Tea Time at Alice's

By Natalie Grant, USA, May 2011

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If you ever had imaginary tea parties in your backyard as a child, having a mid-afternoon snack at Alice's Tea Cup is quite literally a dream come true. Opened in 2001 by sisters Haley and Lauren Fox, this whimsical cafe offers a selection of hundreds of teas, many of which have been shipped from places like Sri Lanka, Cameroon, and Mauritius just for those lucky New Yorkers who are in the know.

Feet tired from scrutinizing the Rembrandts and Monets at the Metropolitan Museum of Art? One of Alice's three "chapters" is only a few blocks away, with a variety of freshly-baked scones, soups, and munchies prepared daily and brought out to you on black-and-white checkered floors. The other two locations, one on the East Side and one on the Upper West, round out the magical franchise with their delightfully mismatching tea-sets, mind-bending Wonderland paintings, and sparkly trinkets for sale on your way out (or in).

Sure, New York offers plenty of locations to savor a hearty sandwich, but you won't always find options such as tea-soaked chicken, green apple and goat's cheese; cucumber, watercress and lemon butter; or chopped tea-egg salad -- not to mention a quirky peek into the classic settings and characters of Lewis Carroll.
Bring your kids for a themed birthday party (or "un-birthday" party) and watch their faces glow when a multi-tiered custom cake arrives! Alice's is also a fantastic spot for bridal and baby showers. Space is often limited, and during after-work hours you'll find that many Upper East Siders have chosen Alice's as a safe haven in which to escape from the bustle of the streets outside. Those of age can even treat themselves to a cheeky "Mar-Tea-Ni."

You can stop in for a raspberry or marshmallow crepe during brunch (Saturdays and Sundays before 3pm). Especially in the bitter winter months, sipping on a steaming cup of Cameroon Fannings, Organic Snowbuds, or Mulling Spice is just what the Rabbit ordered.

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