Alice’s Tea Cup (Chapter II)
156 E 64th St
(between Lexington Ave & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10021
H.K., K.C, and I, aka. the Ladies, decided to have afternoon tea together at Alice’s Tea Cup one Saturday afternoon. The wait was an hour and a half. We watched countless daughters and their mothers get seated before we finally snagged a spot.
The walls are decorated with Alice in the Wonderland themed paintings. The mugs and teapots are mismatched and tooney. If you ask, the kind lady at the register will even sprinkle fairy dust (glitter) on you as you walk out.
I ordered the Small Pot of Tea and Two Scones ($12). Their tea list is ginormous. There are pages and pages and pages of teas that you could easily get lost in without a little direction. I chose the Alice’s Tea, which is a house blend of Indian black vanilla tea with Japanese green tea and rose petals. It is the first on the menu and one of their best selling teas, good enough direction for me. The tea was smooth and a little sweet from the vanilla. The green tea added a little bitterness, which I thought went great with the vanilla and slight hint of floral sweetness from the rose petals. For my scones, I chose the blackberry cream cheese and the ham and scallion ones. Both scones were not as good as I thought they would be because a) the reviews of their scones are mostly crazily positive and b) they looked delicious on the outside. The blackberry cream cheese scone was better of the two. It was dry and crumbly, the way a scone should be, and tasted great with the hot tea. Moist scones are scones with confused identities. Cakes are moist. Cookies can be moist. Biscottis and scones should always be dry. The blackberry jam on top was sweet and tart. The scone itself was just slightly sweet. I wish they used more vanilla or something to flavor the scone because it tasted very one dimensional sweet, like white sugar sweet. There was also no cream cheese flavor to be found.
What really made the blackberry cream cheese scone great was the raspberry preserves and homemade clotted cream on the side. The preserves tasted like fresh raspberries and were not overly sticky nor sweet. The cream on the side was light and fluffy, very similar to the shlaag from Peter Luger’s.
The ham and scallion scone was also dry and crumbly, but the ham was in tiny cubes and was very tough, almost like a jerky. I could barely taste the scallions and the cheese added nothing much else other than color.
K.C. and H.K. shared The Mad Hatter ($37), mainly because they wanted something that would give them the three tiered stand. It came with one pot of tea, two scones, two sandwiches, assorted cookies, and a choice of one dessert. They had the ham and scallion scone, chocolate and berry scone, and the pumpkin scone. I tried some of their pumpkin scone and found it to be bland. There was a lack of pumpkin flavor and an even greater lack of pumpkin-friendly spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Why bother making a pumpkin scone if you’re not going to embrace all the flavors?