September is arguably the busiest time of year. Between getting back to work (no more summer Fridays!?) and NYFW, it’s near impossible to get a responsible amount of sleep, let alone relax. This month, we’re taking a cue from the Brits and treating ourselves to an afternoon tea.
Dating back to 19th century Britain, the art of tea is steeped in elegance and camaraderie, two of our personal favorite things. Tea is also a staple in many Eastern cultures, including China and Japan. From its origins to today, enjoying a cup of tea has become a calming ritual. With that in mind, we’re rounding up the best places to slow down and sip for awhile. Whether it’s taking an afternoon work meeting to a tea house or replacing brunch with a high tea, step away from your schedule with a visit to these NYC spots.
If modern luxe vibes are what you seek, head to tea at the Crosby Street Hotel. (THE STAYCATIONERS can attest that it properly fueled a day of PJs and pampering.) Grab your brunch pals for a leisurely afternoon sipping in the Crosby Street Bar, or outdoors when the weather is nice. The hotel offers something for every palate, from their take on a traditional English spread to an indulgent Champagne tea, and even a detox menu full of gluten-, dairy-, egg- and sugar-free fare that would make Gwyneth Paltrow proud.
Location: 79 Crosby Street
Prince Tea House is Brooklyn’s contemporary take on tea. This under-the-radar spot caters to a sweet tooth, with exotic-looking pastries, green tea desserts, and milk tea on the menu. The space is casual yet intimate, making it a great date spot. The luxurious waffles alone are enough to make us willing to hop on the L train. Dessert for breakfast, anyone?
Location: 6122 7th Avenue, Brooklyn
For the ultimate high tea experience, look no further than Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon at the Inn at Irving Place. Lady Mendl’s boasts Victorian architecture that will transport you into a Jane Austen novel. Stop by Wednesday through Sunday for a traditional five-course pre-fixe menu. The intimate space makes for a charming afternoon (and an enviable Instagram story, what else?).
Location: 56 Irving Place
You won’t find matcha at a traditional tea party — but the green tea abounds at East Village haven Cha-an. Tea is a staple of Japanese hospitality, and the teahouse’s welcoming interior makes you feel at home for an hour or two. Though their specialties are matchas and senchas, Cha-an offers several teas from around the world. Their prix-fixe only runs $22-24, and the teahouse offers toast with toppings such as salmon and red bean butter that will make you forget about your love affair with avocado.
Location: 230 East 9th Street
For a morning or afternoon tea, try Bosie Tea Parlor. The West Village spot is homey, offering a temporary escape from the craziness of the city. Helmed by a French pastry chef, the parlor is famous for colorful macarons — Ladureé who? — as well as savory fare. If you’re short on time or forget to make a reservation for tea service, you can get a taste of the experience with a seasonal breakfast, lunch or dinner. With the cozy location, Bosie Tea Parlor is sips away from becoming one of our new favorite haunts.
Location: 10 Morton Street
Featured image by Tory Rust