Tired of Mother’s Day Brunch? Try a Tea
“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”
-Henry James, 1881
Three thirty in the afternoon this Mother’s Day, I will be sitting with Mallory and Averell at Bergdorf Goodman’s in New York City enjoying afternoon tea. Being with my daughters and enjoying the gilded lily that is Bergdorf’s, I will surely feel like I’ve landed on a little patch of heaven.
I imagine the scene as such: Above the discreet murmur of guests seated at linen-covered tables, teaspoons tinkle against china cups. The stains of a harp float past potted palms, while a waitress rustles by, offering finger sandwiches on a silver tray.
Teatime. A most revivifying custom. And a custom undergoing revival, especially for mother’s day. One reason, of course, is that a truly respectable amount of time has passed since the Boston Tea Party. Another is that people are tired of the well-worn Mother’s Day Brunch.
I must admit that I prefer a traditional afternoon tea, one that conspires to lend the ambience of an English drawing room. Nor does the effort stop there. All customs have rules, and teatime here is no exception. The tea served should at all times be brewed from loose tea leaves. (Imagine the colonist dumping crates of Lipton tea bags into Boston Harbor!)
While silver pots are grander, china ones makes a better cuppa tea. Sandwiches should be oh-so-thin- slivers cut from soft brown or white bread, – crusts removed, of course – and filled with smoked salmon or watercress or sliced cucumbers in deference to Oscar Wilde. Please don’t ask me why!
Scones may also be served, with butter or preserves, and always with clotted cream. When the tea is poured and the finger food served, there is one more rule to observe. None of this modern talk over tea: careers, politics and relationships. The weather will do quite nicely, thank you.
Of course, New York being New York, it has several other rather unique Mother’s Day Teas to offer. The Williamsburg Hotel: will have a jazz band to entertain guests and the menu will include single-origin teas from the Brooklyn company Tea Dealers and bites such as a mascarpone quiche and sweet-potato doughnuts. Tea guests will also be treated to manicures and chair massages on a first-come-first-served basis, and mothers will receive fresh flowers.
If that doesn’t fit your fancy, there is always the crystal-laden Grand Salon at the Baccarat Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, which will offer a fashion show featuring high-end clothing and accessories. The hotel’s tea sommelier will infuse teas table side from the renowned French tea brand Marriage Frères’. The bites that will be served include canapés, petit fours and chouquettes, sugary pastry puffs – in an edible box.
How are you planning on spending this Mother’s Day? I would love to know. So please share with me in the “Comment Section” below.
Happy Mother’s Day!