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Lady Mendl’s Afternoon Tea…Tips, Terms, and Traditions

March 31, 2011

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Over at Serious Eats today, I wrote of the Afternoon Tea Service at Lady Mendl’s on Irving Place. I spend a lot of time in this area of Gramercy, home to favorites such as Casa Mono, Maialino and One Lucky Duck. Lady Mendl’s is tucked in the middle of this all, the tea room occupying one half of the parlour floor of a bed & breakfast, the Inn at Irving Place. Step right in and it’s like you left the city behind. I enjoyed the afternoon tea service so much (aside from the annoying and constantly rushed service, it’s an excellent value) that I went back a week later with a good friend.

She was running late so I waited in the reception parlour of the Inn. I noticed a table pushed off to the side of the room with a display of loose leave tea by the ounce and various tea accessories for sale. It looked somewhat neglected so I went to go poke around the table…

…and found this little pocket-sized book! “Lady Mendl’s Afternoon Tea…Tips, Terms, and Traditions.” Isn’t it interesting? It was only $10 and I bought it without second thought.

My mom called this purchase “wasting money,” but I call it “indulging silly pleasures.”

It goes over the brief history of tea with a larger dictionary-like section of terms. But my favourite part of the book was the Etiquette Faux Pas section, which includes a paragraph on “how to eat a scone.” Heheh, well didn’t you know? Of course there would be a section on the proper way to eat scones. Now remember, break off a small bite-sized piece, apply the clotted cream and jam with your butter knife, and then eat. Don’t go slicing the scone horizontally, slathering on cream and jam, topping it and eating the scone sandwich-style. I’ve totally seen people do that ;)

Here’s a peek at the back cover. Hope the week is going well for everyone!

Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon
56 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003
(212) 533-4466



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