It would be a challenge to find a prettier afternoon tea than the selection of treats served up at the Pierre Hotel. I have certainly never seen such an array… and I have tried an embarrassing number.
The Pierre Hotel is a picture of elegance and style… located on 5th Avenue at the tip of Central Park, it is the perfect stop off after a morning of shopping. We saved ourselves for this indulgent afternoon meal, barely letting a crumb pass our lips until 3pm so we arrived famished. I was thankful for our resisting as the feast that followed required a big appetite.
There are several teas on offer, but take my advice and pick the Royal Tea Service ($65-70) a fabulous assortment of sandwiches, scones and pastries accompanied by Demoiselle Champagne. From the extensive list of tea blends we chose Strawberry-kiwi and the unique Pierre Blend, both unusual but refreshing. The Strawberry-kiwi is sweet and strongly perfumed so if you prefer you’re tea lighter I’d recommend the perfectly balanced Pierre Blend. The Demoiselle Champagne is fiercely bubbly and is available as a rosé for those wishing to be really girly.
The food arrived on a three tiered dish, delicately arranged. The Pierre is generous with portions and variety giving little tasters with different flavours and textures.
Catskill smoked salmon on rye bread, balsamic onions & sour cream
American caviar & buckwheat blinis
Spiced chicken tartlet
Devilled eggs, brioche buns with red sorrel
Boursin cheese & Asparagus crostini with tomato jam
English cucumber with dill cream cheese
Dates & Babaganoush crepes
Freshly baked scones and butter cookies
Cranberry scones with Devonshire cream, Raspberry preserve and lemon curd.
Fresh fruit tartlets
Grand Marnier chocolate madeleines
Red cherry financiers
Walnut cream sugar squares
Lemon apricot sandwiches
Coffee opera cake
Lemon meringue tarts
Coffee & Strawberry Macaroons
Chocolate sand cookies
It is hard to believe that we managed to fit all this food on the table, let alone in our stomachs. Favourites for me were the Boursin & asparagus crostini and the Spiced chicken tartlet, but my guest preferred the Smoked salmon and crepes… each canapé was beautifully presented, carefully arranged with appropriate seasoning and toppings, they looked lovely all together on the plate. The scones were the best of the bunch, freshly baked and warm, they crumbled in the mouth, and smothered in thick cream and jam each mouthful encouraged the next. The pastry chef at the Pierre is clearly a perfectionist, each mini patisserie was carefully constructed to look as pretty as possible.
I thought afternoon tea was always best in Britain until I visited the Pierre, now I have to admit this version of the English classic meal is pretty impressive.
More information here.