Back in 2015, I invited a few friends to join me at afternoon tea as a way to celebrate Christmas together before everyone headed home for the holidays. It was so much fun that it I knew right away it would become a tradition (here’s the proof)! And it has, with my hosting afternoon teas every December since that date.
This year was my fifth event, and I eagerly put on my prescribed dress code: a festive holiday dress and heels!
Then my friends joined me at the Crosby Street Hotel in Nolita for holiday afternoon tea!
Some New York City hotels go all out for the holidays, draping themselves in Christmas lights and decor. The Crosby Street Hotel is unfortunately much less festive, although there was a nod to the season here and there, and, luckily, a tree.
I was joined by Marisa, Ann, Mary Elizabeth, and Jess.
As well as Kendall, Nicole, Lauren, and Steph! We laughed at how perfectly we’d accidentally coordinated, with three ladies in red, three ladies in green, and three ladies in black.
We spilled the tea (colloquially) and sipped tea (literally) while catching up on the latest updates… and by updates, I mean gossip.
We ended up waiting awhile for our food, so the server brought us a round of champagne as an apology.
The sandwiches weren’t that amazing to look at, but there was a warm baked-brie sandwich with pomegranate which I loved, as well as a truffle egg salad sandwich which was also delicious. So delicious, in fact, that we asked for and received another round of them!
The scones were on point.
And, while I didn’t eat much dessert (I filled up on those truffle egg salad sandwiches!) I did really enjoy the mini cheesecake.
The food offerings at the Crosby Street Hotel were good. It wasn’t the best afternoon tea I’ve had, but nowhere near the worst, either. And it is one of the more affordable afternoon teas in New York City, which I also appreciated.
But I was disappointed that the “festive” afternoon tea the hotel advertised wasn’t particularly festive. Nothing about the experience felt Christmassy, and when you’re looking for a holiday tea, you’re looking for a magical ambiance.
As always, though, we had a lot of fun! Especially when we moved into the gift exchange portion of the event!
Stealing is encouraged in this game, and the ladies were especially vicious, which warmed my heart – ha!
The two most sought-after gifts were a pair of pearl earrings (which the person who brought tried to steal back… get it, Nicole!) and a fur stole, which was stolen so many times and ultimately ended up in very deserving hands… mine.
Do I recommend holiday afternoon tea at the Crosby Street Hotel? No, I don’t.
But do I recommend hosting a Christmas afternoon tea for your friends? Yes, absolutely! So you can plan accordingly, my three favorite places for afternoon tea around the holidays are:
And regardless of where you choose, make sure to pick a place with a Christmas tree! Because are you and your friends even dressed up for the holidays if you don’t have pictures in front of the tree?!
Merry Christmas, ladies!
And Merry Christmas, Wanderlust in the City readers!
To find out more information on afternoon tea at the Crosby Street Hotel, click here.
P.S. My dress is by Carmen Marc Valvo. You can shop the designer here.