Afternoon tea is typically known as something very British, but today I opted for a taste of of this in New York. During my time in the big apple, I became accustomed to a daily slice of pizza, and thought it was high time for a more “dainty” lunch. I find it quite delightful to be served decedent sweet and savoury tastes on a three-stand tier, alongside drinking endless cups of tea. My search led me to Alice’s teacup.
The tearoom was opened in 2001 by two enthusiastic sisters and is located on the ground floor of a pre-war brownstone building. I am sure the name gives it away but Alice’s teacup is all about Alice and her wonderland adventure from the world famous Lewis Carroll novel. The décor is enchanting and innocent, complete with fairy wings for your little ones to play dress up whilst eating. Within the glass tables were all things Alice including dolls, books and even a Cheshire cat grinning at you if you look closely enough.
I chose to eat “The Nibbler” from the menu, which translates from wonderland language to your choice of one scone, one sandwich, assorted cookies and a pot of tea. This is a great way to sample a mix of the menu if your taste buds are torn between sweet and savoury like mine are so often.
Although I am biased towards a cup of English breakfast tea, I do also love to try tea from different origins. After browsing the vast selection of over 140 on offer, I chose a pot of Alice’s house tea. This is a house blend of black tea married with rose petals, Indian black vanilla and Japanese green tea, and was delicious. I highly recommend you try this smooth, delicate blend. The brew is made from double filtered water, which really makes a difference. The loose tea is available to purchase, should you wish to drink a cup of tea outside Alice's world. I bought enough loose tea for 20 cups of this very drinkable blend to enjoy at home.
A three tiered stand arrived to the table with charming mismatched patterned china. Although not quite enough for the entire mad hatters tea party, there was certainly enough for one. I am often defeated by afternoon tea and rarely finish. I now realise that amongst the indulging, this is due to drinking so many cups of tea in one round!
I chose the delicious homemade pumpkin scone, served warm, accompanied with sweet berry preserve and thick cream served on the side.
The middle tier was a fragrant curried chicken salad sandwich, made with celery, red onion, crisp granny smith apples, tomato slices and tangy marinated chicken served on semolina raison bread. The heartiness was a pleasant surprise as there was not a crustless cucumber finger sandwich in sight.
True to my prediction, I did not have any room left to attempt the third tier cookie selection. Upon my request these were whisked away and wrapped in a pink paper bag for me to enjoy the remains of "the nibbler" later that evening.