Tea at the Plaza

My dear friend, D, suggested we have tea at the Plaza Hotel so a few Sundays ago, with reservations made, we met up in the city for a lovely lady's lunch. Most patrons were dressed elegantly, women and girls in dresses, men in button downs and pressed slacks, but I did see a dude grown man, in cargo shorts, flip flops, and one of those three-in-a-pack white undershirt-esque t-shirts. So yes, it's probably more proper (and aesthetically pleasing) to wear something you might wear to impress your significant other('s parents) or an outfit your mother would set out on Sunday morning for you to wear to church, but no one will kick you out if you look like you just rolled out of bed.

I like to take photos of ceilings (when they're interesting, obviously) and the stained glass vaulted ceiling is really lovely. Plus, it lets in the nice light, which is quite flattering.
I also like to take photos of chairs. The decor here is v. reminiscent of the gilded era - ornate, plush, and it makes you feel French and fancy.

The menu offers 4 different types of tea: The Classic, The New Yorker, The Chocolate, and The Eloise. The Eloise is directed at children, of course, with peanut butter and jelly finger sandwiches, among other kid-friendly treats. Each tea has a selection of assorted sandwiches, scones, and little petit four-style desserts. You choose the tea you'd like to accompany your snacks. We both went for the Classic; I was drawn in by the lobster sandwich, mainly, as well as the macarons. D had the jasmine tea while I asked for the apple spice.
The table is set up with milk, sugar cubes, salt & pepper shakers, and a plate of Devonshire cream, jam, and lemon curd.
The tea was served at a perfect temperature; I could sip it immediately without burning my lips off. The apple tea was really fragrant and delicious. It wasn't overly fruity, like a juice, but had a nice natural sweetness.
I will report that all of the sandwiches were delicious, the scones were a bit dry but still delicious, and the desserts were hit or miss. The lobster sandwich was the most delicious; it had a bit of something spicy in it, which was immediately praised by my Korean-spice-loving tongue. The scones were good but almost too biscuit-y. D and I had tea at the Orangery in London and those scones were unbeatable so maybe we were just spoiled. British people just know how to make scones better than us. Some of the desserts were yummy - like the hazelnut napoleon - but macarons were dry and the sacher tortes were kind of stale. I suspect that it's because the desserts are all pre-made so they have time to dry out and get a bit stale.
I just love the geometry of this cucumber sandwich. It looks like a piece of art to me. I also really admire how they sliced the cucumbers and layered them to create those stripes. I'm also curious how they cut the sandwiches into triangles without having the cucumbers slide off. I'll have to experiment with my own cucumber sandwiches.
And here's a photo of my beautiful friend; I think she has a really nice smile. And here's me, looking at the menu.
So next time you're feeling a little fancy or British (or maybe fancy AND British) and you're in the tri-state area, put on a nice frock and head to the Plaza.