Considering that it's not possible to hop over the "pond" to London, anytime me and my gang get an inkling for this British specialty, I took it upon myself to go on an Afternoon tea expedition, right here on Long Island.
The findings were delightfully pleasing and I can assuredly recommend four Afternoon Tea dining experiences that passed the persnickety and discerning expectations of my little trio, and hope you will give them a try when you are in the mood to engage in this English tradition!
230 Merrick Rd, Rockville Centre, NY * (516) 208-8521
I've eaten here in the past, dining on their delicious salads and scones, but my most recent visit, which included my girls, was exclusively for Chat Noir's tea service.
The tea menu is filled with a variety of black, green, fruit and herbal selections. It has become a tradition when having afternoon tea, that each of us order a different blend so we can all share. Blood orange (fruit tea), Cinnamon-Chocolate (black tea) and Green Almond (green tea) were our choices. While I rarely take milk in my tea, it tasted delicious in the cinnamon chocolate.
Our server was polite and accommodating, as was the hostess, who was exceptionally friendly and welcoming!
Tea Service: $22.75 per person
Vegetarian & Vegan Available
GARDEN CITY HOTEL
45 7th St, Garden City, NY * (516) 747-3000
My daughters and I felt like we were on a food adventure, tasting and trying each of the perfectly designed and prepared, aesthetic works of pastry art that adorned our display tower! Savory sandwiches included Minted Cucumber, Roast Turkey with Cranberry Orange Aioli Roasted Pear, Brie and Walnuts.
Traditional Tea Service: $45 per person
Vegetarian, Vegan, Glutin-Free, Paleo and Plant-Based Available Upon Request
ROBINSON'S TEA ROOM
97 Main St, Stony Brook, NY * (631) 751-1232
Relaxed and full of quaint shabby-chic decor, this tea-house is a must-visit for a cheery and informal afternoon of tea and eats. Most endearing are the numerous teapots, vessels and accents adorning the intimate interior space.
Our visit to Stony Brook was rather last minute and although I did not have advanced reservations, they were able to fit us in with only a day's advance notice. The wait staff was quite friendly and personable and even took on the role of photographer, snapping pics of us!
Food-wise, the assortment is terrific! A choice of scone, clotted cream and raspberry jam along with finger sandwiches filled with egg salad, and cucumber and garden spread were accompanied by seasoned chicken salad phyllo and Spinach & Cheddar Quiche presented beautifully and tasting equally luscious.
Kelsey did manage to steal one of my mini spinach and cheddar quiches, which she devoured! The choice of tea was not easy at all, as there are 40 different varieties. In the end, I went with English Breakfast - a traditional favorite!
British Afternoon Tea Service: $28 Per person
Children's Tea Service: $19 Per child
SECRET GARDEN TEA CAFE
225 Main St, Port Jefferson, NY * (631) 476-8327
Established seven years ago by a mom and daughter duo, Katie, the cafe and shoppe manager, and her mom, Carol, the creative genius behind the recipes and cooking, it is one of the finest tea services I have ever had.
The fantasy begins upon entering the Victorian-themed cafe-shoppe, clad with floral bouquets, lovely adorned tables, and charming china. Guests are escorted to their table and offered the opportunity to visit the hat room where they are welcome to try on and wear a hat of choice during their dining experience, in the tradition of English tea time. Although my girls were not inclined to do so, I gladly partook in finding a hat of my choice!
I was most struck by the original spin given to each of the food items served, both in terms of their miniature size as well as their colorful preparation and presentation. The edibles were a perfect balance of sweet and savory. Every delicacy was its own specialty, and the thought and effort that went into each one was obvious, only topped by the exquisite flavor and taste.
Our service included two types of scones, an assortment of berries, a delectable raspberry mousse served in a mini teacup with a chocolate handle, mini cheesecakes, mini spinach quiche and variety of mini finger sandwiches, served on different breads, in eye-catching shapes.
The meal was ended with a hot towel and an opportunity to enjoy the intimate victorian themed gift shop, filled with a potpourri of tea related items and gifts.
Full Afternoon Tea: $35.00 per person
Vegetarian & Vegan Available