high tea at Alice's Tea Cup with some young friends

continuing my project of readying self for arrival of invitation to Royal Wedding, decided to treat self to old-fashioned High Tea at Alice's Tea Cup.
The Alice's experience is best enjoyed in the company of 3- to 8-year old girls, and so I invited some young friends and their mum to join me. The older girl wore Hanna Andersen, the younger wore a very creative medley she had picked out herself (photo-shoot stylist in the making), I wore gray cashmere twinset, gray tweed pencil skirt, real pearls, sensible shoes, their mum wore described her outfit as "spillproof".
I'd been advised to make a reservation, and while reservations are nowhere near as difficult here as at, say, l'Astrance in Paris, or the American Girl Cafe on Fifth Avenue, we did not get our first choice of time. That said, however, when we arrived and identified selves, we were greeted with cries of joy (girls were thrilled, and so was I since I'd never been there before). The girls were offered Magic Fairy Dust, which turned out to be generous sprinkles of blue glitter, and pink organdie wings to help them fly upstairs to our table.
They accepted both graciously, and the hostess flew upstairs with us.
Alice's Tea Cup (there are several locations, we went to the one on the Upper East Side) is located in one of these narrow row houses that has front and back windows, but no side windows, so I was afraid it would be gloomy inside and frightening to the little girls, but not at all, it was very bright, and relentlessly cheerful. The crowd was: some family groups, some local business people having hearty lunches, and some couples (!) who apparently had decided they would not run into anyone they knew here. Of all things. Our table was set with vintage flowery china tea cups and luncheon plates for older generation, and very bright plastic ware for the young ladies. Here I will say that I decided the Alice's people know what they're doing when they got us seated immediately. Getting dressed up and getting to the restaurant is exciting enough; you don't want to then tell the hungry young that the next exciting thing we do is stand here and wait while other people get their tables.
Extremely varied and pleasing list of teas and infusions, including many suitable for the kids; each of us got her own little teapot. The High Tea consisted of a scone with preserves, choice of sandwich, and a dessert, all served up on little tiered servers. The scone was a large US-type scone (but good), the sandwiches were sandwiches, and the kids' dessert was chocolate mousse in conical bright plastic cups, topped with whipped cream and lots of different coloured sprinkles (or as Agatha Christie might say, Hundreds and Thousands?) The kids enthusiastically ate the desserts and stirred and sipped at their tea. Mum and I daintily nibbled at our sandwiches, which were quite hearty, and indeed an improvement on the classic wimpy tea sandwich.
When we left, everyone was still cheerful, and the girls were quite nice about giving back the wings. I am informed that the Magic Fairy Dust later washed out of hair and clothes with no trouble at all.

4 comments:

  1. Southern Belle Ph.D.April 22, 2011 at 8:21 AM

    What fun!!! Guess you are just about ready to head off to Jolly Old England as soon as the Royal Messenger arrives with your invite. You definitely wore an SBPhD outfit yesterday! Color and all... I went for High Tea on Waikiki when living in Hawaii many years ago. There you have to wear a hat...someone forgot to tell me. Had a very nice, long afternoon. Keep us posted...

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  2. I want to experience this! fairy dust wings and all- how magical...

    I went for high tea at the Orangerie in Kensington gardens in London several years back- it was a delightful experience and I wish there was more of that about. I do collect china teacups though, for the home experience (sans angel wings- maybe I'll wear a frilly something instead...)

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  3. I did make it clear that only the little ones got the Magic Fairy Dust and the Wings, didn't I? Right, then, back to working on my gala hat for you-know-what!

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  4. That messenger is cutting it really close! Do you have the outfit already picked up for the occasion? :)

    Thanks for the funny posts!

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