Tea and Sympathy in NYC...
I just went to see George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" on Broadway the other night with a friend. A good show. Might I recommend ushering as a great way to see a Broadway show for free. Anyway, we felt like getting a spot of tea as the night wore on and it got chilly outside. We made our way to the West Village to a little place called Tea and Sympathy. A nice little British place that really was just what I was looking for. It's really small and so we had about a 10 minute wait to get inside. The walls were filled with shelves of decorative teapots. We got seated at a very small table and started out with two pots of tea. They came in two beautiful pots. Mine was decorated with portraits of Henry the VIII and my friend's had various incarnations of the Union Jack. My friend had the Typhoo (a brand) and I had blackberry. The aroma from my pot was incredible. It was as if there were fresh blackberries in there and very soothing too.
We felt a bit peckish and opted to order some food as well. She had the Welsh Rarebit (toast slathered with mustard, topped with cheese and broiled). Served with tomatoes. She added on a side of Heinz vegetarian beans. I had the Shepherd's pie (with minced lamb). It was seasoned just right with tomatoes and onions and topped with cheesy mashed potatoes and broiled just so a slight crust developed. Served with a huge pile of peas and carrots. This made my belly smile! I'd love to go back and sample some of the other classic British fare they offer: steak and Guinness pie, bangers and mash, or the dinner the table next to us had: the Sunday Dinner, which was roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding, potatoes, veggies, bubble and squeak, served with gravy and horseradish sauce. It looked awesome, but too heavy for me on that evening.
Another bit of education I had that night is that the British refer to many desserts (I believe) as "pudding" such as apple crumble, chocolate cake, ginger cake, etc... And they can be served with hot custard. This is a good thing. We had an apple crumble with hot custard on top and every bite was better than the last. Incredible!
They have a retail store next door called Carry On Tea and Sympathy with all sorts of goods for the homesick Brit and next door to that is A Salt and Battery, a wicked good chip shop with some tasty cod and chips. I'll try to remember the camera next time. The website is www.teaandsympathynewyork.com.