I recently got tickets to Tea Around Town and loved every second. Imagine drinking several tea and champagne, eating tea sandwiches and sweets and getting serenaded by a singing tour guide while you take in the great sites of Manhattan. The buses used are of the vintage variety and are adorably renovated. I love the steep old wooden steps that you use to go to the upstairs level for the tour’s premium service (you can pay extra to get more upscale sandwiches like lobster rolls and additional champagne)!
I immediately fell in love with the pink seats, the courteous and quick service from the five staff people working on the bus and the interesting commentary and classic songs from our guide. The guides know interesting and unusual facts on the sites that are covered including Grand Central, Columbus Circle, St. Patrick’s, Times Square and more out of the way churches and historical structures. You will learn all sorts of new things about the city while you sip ‘n savor!
You can see from the photo above that guests are welcome to get dressed up for tea and some even sport hats, fascinators and white gloves! I found that to be (pardon the pun) fascinating. The roses all over the ceilings and walls add to the feminine vibe! There are booths made for both two and four guests and you will become “fast friends” with those sitting nearby!
As for the quality of the food, there are no complaints! All the baked goods are super fresh and you get a big range of sandwiches including classics like egg salad and watercress with cream cheese. There is even a steak tartare and gherkin one!
My guest and I did a great job of cleaning up all those wonderful sweets that you see on the plate in the above photo. What was my favorite? Probably the plain cheesecake followed by the berries and custard tart! As for teas, we were offered five different ones and got unlimited refills. Our favorites were the blueberry, camomile and peppermint!
Here I am right before digging into our premium triple tier tray of goodies. Just for the record, you get your gray immediately and can start eating right away. Your servers will check in with you every ten minutes or so! I probably could have put two of these entire things away by myself!
Here’s the singing guide who has a special booth on the top of the bus. She sings all sorts of standards but it is particularly moving when she sings “New York, New York” as the bus travels through Times Square. Guests get a good look at the New Year’s Eve Ball and learn that it moves up a pole as the year goes on until it reaches the top! The ride overall is very smooth and you will feel very relaxed!
There are several opportunities per day to take this tour and prices range from $69 plus fees for a standard ticket and $109 plus fees for a premium ticket. The Tea Around Town leaves from the side of the New York Public Library on 42nd Street just west of Fifth Avenue and you are expected to show up 15 minutes before start time to cue up for the tour.
Here is the whole schedule along with an easy form with ordering tickets which will be emailed to you: bit.ly/484kgb1. You can use the code ANNERASO5 for a 5 % discount when ordering your Tea Around tickets or tic for any Top View Tour! I highly recommend Tea Around Town as a special birthday treat or a way to show an out of town guest a very special version of the Big Apple that you have come to know and love.