Last Sunday, I joined other volunteers from the New York Junior League for high tea at the Ritz-Carlton on Central Park South, organized by the League's Affiliation Committee Culture Club. The Culture Club plans a tea about once a month, at different venues throughout New York City, as a chance for League volunteers to get to know each other and experience a cultural aspect of the wonderful city of New York.
It was a great chance to chat with other volunteers who I had yet to meet, as we all volunteer on different committees within the League, which consists of about 2700 women volunteers in New York City. The New York Junior League is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.
For those who've never had "high tea," it's a very British tradition - a way to sort of have an afternoon snack around 3pm, but in a very ritzy setting. When I lived in Washington, DC, during high school, my mother would take me to the Four Seasons in Georgetown for high tea on my birthday. My 16th birthday party was actually a tea party of girlfriends at the Four Seasons. And, over the years as an adult, wherever I am, my favorite treat for my birthday continues to be high tea at a ritzy hotel. When I moved to New York City this fall, I very much was looking forward to living in a city again with so many wonderful hotels that serve high tea.
Every hotel (and some high-end restaurants) serves a different iteration of the traditional high tea (also referred to as "afternoon tea"). At the Ritz-Carlton here in New York City, each guest chooses from a wide selection of teas, and then the food starts rolling in via courses. The first course is traditionally savory - consisting of tea sandwiches, which are teeny tiny little bite size sandwiches. The second course is traditionally scones, with clotted cream and jams. The Ritz-Carlton also includes a lemon curd with the scones. The final course is sweet, usually a selection of teeny tiny cakes and pastries.
At the Ritz-Carlton, when having tea as a group, everything is served family style, displayed on tiered plates in the center of the table. You can help yourself to however much you want, and there's definitely plenty to go around and then some! If you're planning on having high tea, I would definitely recommend a very light breakfast or brunch, as early in the day as possible. And you probably don't need to plan on a very big dinner either!
It was a lovely afternoon with the ladies who attended the tea at the Ritz-Carlton. A big thank you to Sondra, who heads up the Culture Club, for organizing the event!
By the way... all photos were taken by your's truly using my beloved Canon T5i with an 18-135mm lens.
You can find even more photos of my adventures on my Instagram @preppyfarmergirl - if you aren't yet following along, I encourage you to take a moment to do so!