Afternoon Tea at King's Carriage House

If you’ve ever had afternoon tea in New York City, you’ve probably been to one of the classic hotel teas, like the one at the St. Regis or the Four Seasons.  My mother and I have made it our goal to expand our afternoon tea horizons.  And so we headed to King’s Carriage House, on East 82nd street.  The exterior isn’t ostentatious–we almost walked right by it–but that’s not to say it wasn’t incredibly picturesque.  The two-story brownstone with its floor to ceiling window on the first floor is reminiscent of an elegant, nineteenth-century European manor house.  Upon entering, we were greeted with the sight of a couple dozen nutcrackers, standing on the shelves behind the front desk.  The woman behind the desk pointed us down a narrow hallway to an intimate little room with about five or so tables.  The walls were hung with deer heads and painted plates.  It felt a lot like walking into someone’s nineteenth century living room.

 

 

We ordered the traditional tea.  My Earl Grey came in an adorable pot painted with the wives and advisers of Henry VIII.  My mother’s was painted to look like Big Ben.  The sandwiches, scones, and pastries arrived soon after.  My favorite sandwich by far was the chicken salad on raisin bread.  My mom loved the goat cheese tartlet with mango and tomato.  While my favorite scones are still the ones at the Lowell Hotel afternoon tea, these scones were also warm and wonderful.  Next came my favorite part: the pastries!  The lemon curd squares tasted fresh, sweet, and delicious.  I could easily have eaten twenty of the baby chocolate and pistachio teacakes.  The ginger atop the berry tartlets with crème anglaise made them really stand out.      

 

If you’re looking for a quiet, special, and cute catch-up with your girls or your mother next time you’re in the city, consider checking out King’s Carriage.  The atmosphere is both charming and relaxing, and slightly more laidback than one of the high teas at a big hotel.