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Scones, Sandwiches and Lapsang Souchong: Afternoon Teas Worth Taking at NYC Hotels

High tea and texting don’t mix. That, at least, is how I felt on a recent weekday afternoon as I sipped Lapsang Souchong and nibbled miniature sandwiches in the Gotham Lounge at The Peninsula hotel.

Afternoon tea at a hotel is something of an anachronism, a last link to a “What is the weekend?” world. It’s the anti-fast food, offering a civilized setting for a business meeting, a cozy chat or a vacation from the 21st-century for an hour or two.

Its charms depend on getting the mix of old and new just right, a balancing act that’s oddly tricky. Too much tradition and high tea feels fusty.  Not enough and it’s not High Tea. Read more

White Flowers, a Dux Bed and Kate Moss: A Memorable Night at The Surrey

It was just a matter of time. The Surrey, a small 1920s hotel, occupies a prime spot steps from Madison Avenue’s high-end boutiques, art galleries and the Whitney Museum of Art. For years it was a frowsy but dependable place where East Siders put up visiting relatives or moved in after a divorce if the nearby Carlyle proved too pricey. Read more

Composer and Cabaret Artist Jimmy Roberts Performs at the Keyboard in Afterglow Series

Not so long ago, New York hotel bars were almost like supper clubs without the supper, a classic mix of martinis and live music, part Bobby Short, part Fabulous Baker Boys. For the price of a drink or two or three, a pianist, harpist or jazz trio would entertain you before you headed upstairs or back home. Read more

Socialites, Lapsang Soochang and Carla Bruni — A Night at The Carlyle

The uniformed attendants posted behind a discrete desk in the grand black-and-white lobby were impeccably polite.  But check-in wasn’t unspooling quite as I expected. The man next to me, owner of a blue blazer and a belligerent British accent, waved a sheet of paper and demanded to know what the devil these bloody charges were.

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