Few ceremonies are held in greater esteem than afternoon tea, a ritual that developed during the Victorian era. The ceremony jumped the Atlantic and it is now highly fashionable to enjoy champagne tea in the best restaurants in New York. In London, the tradition is still strong and many British people enjoy taking their champagne afternoon tea. Some restaurants and hotels offer the perfect luxurious environment and atmosphere for indulging in such a great pleasure.
The Ritz, London – For the Quintessential British Experience
Afternoon tea has been a dear tradition at The Ritz since the hotel first opened in 1906. With a heritage of over 100 years, the Ritz offers the quintessential British experience, complete with appropriate aristocratic setting, a formal dress code, musical entertainment and of course, excellent loose leaf tea.
Tea is served daily at 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm, 5.30pm, and 7.30pm in the beautifully decorated Palm Court room. Guests can choose between 18 types of loose leaf tea, including an original blend called Ritz Royal English tea. If clients choose the champagne tea service, they will also receive a glass of champagne per person along with freshly cut finger sandwiches, as it is tradition. Afternoon tea could not be complete without delicious authentic English cakes and pastry.
The Ritz holds champagne tea in great esteem and thus, it enforces a strict dress code. Gentlemen are required to wear jacket and tie; jeans, sportswear and trainers are forbidden.
Every day between 11:30am to 9pm, guests will be entertainment by the hotel’s pianist, harpist and string quartet. Their renditions of classic and contemporary tunes will complete the authentic noble and aristocratic atmosphere, that The Ritz Hotel considers essential for enjoying the best afternoon champagne tea.
The Brown’s Hotel – Queen’s Victoria Go-to Place for Afternoon Tea
Among London’s many historic hotels, few have the honor to have been reviewed by Queen Victoria herself. The Brown’s Hotel was the Queen’s favorite place for afternoon tea and in keeping with tradition, the hotel offers an excellent champagne tea service. Guests can chose from many high quality loose leaf teas, paired with a glass of "R" de Ruinart Champagne.
Champagne tea is served daily from 12pm to 6.30pm in The English Tea Room. The lounge is elegantly decorated and the heavy oak furniture gives it an aristocratic atmosphere. The hotel is a hotspot for afternoon tea enthusiasts so reservations are a must.
The hotel offers a healthier and lighter version of the traditional afternoon tea. The menu is made out of low-carb, low-sugar and low-fat snacks that are both light and satisfying. The open roast chicken sandwiches with guacamole spread are savory and healthy. Instead of scones, the delicious treats will be dark chocolate and yoghurt-topped orange cakes – these pair excellent with a fruit-flavored tea.
The Russian Tea Room, New York – Where British and Russian Culture Blend
If there is one thing that the Russians and British have in common, then there is their love for tea. The Russian Tea Room, apart from favorite traditional Russian meals also offers one of the best afternoon tea menus in New York. The restaurant has always been a big part of New York and thanks to famous movies like Manhattan and When Harry Met Sally. The hotel was also the former employer of Madonna in 1982.
The lush interior offers a sparkling, luxurious atmosphere than what you might find in London hotels, but when it comes to the serving, the Russian Tea Room will not disappoint you.
Afternoon tea is served here daily from 2pm to 4:30pm. The snacks selection is very diverse. You can have anything from curried chicken salad with raisins and pecans to caviar or NY smoked sturgeon with dill and sour cream. The menu does not have a many types of teas, but there are enough to satisfy any taste from traditional English Breakfast Tea to Rooibos Chai. The hotel excels when picking the champagne. Afternoon champagne tea here is served with a glass of Pierre Jouet or Grand Brut Moët & Chandon Rosé.
The Plaza Hotel, New York – High-Class Champagne Tea
Take a break from the rush on Fifth Avenue and enjoy a cup of tea and a glass of champagne in the Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel, one of the best places for afternoon tea. Luxurious and with an impeccable service, the Plaza Hotel offers the authentic high-class British experience in a modern and American style.
The hotel puts a strong focus on its tea service. Guests have multiple options. Early Grey (bergamot, cornflower), Geisha green tea (cherry blossom) and Mekong black tea (pear, mint) are just a few of the loose leaf types of tea that are served. The scones are always served fresh out of the oven, smelling and tasting delicious. Champagne and champagne cocktails are a must and pair excellent with their afternoon tea selections.
Tea is served daily from 12:00pm to 5:00pm. The hotel offers a special Eloise tea menu for children, inspired by the hotel’s very own heroine. The menu is rich in cakes and delicious treats that will make everyone feel happy, cozy and war.
Hold your own high-class afternoon tea party
If you do not feel like going out, why not invite some friends over for afternoon tea? After all, afternoon tea is about enjoying the company of your dearest friends in an intimate setting, where you can talk freely and feel comfortable.
Give your party a twist and add a glass of champagne to the table. The Lobmeyr “Patrician” Champagne flute set will set the perfect tone for your afternoon tea party. These champagne flutes have been mouth-blown in wooden moulds and go great with chinaware and tea sets. A good flute set is essential for making your afternoon tea a success.
Afternoon champagne tea will always make you feel comfortable, cozy and a bit spoiled.