I was introduced to the concept of Afternoon Tea while traveling. It was in a hotel in Malaysia. I found the concept of eating at 3 pm a little strange… it was too early to be dinner and too late to be lunch. But I remember having lots of great conversations with relatives.
A few years later while living like a local in Uruguay and Argentina, having a mid meal aka afternoon tea everyday was a must because they typically eat dinner at around 9 pm or later.
Whether afternoon tea is meant for having great conversations or to eat simply because you’re hungry, I can say afternoon tea was meant to be enjoyed at the Mandarin Oriental New York Lobby Lounge.
When asked what I wanted to do for my birthday, I thought… I’m in NYC there’s so much to do where do I even start?! Then I thought about the Fairmont managed the Plaza Hotel. I’ve heard that one of those things you have to do in NYC is have afternoon tea at the Plaza Hotel.
But then I thought if the Plaza Hotel has afternoon tea, shouldn’t other hotels have it too? And that’s how I found out about afternoon tea at the Mandarin Oriental.
When you arrive at the Mandarin Oriental, you’ll go straight to the 35th floor, where the lobby is located. It may seem strange but you’ll forget you even thought that as soon as you see the view from the lobby which overlooks Central Park, Columbus Circle and the Manhattan skyline.
You must call in advance to reserve a table for afternoon tea at the Lobby Lounge. And I was thankful when we were led to a table right by the window!
It really is possible to just sit and stare out the window all day. People walking around and the iconic yellow taxis driving around Columbus Circle never stopped.
But I couldn’t stare out the window for that long. It was tea time!
The Mandarin Oriental New York has a selection of teas from oolong to green and herbal teas. I went with a Mandarin Oriental Signature Tea called Rose of New York (rose, because it’s the official flower of New York state) which is blended exclusively for Mandarin Oriental New York.
I love tea and Rose of New York didn’t disappoint.
The Mandarin Oriental hotel group started its flagship property in Hong Kong in 1963. There are now Mandarin Oriental hotels in 25 countries all over the world but through their afternoon tea, they bring out a little of their Asian heritage.
Our first course included warm signature ginger scones which are baked fresh daily. They were brought with cream and marmalade to enjoy with.
Next came four tea sandwiches per person. They apparently use locally sourced (in New York) ingredients to make these sandwiches.
After enjoying the scones and sandwiches, came desserts! Along with our towers of dessert goodies, I was given a birthday surprise- a cheesecake! It was delicious along with the Asian inspired desserts.
This afternoon tea experience is $48 per person and is available from 2:30 to 4:30 daily.
The experience of a view and delicious food makes having afternoon tea at the Mandarin Oriental New York Lobby Lounge well worth it.
Mandarin Oriental New York
80 Columbus Circle New York, New York 10023