At Alice’s Tea Cup, an Alice in Wonderland inspired tea shop, you can pretend you’re in a fairy-tale. Let’s say my tea-palette isn’t the most discerning- I don’t pretend to know teas well, and I generally like most that I’ve tried. But, I am well-acquainted with playing make-believe, and that, I believe, is what this sweet, girly shop is all about. Scenes from the book adorn the walls, and tea is served from a teapot into mismatching cups and saucers. And the food is also excellent, and if you ever, as a child, wished you were English so you could partake in afternoon tea- a frequent wish of mine, since I read so many Enid Blyton books, where the kids gorged themselves every afternoon on warm scones and jam, and small sandwiches and mini pies– this is the place to fulfill that fantasy. The food, if you order enough, comes on a tiered stand, the abundance and selection prominently displayed.
We didn’t order enough for the tiered stand- just a couple o’ scones and one sandwich. The scones- pumpkin, and banana chocolate chip, accompanied by cups of thick sweet cream and scarlet jams, were big and soft. The pumpkin scone -I love most pumpkin-flavored foods- was warm and spicy with a dusting of cinnamon and the faint taste of sugar. Spread with the sweet cream and tart, fruity jam, it tasted just as I had imagined teatime scones to taste like, as a child devouring Enid Blyton books.
We also ordered a sandwich to share- the Roasted Cumin Carrots with Olive Tapenade and Goat Cheese on Semolina with Black Sesame Seeds. A mouthful of a name, and a mouthful of flavors, too. Filled with sweet, slivered carrots roasted with sharp-smelling cumin and placed against the smooth goat cheese, it was an unusual vegetarian find. However, it comes with a side salad, and vegetarians, beware: I have a terrible suspicion that the dressing that topped the salad has chicken stock? broth? or something non-veg in it. Besides that small, maybe imagined, snag, the tea experience was near-perfect.
Two scones with preserves and jam: $5; sandwich: $8
Alice’s Teacup has a bunch of locations (it’s a chain…), but I went to the one on 102 West 73rd Street, New York, NY.