“Few hours in life are more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as Afternoon Tea.” – Henry James
Yes, that is very true. Especially at the Ritz Carlton New York. Find out why…
Ritz Carlton New York Central Park is located on 59th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenue in Manhattan. This is the area where many luxury hotels are located (like The Pierre and The Plaza) and facing Central Park.
When you enter the Ritz Carlton New York, you’ll walk straight into the Star Lounge, where afternoon tea is served. To your left is the reception desk and to the right, elevators. It’s a small entrance so you won’t be lost.
Since the Star Lounge is on the first floor, there are no windows or view of Central Park. It’s dimly lit and a bit dark but the lighting is actually perfect. You won’t get any lights shining directly on your face and instead, on the table where you can see your food.
The atmosphere is especially nice when it’s hot outside (like it was when I visited) and it’s calm with classical music coming from speakers and just a few tables.
The tea served at Ritz Carlton New York is by tea company, Tealeaves which is a tea supplier for luxury hotels around the world (like Four Seasons St. Petersburg!). They are also known to make special blends that you can only find at that particular hotel (like at Four Seasons Hong Kong!).
Ritz Carlton New York has their own blend by Tealeaves, The Ritz Carlton Blend which is a blend of white and green tea.
I’m not a huge fan of green so I had the T Blend, a blend of black teas.
The pots (made by Wedgewood!) are huge. However, the Ritz Carlton New York has pot warmers that servers put the tea pots on after pouring your tea.
This review showcases the Traditional Afternoon Tea package. For the month that I went, the usual assortment of petit fours were replaced with something different…
The Savory – (five per person)
Egg Salad with Black Truffle on Pain de Mie, Chicken Salad with Tarragon on Seven-Grain, Cucumber and Dill with Greek Yogurt Crème Fraîche on Pumpernickel, Lobster and Caviar Roll with Yuzu Aioli on Mini Brioche Bun, Rosemary Ham with Dijon and Sour Pickle on Brioche Bun.
Savory items were normal- you can find similar things when having afternoon tea all over the world. Yet, they were satisfying.
The Scone – (one scone per person)
One gigantic raisin and sugar topped scone with Devonshire cream, lemon curd and strawberry jam from a jar.
This was unique in that I’ve never had a scone that big before at an afternoon tea. It was very heavy and too sweet unlike an English scone. Though it was served warm.
The Sweet – (five items per person)
Instead of the usual petit fours, cupcakes were served during the month of my visit.
Chocolate (my favorite!), strawberry shortcake, lemon curd, orange and red velvet (the cream cheese frosting was really good!)
I love the Wedgewood plates, tea pot and cups. As for the food, the savories arrived on a two tiered tray and the sweets on a similar tray with an additional third tier.
The server came with the scones and served it on the plates.
The Ritz Carlton New York has the best service I’ve had for afternoon tea in New York. Everyone is friendly and what makes it stand out is that they actually pour tea for you!
I didn’t even pour my own tea as the server always made sure to refill.
Yes. Connect easily to the lobby’s free and fast WiFi.
Social Media Aspect
Though the Ritz Carlton New York does not have it’s own individual social media accounts, the main Ritz Carlton accounts on both Twitter and Instagram replied to all my posts mentioning them.
I loved it! It could be that this was my first afternoon tea in a while, but I really was pleased with the service, presentation and ambience. The food was just ok- the scone was not a favorite as it was too sweet and gigantic. But everything else made up for it.
The Plaza is practically neighbors with the Ritz Carlton. I know, it’s The Plaza. But I’m going to go as far as recommending the Ritz Carlton over The Plaza for afternoon tea in New York City.
Cost: $55 for Traditional Afternoon Tea (in this review)
Tea Time: Daily 2 – 4 pm at Star Lounge (Please note you must make a reservation!)
The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park
50 Central Park South
New York, New York 10019 USA