Return to T Ching Classics: Birthdays
Earlier this month, I surprised my mom for her birthday by taking her to tea at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. We’ve been there several times in the past, but unfortunately, we were not as impressed by it this time as we used to be.
Our first indication that the service and quality had begun to decline was when I asked our server what kind of water they used in their tea. Because this was the St. Regis, I was expecting some fancy and interesting explanation. Instead, he actually became annoyed and said rather brusquely, “Tap water. Everybody uses tap water…” and gave me a face that read “How could you possibly ask me such a question?” Hmm. I told him as politely as I could that many tea houses are very particular about the water they use for their tea. Then he ran away.
Aside from that bizarre encounter, it was a very enjoyable time. Before ordering our tea we were presented with a beautiful box full of little containers of tea leaves from which to make our selection. Not a whole lot of options, but we each liked what we chose. Our other favorite touches were the lemon “hair nets”, the rock candy sugar (both brown and white), and the beautiful dishware and silverware.
Even though there was no harpist or pianist, as advertised, the St. Regis is still a wonderful place to go and escape the craziness of midtown while feeling pampered for a few hours. The amount of food (although tiny, it was also plentiful) left us with full bellies. We departed with the thought that Devonshire cream need only be consumed a few times a year. I guess that’s why it’s best served with tea, to aid with digestion.