Afternoon tea is served daily from 2pm at the Crosby Street Hotel. Hotel guests may opt to take tea in the private drawing room, and others simply dropping by will find a cozy spot inside the hotel's Bar and Terrace. The price of $34 per person is about what you can expect at most Manhattan hotels' teas—where you pay just as much for the Soho setting as you do the food.
Here, the tea is by Harney and Sons, a varied selection grouped by classic loose leaf, infusions, and specialty teas. The tea is steeped to order, but leaves remain in the jar, making for one perfectly brewed cup and many other over-steeped affairs.
The entire tea set is delivered upon three tiers, with gigantic warm scones at the base—one plain cream, and the other bright with lemon zest and cranberries. Plush and almost muffin-like, they're tasty but far from traditional. Reach up to the top and spoon on the clotted cream, orange marmalade, and chunky strawberry preserves, all house-made. The crustless finger sandwiches are just what you'd expect, though none stand out; slivers of a classic butter and cucumber are set alongside egg salad, dill and smoked salmon, and roast beef with horseradish.
Sweets are the strongest suit here—the middle tier dominated by a plump, fine-crumbed red velvet cupcake with a silky crown of cream cheese frosting. (Fork and knife required.) A buttery cocoa tart shell serves as the base for passionfruit curd and a handful of fresh berries, and a smoky caramel ices the peanut butter mousse and chocolate brownie combination. The sweets are playful, comically large. Come not for a fine white-gloved afternoon tea service, but rather a relaxed, low-key tea where you are welcome to linger for hours or break out a book if dining alone. A gentleman with a laptop and martini to my left, ladies gossiping over salads on my right; not a tea room, but a beautiful room in which to take tea.
Crosby Street Hotel
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