When our daughters were small we must have read Eloise at the Plaza one hundred times or more. Our imaginations were all captured by the mischievous Eloise who famously ran from floor to floor delivering equal doses of chaos and charm. Later on with our girls grown up and our family business Dello Mano now serving High Tea we visited New York to find out what makes the High Tea at the Plaza Hotel so special.
Just simply arriving at the New York Plaza Hotel is special. Ascending the stairs from street level conjures up feelings of being in one of those old romantic movies. At the top of the grand Hotel entrance stairs are elegantly uniformed doormen flanking a beautiful classical revolving gold door. The door is set into a facade of the shiniest black polished walls which are etched in highly decorative gold gilded paint.
With the task of navigating the revolving door behind us, we land in a quite serene and a little unexpected lobby. I say unexpected as it felt like a grand and warm home rather than the typical hotel entrance. In fact I read later the Plaza was designed to be a cross between a French Chateau and a hotel so that homely yet grand feel is certainly there as you enter . The lobby is simple and gorgeous and contains just a single stand alone circular table filled with a huge and glorious flower arrangement. Over the top of the table is an illuminating chandelier of massive proportion. You indeed feel like you have arrived at the Plaza Hotel New York!
The lobby has a number of doors leading out and taking the one to the right we quickly found ourselves immersed in the iconic and grand Palm Court. This is the room for which the Hotel is most probably the best known. It is the crown jewel of the hotel and is a most striking feature of the High Tea experience at the Plaza. The room is genuinely beautiful and sitting there having dreamed about it for so long, I pinched myself to believe that we were all finally sitting there amidst its’ grandeur. Renovated by the renowned architect Thierry Despont careful consideration was made to the original design which had deteriorated and in some parts destroyed. Now with ceiling high palm trees and trellis detailing, the room’s signature is the soaring stained glass dome which was built to reflect the original of 1907.
The High Tea menu is extensive. On the day we visited there was a choice of Champagne Tea or New Yorker High Tea. Despite a remodel of the food and beverage menus the Children’s menu was maintained and it is still possible to order an Eloise Tea. We all opted during our visit for the Champagne Tea which consists of an array of savoury and sandwiches including lobster roll, caviar blini and a foie gras mousse crostini. The Scones were warm and served with devonshire cream and mango- passion fruit curd. The sweet menu of the High Tea was tantalising and included a blackcurrant & violet eclair, green tea match macron and Victoria sponge served with lemon verbena custard and peach jelly to name just a few of the inclusions. Add Champagne to this list of deliciousness and voila you have a very special experience. I think in anyone’s terms it would be considered a spreadation.
Sitting sipping champagne it is fun to think of all the history and all the people that have come and gone from the hotel over the years. Famous visitors include the Beatles. Famous residents abound like Tommy Hilfiger however one of the most fascinating stories is about Princess Lwoff-Parlaghy who checked into the hotel in 1908 complete with her precious pets – including Goldleck, a lion cub. From his adoption to his death in 1912, Goldfleck had his very own room at The Plaza, and according to the word on the street only managed to escape a couple of times!
The many layers of uniqueness of the Plaza Hotel and its famous High Tea are what make it a very special experience. A must do for inclusion on the bucket list of all foodies and for that matter anyone visiting New York city.
Please share the post if you have someone you know who loved High Tea at the Plaza. If you or your friends have memories of the Plaza High Tea then let us know in the comment section, we’d love to know what made it special for you.
With Mother’s Day fast approaching and the Covid 19 social distancing still in force, Dello Mano is currently offering a Home Delivery High Tea can be organised for delivery this coming weekend May 9th 2020. Delivery includes Brisbane and extends from the Gold Coast to Noosa. Book online or call your Personal Dello Mano shopper on 0498 002 468 to book.