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- The Amstel Hotel was recommended to me by a friend who grew up in the Netherlands, and I was so happy to have even thought to ask her where to go. I was going to the Netherlands for business and flew in a day early so that I could enjoy the city. High tea at the Amstel was one of the more unique experiences I’ve had. I was served about six courses, where I was given a different tea for each course. The sandwiches came in a big piece of bread that was hollowed out. And yes, the lid of this “bread container” was also bread. Given that I was on business, I was alone, but was quite entertained by people watching. I ended up spending three hours overlooking the river, writing in my journal, and enjoying tea.
- Tea & Sympathy – New York, NY
- This is a tiny place in the West Village, which has two sections: the store and the restaurant. If you eat in the restaurant, you have to order food. We ordered scones and tea. However, you can also order meals, so if you are with someone who is not a fan of tea but you would like to enjoy drinking some, this is the perfect place to do just that!
- Alice’s Tea Cup – New York, NY
- Alice’s Tea Cup has become so popular, that as of today, they have three locations in the city. Similar to Tea & Sympathy, you can order high tea or a regular meal. Since there were six of us, we ordered a mix, which worked out great because we had the chance to try their various scones and sandwiches. The scones came in several flavors such as ham and cheese, blueberry, and pumpkin. It was a perfect way to share an afternoon. One thing to note is Alice’s Tea Cup does serve alcohol, so you are welcome to enjoy a bloody mary with your meal like we did!
If you don’t have the opportunity to have tea along or travels or near your home, I highly recommend making your own high tea. Invite friends over and even have them bring their own tea pots and favorite tea-time dishes. Most of the places where I have had high tea, guests are each served food on plates with varying designs. If you are looking for recipes, try Alice’s Tea Cup’s cookbook. You can order in on Amazon.
High tea truly is a great way to bring a group of women together, share food and tea, and have a great conversation. We definitely agreed to do it again, but because it is so filling, we might limit it to twice a year.
I hope you join me on this high tea adventure!