I love balance. Not too much and not too little of anything makes me happy, especially when it comes to food. I’m an advocate for that philosophy. But while this doesn’t necessarily apply to afternoon tea (well, vegetables are present… cucumber sandwiches? and fruit… lemon curd?), having tea doesn’t just mean food.
There’s the hotel, ambience, service and of course, the tea to consider. It seems complicated then, to have a balanced afternoon tea to my liking. And yes, I have high standards. (It’s important to get what you paid for.) So when all aspects come together, it’s worth talking about. Read on for a review of afternoon tea at The Peninsula New York and see how balance comes into play.
The Peninsula New York is on Fifth Avenue, where steps away from the front door are plenty of opportunities for shopping. Just a few minutes’ walk will take you to Central Park and a subway station that’ll conveniently take you to any part of the city.
The Gotham Lounge has a living room feel. It’s tucked away apart from the lobby area and entrance.
There are floor to ceiling windows which just allows light, since the view isn’t anything special, unless a view of another building excites you. Even then, there was construction going on outside so scaffolding was all you could see. Back inside, the room’s color scheme were dark browns and blues, with a pop of color from the pink orchids in the center.
Two tables for four, four tables for two and four tables for six were all occupied on a Saturday afternoon. We were given a table for six where the spot worth fighting for is the comfortable high back two seat sofa. Even with the full occupancy, we didn’t have to talk over each other and could still hear the soft jazzy music playing on the speakers.
Loose leaf black, green, white, herbal or Chinese teas (these come in sachets) are available. Two teas that are only available at Peninsula Hotels properties include The Peninsula Blend and The Peninsula Afternoon.
I of course stuck with a tea unique to the hotel which was also the same one I had while at The Peninsula Shanghai, The Peninsula Blend. From what I could remember, it tasted the same!
The Gotham Lounge at The Peninsula New York offers a Traditional Afternoon Tea, Champagne Afternoon Tea (with a glass of champagne), The Grand Afternoon Tea (with a bottle of champagne and an ounce of caviar for two at a hefty price… $395) and a Children’s Afternoon Tea (which I never could understand… kids, why have peanut butter when you can have smoked salmon?).
This review shows the Traditional Afternoon Tea.
The Savory – (four varieties per person)
Smoked Scottish organic salmon on pumpernickel bread, brie and lingonberry on cranberry walnut bread, roast beef with horseradish cream on whole grain bread and cucumber, cream cheese, mint on whole wheat bread.
It looked pretty and taste was reasonable.
The Scone – (two scones per person)
One original and one raisin. The original had sugar on top (which I’m not really a fan of) and both were strangely tall and too crumbly. But they did come warm!
Lemon curd, cream (not a clotted cream) and raspberry jam were served with the scones.
The Sweet – (3.5 varieties per person)
Chocolate and pistachio cakes, madeleines and one apple tart (to share?).
Food was served in a three tiered tray with white plates. Tea cups, pots and plates were also white and with the silverware being silver, it the whole presentation could either be interpreted as dull or classic. I’d go with classic.
There was one person serving all occupied tables, which was around seven at a time in the lounge. Everything was handled with care though and with the amount of tea goers at a time, it’s understandable that our tea wasn’t poured for us.
We were still told what each item was on the tea tray and were served with friendliness, making us feel like guests instead of mere customers. The manager came to ask how everything was and if we wanted more hot water, but we didn’t have our food or tea then.
No. WiFi is accessible for guests. (I’m sure you could ask for a code though, as I’ve been provided with one at other hotels.)
Social Media Aspect
The Peninsula New York is on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. They post deals and happenings across their social media platforms regularly and liked my photos on Instagram a few hours after. You can also follow The Peninsula Hotels main account on Twitter here.
There wasn’t anything that stood out to me, but neither was there anything I can really complain about. Overall, everything balanced out and came together nicely for a lovely afternoon. Be sure to make a reservation in advance for a weekend.
I chose The Peninsula NYC since I’ve been to their property in Shanghai and wanted to find if I’d enjoy it as much as I did there. It was a completely different experience but the Peninsula Blend tea was exactly the same!
Cost: $60 for Traditional Afternoon Tea (in this review)
Tea Time: Daily 2:30-5 pm at the Gotham Lounge
The Peninsula New York
700 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10019