Alice's Tea Cup. Then, I studied abroad in London and my classmates there and I went to Claridge's for the afternoon tea. It was such a great time, and I really love the whole concept of getting your own pot of tea chosen from a list the size of the Bible, with your scone and your clotted cream. It's so classy, and also forces you to slow down and ask your friend "How is your day going?" It's one of life's most affordable luxuries.
So at the recommendation of my coworker we visited the Whistling Kettle in Ballston Spa. We really love it, and even went back to celebrate my birthday weekend last week. A woman at an artsy store in town told me that it is run by a young couple, that it has only been open a few years, and that it seems always busy because according to her it has broad appeal from older woman to young couples. If you order the afternoon tea you get to choose between a sandwich or a quiche, a soup or a salad, and a scone or other dessert, and it all comes out as a 3-tiered delight. Also included is your own pot of their delicious tea. I personally love the cucumber cream cheese sandwiches with pumpernickel bread and the edges cut off. Although part of that might be that it totally reminds me of our very sophisticated afternoon at Claridge's in London. The soups we have tried there have all been really great including the lobster bisque. My fiance usually gets the scones for dessert, and it might be worth the visit just for those.
One can also buy bulk tea to enjoy later at home. Some of our favorites include: Lavender Earl Grey, Passion, Orange, and Chili Rooibos, Scottish Breakfast, and all the varieties of chai we have tried. You can also purchase some useful tea accessories for brewing at home. I will say though that some of the seating is less than ideal, and you are kind of crammed in New York City-style. However, there are some seats that have couches, and we got one of those last time during my birthday celebration, and that was really fabulous. All around a great time, and I am really glad my coworker suggested it to us. It's totally worth the drive from Albany, especially because there are a lot of cute artsy shops in town, and a sports card shop where I scored some NBA cards from the 1990s and some Barry Sanders ones (Detroit, represent!). Anyways, I look forward to visiting again, trying a new tea, and taking a moment to slow down, relax, and eat a cucumber sandwich with the edges cut off.