Sunday, September 16, 2012

Alice's Tea Cup

Three years ago I spent a summer over in New York, where I was spoiled by my sister, and we had the greatest times exploring.  I had what you might call a New York bucket list.  And I accomplished and saw so much, but there always things that are left behind.  The grandest of intentions sadly do not always come to fruition.  So when I returned to the city this summer, things were seen.  Because bitches get stuff done

One of the excursions left at the wayside previously was a trip to Alice's Tea Cup.  As an Alice in Wonderland obsessive (though I shamefully still haven't actually read the CS Lewis classic) I had been dying to make it here for quite a while.

This time, within 48 hours of my arrival, we were seated in Alice's Tea Cup, Chapter II, but first...

We went to an 11 am showing of Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, which was glorious.  Something I hate about living two hours away from a decent cinema is that I usually invariably miss all the great, limited release films.  I am sure some will think, "You were in New York city, where there is sunshine-a-plenty and you chose to go to a cinema at 11 o'clock in the morning?"  And to those haters, I say HELL YES.  Moonrise Kingdom was even more spectacular and uplifting than even expected.  

After that we descended on Anthropologie, one of my favourite places to shop and where I actually cannot afford, but let's just say I got some good deals.  With Anthropologie it's more than just going to browse and buy clothes, it's an experience.  While there is literally art exhibited within the store, the way the shop is so meticulously curated, the entire place feels like you have wandered into an interactive art installation.  Unfortunately I have no pictures of the beautiful new Anthrolpologie on 3rd Avenue, because I didn't want to be thrown out.  

After a tough morning of wandering around the decrepit paths of the Upper East Side we decided we finally needed to quench our collective thirst and hunger.  After all, our breakfast that morning was only a measly (read - delicious) buffet of popcorn and chocolate M&Ms.  

Soon we had finally entered the fabled quarters of Alice's Tea Cup.

In all it's glory from the street.  Classy and dingy.  So Upper East Side.

There was a twenty minute wait to get a table, which I guess for a Sunday afternoon in Manhattan is to be expected?  I was honoured to sit on the dog piss-infested stoop beside Alice's Tea Cup.  The anticipation to enter was that blinding. 

I've noticed throughout the years, when I take pictures, only a small percentage of what I seem to take are the stock expected photos.  Fear not, you will find many snaps of the New York skyline in my library.  There is, however, another strange, probably more boring side to the photos I take.  Maybe it's the lifestyle blogger in me waiting to escape, but I love taking pictures of the finer details in places I go.  And Alice's Tea Cup presented a treasure trove of opportunity for me.  
(I restrained myself once our order came.  More on that momentarily.)

The details that catch my eye are usually what give the place I am visiting at that given time the character that is so enthralling, and the brief snaps I take are my attempt to capture that spirit.  The were only a few that were taken in Alice's Tea Cup.  There were a lot of children roaming about in fairy wings who were enjoying their own tea parties (jealousy knows no bounds, oh to be a child and grow up in New York) and I did not want to be that person.  So in the end I just bathed in the atmosphere.


Makes me yearn for an old timey displace case.

I am not normally, in fact at all, a tea drinker,  (I know *GASP*, what kind of Irish person do I think I am?), except it happened to be my un-birthday, and when in Wonderland...

Parousing the menu alone felt otherworldly.  It was a directory of teas from around the globe.  It seemed like traditional tea was there for obligatory reasons, the rest pandered to the brave, the Alice in everyone.  

I stuck to the sweet family, it was a safe option.  Shamefully.  But I wasn't about to spend $6 on a tea that was going to be abandoned.  The caramel chocolate goodness felt natural.  It catered to my senses.  'Cause I am a smooth operator.

After we had made our quaint order, one of the waiters arrived to the table next to ours with what could only be described as a banquet befitting the English countryside, after an afternoon of croquet.  Vintage cake platters laden with sandwiches, scones, and deserts, along with multiple pots of tea, were sprinkled around the table.  We could only look on in envy.  

Tucking into the curious deliciousness of blueberry and orange and bacon and cheese scones obliterated the green eyed monster and we reveled in our mini feast. 

My beautiful sister drinking tea in all her New Yorker fabulousness

Blueberry and orange scone with caramel chocolate tea.  Much NOMS.

Awh yeah.  That's the stuff.

See.  It's the little things that make a place. 

Mitch-matched crockery everywhere.  Eclectic eccentricity heaven.

We had been meaning to return, go for an all out Alice-inspired day, one that would have seen the tea party followed by a trip to the statue in Central Park.  But as I said, grand intentions, and there were other, more emergent things to be seen to.

There is room for a rabbit-esque quote in here, but I feel I have done enough injustice to the worlds of word play, puns, and Alice in Wonderland for one day.

Go.  See.  Explore.  Have some tea.

No comments:

Post a Comment