Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Afternoon Tea at the Pembroke Room – Lowell Hotel, New York City

The Pembroke Room at the Lowell Hotel has everything that makes it the perfect place to have afternoon tea in New York City – a beautiful quiet surrounding with fresh cut flowers, a Victorian living room setting, super attentive service, a delicious menu with vegetarians and gluten-free options, and fine selection of champagnes and cocktails.

Cozy and elegant dining space of the Pembroke Room
Situated on the second floor of the Lowell Hotel, we had to get to the Pembroke Room by entering the lobby of Lowell Hotel on Madison Avenue.  We knew we were in for a special treat and experience when we walked in and were greeted with the scents of giant fresh white lilies on display in the lobby.   

The marble lobby was warm, bright, and inviting – even though the elevators were slow to arrive, that was fine, because this sets the tone that the time stands still here; rushing and hustling about is left to the outside world. 

As we got off the elevators and entered the Pembroke Room, we were greeted by a hostess who led us to a table with couch seating.  The dining room is quiet, elegant, and classy; decorated with fine china, artwork, fresh cut hyacinth flowers, lush green indoor plants, crystal chandeliers, beautiful window drapes, and ornate mirrors. 

The menu of afternoon tea at the Pembroke Room has three options you can choose from.  The first classic set option has tea, sandwiches, scones, and pastries.  The second Pembroke Royal Tea option has sparkling Rose or cocktail. For a more luxurious afternoon tea experience, you can choose the Lowell Imperial Tea option – which comes with champagne and an elaborate plate of American organic caviar paired with colorful toppings and toast wedges.  

Alcoholic beverages options on the menu can be replaced with fresh juice (we chose the pineapple with mint which was superb!).  There are also vegetarian and gluten-free options available on all the afternoon tea sets.

Bell jars decorate the counter with previews of the afternoon tea treats to come 
Flowers so fresh you can smell them!
The Pembroke Royal afternoon tea set with pastries, finger sandwiches, and foie gras canape
You can substitute tea sets with alcohol w/ fresh juice - we recommend the fresh pineapple mint juice as a healthy and refreshing option
The tea menu has a variety of premium Dammann Freres teas to choose from; if you’re not sure which teas you’d like you can ask the server to bring you different choices of teas to smell and see before you decide.  We chose the Anichai and Jardin Des Tuileries Oolong, which both went very well with milk and brown sugar cubes.  There are many non-caffeinated options as well.

The server starts you off with tea, and a set of pastries and sandwiches.  Tea comes with cream and brown sugar cubes, reminding us of the cafes of Europe.

Servers starting us off with our first cup of Anichai tea
The Anichai tea we chose paired perfectly with milk and gourmet brown sugar cubes
The pastries are fresh and not too sweet – the macarons, berry tarts, petit fours, and éclairs were all delightfully tasty. 

This is one of the few places in New York City where you can find a gluten-free afternoon tea set.  All the desserts and sandwiches shown here are gluten-free, we tried them and could not tell!
We love the selection of their gourmet and very healthy finger sandwiches  – it comes with poached shrimp, foie gras, egg salad, turkey, cucumbers with watercress, and smoked salmon topped with caviar.

Light and delightfully tasty finger sandwiches - poached shrimp, smoked salmon w/ caviar, foie gras, egg salad, smoked turkey
For the option that comes with caviar, you eat the caviar by mixing and matching a variety of toppings over toast wedges.  You can get creative and make wedges that are too beautiful and colorful to eat!

The organic caviar set with toppings that include capers, chives, egg yolks, egg whites, onions, cream ; all served chilled over ice
You spread toppings and caviar over toast wedges - there's no limit to how creative and beautiful this can come out!
The warm fresh out of the oven scones are perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside – pair them with the marmalades and Devonshire cream for a nice burst of flavor.   

Fresh warm scones with lemon curd, marmalades, and Devonshire cream
What’s wonderful about having afternoon tea at the Pembroke Room is not just the quality of the food and drinks but that it’s an escape from the rush of time and the city life; there are no clocks visible and no rush to leave.  If you’re done with tea, the server will refill your kettle with more hot water and if you’re done with pastries & sandwiches you can request more scones.   

The experience of having afternoon tea and conversations at the Pembroke Room lets you leave feeling relaxed; which is not just an experience but a state of mind we can use more of in NYC.

Afternoon Teas at The Pembroke Room run every day from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. For reservations call 212-605-6825.

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