I’ve had the Baccarat Hotel on my afternoon tea to do list for a long time. It’s one of the more pricier ones in the city, so I thought I’d save it for a special occasion. So when my mom’s birthday came around, I made a reservation.
I have mixed feelings about this afternoon tea. I want to say I didn’t enjoy it. But I feel like I can’t say that because of the price I paid. Anyway, I’ll leave you with this review and let you decide if you’d like to try for yourself!
As a traveler visiting NYC, Baccarat Hotel would be a great place to stay. If modern art is your thing, the hotel is a neighbor of the Modern Museum of Art (MOMA) and just about five streets away from Central Park, three streets from Rockefeller Center and nearby the stores of Fifth Avenue. It’s all the need to visit locations on a visit to the city.
Upon entering the hotel, you need to take an elevator that brings you straight into the Grand Salon where afternoon tea is served. When I was there, most guests were having lunch, which is also served in the same room.
Baccarat is a fine crystal company from France selling things from tableware, decor and jewelry. At afternoon tea, not only do you get to use the Baccarat products, but the entire Grand Salon seems to play off of the crystal theme. The otherwise boring view is covered with a glass crystal like wall. And don’t forget to look up at the chandeliers.
Baccarat Hotel serves Thes Mariage Freres teas and each of the tea packages comes with a tea recommendation. The package that I had best paired with Earl Grey, but as usual I wanted to try a tea unique to the hotel.
The Baccarat Blend is a blended rooibos, which smells delicious with a “melodious fragrance of red fruits and precious spices” crowned by vanilla. This is a caffeine free option, which I was looking for. Other than the blend, there’s also green and black teas and a few other Chinese teas that require a supplement of $6.
There are a few afternoon tea packages available at the Baccarat Hotel. The first is King Louis XV for $65 per person or $75 with a glass of champagne. This package is the smallest one with fewer varieties.
There’s also the Tsar Nicholas II. At $400 for two, you get 30g of Petrossian caviar and half a bottle of champagne along with some accoutrements. Next is Prince of Wales, shown in this review. For $80, or $110 with a glass of champagne, this is a traditional English tea with scones, savories and sweets.
The Savory – (five varieties per person)
On the menu are cucumber with cream cheese foam and grapefruit, Vadouvan Courgette presse with brie and apple, lamb Botifarra tartlette with Romesco, “peas and rice” with snapper crudo and tomato, and foie gras gougere with strawberry rooibos jam. All the items definitely looked cool, colorful and were bite sized.
To be completely honest, I felt like a some of the flavors were a little off putting.
The Scone – (two scones per person)
One plain and one fruit scone came with a clotted cream and two flavors of preserves.
The Sweet – (four varieties per person)
Raspberry rose charlotte, tartlette aux fruits, baba au rhum ecotique, and religieus des tuileries.
Again, very pretty, but not one that I can say was my absolute favorite.
Crystal, crystal, crystal! One thing I really loved about this afternoon tea was the presentation. The tea came in plain white pots and cups but the main afternoon tea items came in a beautiful crystal tray (which by the way, retails for $890 on the Baccarat website).
No doubt it’s a really Instagrammable moment. Also loved the tumblers for water, which aren’t $890.
Servers were polite. No complaints.
For guests only. Though you can probably ask for a code.
Social Media Aspect
The Baccarat Hotel can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They are relatively active on Instagram and share lots of guests’ images.
I’ve been to more afternoon teas than I count around the world. So I’m comparing this to a lot of experiences. And for the price of this afternoon tea, honestly it didn’t live up to expectations. I’m disappointed with the overall experience.
I have heard though that they are adding a new package to the menu that I’m going to try soon… so update to come!
Cost: $80 for Prince of Wales package
Tea Time: 1 – 4 pm Wednesday – Sunday at the Grand Salon at Baccarat Hotel
28 W 53rd St (b/w 5th and 6th Ave.)
New York, NY 10019