56 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003
Cuisine: Afternoon tea
Price: Ouch. $35/person + tax & tip = $45/person
After hearing such great things about Lady Mendl’s from friends and from online reviews, I felt I had to try it. It’s tea! It’s cute! It’s fun! It was cute, too! Look at the sugar cube by each of our teacups, in the saucer: it’s been hand decorated with an icing rose. Attention to detail wins extra points from me. Craig, of course, popped his into his mouth and then tried to steal mine after I refused to put it in my tea.
Part of what you’re paying for is really the atmosphere. It genuinely feels like you’re in a delicate elderly woman’s home, sipping tea with your pinky out, eating finger sandwiches and delicate foods that are basically not filling enough for those of us with heartier appetites. (BD says that she and her husband were stuffed afterwards, but my boyfriend, myself, and my friend were not very full at the end of it.)
The sandwiches were definitely tasty: from top clockwise: smoked salmon with dill cream cheese on pumpernickel, smoked turkey and cranberry on brioche, goat cheese and sundried tomatoes on 7 grain, and cucumber with mint creme fraiche on brioche. I’m not keen on smoked salmon in general, so when round two came, I opted for everything but that (ironic considering salmon is hands down, my favorite raw fish).
Next came the scones (traditional and cranberry raisin), with clotted cream (it sounds disgusting but it’s actually like smoother, less oily/greasy- basically “cleaner” feeling- butter) and fresh strawberry preserves. The strawberry preserves were delicious with the clotted cream. Yummy! Though I didn’t get a picture of the adorable Faberge-esque (they just gave me a Faberge feeling) jam and clotted cream holders…
After the scones came a crepe layer cake which someone had put a lot of effort into, and it was truly delicious, very airy and the vanilla cream holding it together was delicious. I wished I wasn’t allergic to the berries on the side or I’d have sampled those as well, but they were a nice touch.
Last but not least was a cookie tray, almond delight cookies, chocolate covered strawberries, and almond shells. The almond shells were very yummy, but I’m not a big sweets person (which leads me to believe tea isn’t really my thing!) so I gave my strawberry to Craig.
Oh yes, and the teas: I was pleased with my Earl Grey, and Craig had tried the Lemon Verbena which he enjoyed greatly as well. Swan appeared to enjoy her Scarlet Red as well. So the teas get high marks, and they had a wide selection with very vivid descriptions of each for those of us who didn’t know what to get.
Yvo says: A nice experience to go for a special occasion, but at these prices, can’t really expect to go all the time or much at all. I will be trying another tea place that is much cheaper, and will let you know how that is. I could see paying $15-20 for what we got.