I’ve always loved afternoon tea. From the tiny sandwiches to the cute desserts to the hours spent sitting around a table chatting with your friends, there’s just something so relaxing, and special, about it.
Greg, on the other hand, had never experienced afternoon tea. Not exactly shocking, I know, but still something to be remedied. So on a sunny Saturday afternoon I took him to an afternoon tea spot I hadn’t tried yet, Kings’ Carriage House.
Kings’ Carriage House is a townhouse on the Upper East Side that’s been converted into a compact restaurant. Inside are several small dining rooms that each have their own decor and style. It’s a cute idea, but while the owners were going for a shabby-chic look, in actuality the place felt more shabby than chic.
The host led us upstairs and into the Hunt Room, which is covered in a mural meant to look like the Irish countryside.
We each selected our teas, and when they arrived I loved how whimsical the teapots were.
The tea was delicious, and our server did a great job of always making sure our kettles were full.
And I also loved how the tea coordinated with my dress!
Then the food arrived. The mini sandwiches were not much to look at (usually they’re more creatively displayed) but they tasted good enough.
The scones, on the other hand, were really dry, and I was surprised we were only served one type of jam. Most afternoon teas in the city offer more of a variety.
Pro tip: scone is pronounce to rhyme with “gone” not “bone.”
And the desserts were fine, nothing amazing.
On our way out, we had time to notice the Mandalay Room. This is the prettiest room at Kings’ Carriage House, and I was disappointed we weren’t sat here. Didn’t they know it coordinated better with my dress?!
If you come to Kings’ Carriage House for afternoon tea, be sure to ask to be seated in the Mandalay Room!
As we headed out, Greg asked, “Is that it?!”
I’m not sure what exactly he was expecting when it came to afternoon tea, but yes Greg, that’s it!
As far as afternoon teas go, I wouldn’t recommend Kings’ Carriage House. The place feels run down, and the food served with the tea wasn’t all that great. There are much better afternoon teas in New York City, like this one, this one, and this one.
But I suppose if you’re trying to teach younger children about afternoon tea, this would be the best place to do it. It’s not very crowded, not at all stuffy, and it costs about half of what other afternoon teas cost in the city.
And one last thing before I sign off: “afternoon tea” and “high tea” cannot be used interchangeably! Afternoon tea is what I just described, a classy mid-afternoon activity with scones, tea sandwiches and cakes. High tea, on the other hand, is a traditionally working-class supper of meat, fish, and eggs served with tea. Workers used to eat it at a high table at the end of the workday, hence the term “high tea.”
Now you know! And if you have any other tea questions, just ask Greg. He’s the expert now!