On assignment for High Tea Society, I had the opportunity to review afternoon tea at the Gotham Lounge at The Peninsula New York.
This was the first time I’d been to a place for afternoon tea twice. The first time I went was about a year ago (you can read the review here) and I’m happy to say afternoon tea has been improving.
It was an adventure to get to the hotel, located in a prime location on Fifth Avenue. It happened to be St. Patrick’s Day, when Fifth Avenue is closed for paraders. That meant two things as I was walking down Fifth Avenue from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One, I was able to have glimpses of the parade. And two, there were times I had to go back and forth between avenues and crowds upon crowds of people, so it took a very long time.
I like to walk. A lot. So that walk wouldn’t usually be too bad. But for reference, walking from the MET to The Peninsula isn’t recommended if you’re on a short schedule or don’t like to walk.
I could finally breathe and relax from the craziness outside once I got into The Peninsula. The Gotham Lounge, where tea is served, is located up the stairs and to the right upon entering the hotel.
With only about seven tables and a few seats by the bar and soft classical and jazz music playing on the speakers, the lounge is intimate and classy. You can find people having business meetings, tourists (I saw one sleeping), families with young well-behaved kids and me.
And back to that sleeping tourist… I didn’t think afternoon tea was that boring.
Mighty Leaf Tea provides a variety of black, green and herbal teas for The Peninsula New York.
My recommendation though is to try one of two blends unique to The Peninsula hotels: The Peninsula Blend and The Peninsula Afternoon. As far as I know, they serve these at all of their hotels around the world. I had The Peninsula Blend at their Shanghai hotel, but went for earl grey this time around.
I had the Traditional Afternoon Tea. Other options include Champagne Afternoon Tea (with a glass of champagne), The Grand Afternoon Tea (with caviar), Children’s Afternoon Tea (Rice Krispie’s, chocolate chip cookie).
The Savory – (four varities per person)
Honestly the first time I went for tea at The Peninsula, the sandwiches looked kind of sloppy. I’m happy to report they were better this time around.
Finely cut cucumber sandwich.
The Scone – (two scones per person)
One raisin and one plain scone are served with a dollop of lemon curd, Devonshire cream and raspberry preserve.
The last time I went, the scones were tall and just overall looked really weird. So again, I’m happy to report that wasn’t the case this time around.
The Sweet – (five varieties per person)
Pastries and desserts were different than the first time. My favorites were the chocolate items, a The Peninsula New York branded dark chocolate truffle and a hazelnut chocolate cake.
The Traditional Afternoon Tea set came on a typical tea stand with three tiers and matching white tea pots (which were updated since I last went) and cups.
One thing that stayed the same this time was the service. The staff is friendly and our server was happy to answer any questions and even went as far as showing me the bag of tea filled with tea leaves that they used.
Ask you server for a code to access WiFi at the Gotham Lounge.
Social Media Aspect
The Peninsula New York is active on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. They frequently post on all channels and repost guests’ content on Instagram.
All in all, I’m glad the experience this time around at The Peninsula was better food wise. I hear they are getting a new pastry chef, so I’ll have to visit again.
Cost: $65 for one Traditional Afternoon Tea
Tea Time: Daily 11 – 6 pm at the Gotham Lounge at The Peninsula New York
The Peninsula New York
700 Fifth Avenue (55th Street)
New York, NY 10019