Tourists from all over the world have descended upon New York City to experience the holiday season at its very finest. After all, no city does “holiday” better than The Big Apple.
All told, more than five million tourists are expected to visit “the city that never sleeps” during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Right after the giant balloons from the Macy’s Day Parade have been stored away, some of the world’s most iconic department stores and hotels began their holiday preparations in earnest. These include festive decorations throughout hotel lobbies and dazzling storefront displays. Macy’s Christmas windows attract, on average, 8,000 to 10,000 people an hour, so be prepared to battle the crowds.
Tourists are well advised to take a respite from the hustle and bustle by enjoying a relaxing afternoon tea at the luxurious Lowell Hotel. Located at 28 East 63rd Street on a quiet, tree-lined street off Madison Avenue, the Lowell is in the heart of New York’s most exclusive and fashionable Upper East Side. A refined 74 room hotel, The Lowell welcomes guests with a serene residential atmosphere reminiscent of a private townhouse.
Its exquisite Pembroke Room is a secluded oasis far from the maddening crowd. Tucked away on the hotel’s second floor, this peaceful setting takes guests back in time to an era of grace and civility. The striking decor of this intimate room is accented by plush chairs, heavily draped windows, eye catching artwork, lovely potted orchards, crystal chandeliers, and adorned mirrors. Time is at one’s disposal during afternoon tea as the hours can easily slip away from you.
In celebration of the festive season, The Lowell will offer Holiday Teas such as a Noir Parfume Black Tea, a Vert Parfume Green Tea as well as a delightful Tisane de Noel. The black Tea leaves offer traditional flavors of orange, caramel and pineapple and a hint of maraschino cherry, infused with orange peels and bits of fruits. The Green Tea features hints and aromas of orange, cinnamon, vanilla, apple, almond and ginger. A Tisane de Noel is the ideal decaffeinated option, featuring a blend of cinnamon, cocoa, liquor ice, pink peppercorn and a hint of ginger and pepper.
Other holiday teas include Jardin Bleu, a blend of black teas sourced from Ceylon and China, flavored with rhubarb and wild strawberry and scattered with cornflower petals to lend a fruity note to the infusion. Or sip a brimming cup of Anichai, a Chai black tea perfectly blended with cardamom, ground ginger and cloves, red berries and assorted Indian spices. This tea is full bodied and delicately spiced.
Scrumptious homemade scones with lemon curd and Devonshire cream along with Petit Fours, assorted fruit tarts, French pastries and macaroons are available. An assortment of seasonal English tea sandwiches include cucumber and dill, ham and cheddar apple chutney, turkey and cranberry mayonnaise, filet mignon with chipotle mayonnaise and Scottish smoked salmon with caviar. The special Holiday Afternoon Tea is available Wednesday thru Sunday at $75 per person from 2 to 5.30 p.m.
Although the tradition of afternoon tea may have begun in England, The Pembroke Room’s interpretation is surely one to savor.