Like many of the luxury hotels in Manhattan, The Carlyle is rich with history.
Famous and influential people have stayed there. A few in particular have left their mark at the hotel. Ludwig Bemelmans for example, the author of the classic children’s book Madeline (“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines. Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines…”) lived at The Carlyle while painting murals for the hotel’s bar.
Another, Italian architect Renzo Mongiardino designed The Gallery, where you can have afternoon tea at The Carlyle.
The Carlyle is a hotel on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It’s walking distance to Central Park and several of museums on 5th Avenue called Museum Mile like the Metropolitan Museum of Art (where by the way, you can also have afternoon tea) and the Guggenheim.
The hotel is also neighbors to several designer shops on Madison Avenue. It’s also an easy 5-10 minute walk to the 77th street subway station.
Built in the 1930s, The Carlyle maintains an art deco style interior. But one part of the hotel where afternoon tea is served called The Gallery, is slightly different. The room was inspired by a Turkish palace’s dining room. If you google Topkapi Palace, you’ll see the walls are very similar.
There’s no view because there are no windows. Instead, The Gallery is sort of like a hallway where you can access the lobby, the Bemelmans Bar and The Carlyle Restaurant.
The only problem with this set up is people walking through The Gallery so it isn’t a place you can have a quiet conversation. Also, there are about six tables and each are relatively close to each other.
Whatever kind of tea you’re feeling, The Carlyle probably has it. Choose from herbal, fruity, oolong, and all sorts of black and green teas.
I ordered earl grey (loose leaf!).
There are three options for afternoon tea at The Carlyle. One is the traditional Afternoon Tea with savories, sweets and scones. Another is Imperial Tea which comes with everything in the Afternoon Tea in addition to a glass of champagne.
A third option is afternoon tea a la carte where you can order a pot of tea with an order of the savories, sweets and or scones. This review shows the traditional Afternoon Tea.
The Savory – (four varieties per person)
Four tea sandwiches including classic smoked salmon, cucumber, chicken salad and ham.
The Scone – (two scones per person)
Two raisin scones were served warm.
And was served with generous amounts of Devonshire cream and strawberry preserves.
The Sweet – (three varieties per person)
Miniature pastries included three tarts – blackberry with custard, chocolate and nuts and mango.
The pastries looked pretty but when taking it off the plate, each of them kept falling apart!
I was a bit disappointed with the food.
Food arrived on a three tiered afternoon tea tray with pastries on top, scones in the middle and savories on the bottom. An additional plate had the Devonshire cream and strawberry preserves.
The dark rimmed plates, cups and tea pots complemented the room’s dark color scheme.
Staff were attentive and served everything in a timely manner. They took time to explain what was on the afternoon tea tray. We had to ask for more hot water when necessary though.
It was also a little weird when it appeared as though one of the servers had to keep instructing another server about what to do quite loudly.
WiFi is available for guests of The Carlyle. You may be able to ask your server for a password to access the WiFi network.
Social Media Aspect
The Carlyle is on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. They post frequently on each platform and reply to comments and repost guests’ content.
Unfortunately, the food was a major disappointed, especially at $55 a person. As much as I liked The Gallery’s decor, it couldn’t make up for the price of the afternoon tea. Instead, I’d recommend going for their afternoon tea a la carte. Order a pot of tea and scones.
Also just a note that their website says a jacket is required, it didn’t seem like the case as there were diners in casual attire.
Cost: $55 per person
Tea Time: Daily 3-5:30 pm at The Gallery at The Carlyle
35 East 76th St.
New York, New York 10021