Saturday, September 12, 2009

Podunk, New York, NY

Half empty or half full?
Fine sugar pot
Amelia is glowing
Seasonal berries up close
Berries, preserves, and cream OH MY!
Wonderful scone
Fresh pot of Vietnamese Vanilla tea
The scone platter. 8 Scones for 3!
Another view
Cucumber Sandwiches
Teapots and Sandwiches
Kiley basking in the surroundings
Very rustic, homey environment
The front counter

This lovely little "American Tea Room" sits nestled on the quiet, unprepossessing fifth street, between Bowery and 2nd Ave. Upon entering, mismatched lawn chairs and cute, homey decorations highlight the family-run establishment. Children books adorn shelves on the walls, and behind a lovely little counter up front is the woman who runs it all. Elspeth Treadwell, along with husband and daughter run this adorable room. Inspired by Scandinavian heritage, the extensive menu offers wonderful traditional tea items, plus Scandinavian dishes like potato crepes with cinnamon and cardamom cake, which I must try on my definite return visit!

I can't say enough nice things about Elsepth. Truly a kind heart, who appreciated me and my love for tea. I was joined by friends Amelia and Kiley. We ordered at the front and sat down around 3:00, just before the small room started getting busy. Elspeth makes everything to order, fresh and delicious. The three of us shared a cream tea, plus cucumber sandwiches and individual pots of tea.

I had the Vietnamese Vanilla. It was delicious. Just the right kind of black tea for this gloomy New York day. Kiley thoroughly enjoyed her house blended coconut-vanilla, and Amelia had a classic English Breakfast, with rose petals added on request. The tea menu is extensive, so if you have a hard time making choices, you might sit with the menu for an hour! They blend their own flavored chais, create some wonderful in-house blends, and even have an assortment of drinking chocolate.

Onto the food. The cucumber sandwiches were DIVINE! They were so delicately prepared, the bread so thin, the cucumbers sliced so meticulously. We savoured every last bite. Elspeth served the sandwiches to us with cheddar biscuits that she thought we would enjoy! They were delicious. Thinking back on it, they might be the finest cucumber tea sandwiches I have ever enjoyed! That is saying a lot.

Our scone plate was tremendous. 3 different varieties of scones for each of us to sample, plus three different preserves: orange, raspberry, strawberry. Instead of the traditional clotted cream, there was a fresh whipped cream. I can see how purists would scoff at this, however at the impossibility of having REAL fresh clotted cream in the states, and with the poor mock recipes I have seen, I rather appreciated Elspeth's dedication to freshness. The scones were divine, perfect texture! The plate included fresh berries.

All three of us were in a state of content upon finishing or delightful afternoon tea. The Dorchester in London, Podunk is not, however a wonderful at-home environment for enjoying tea sweets and savouries, while chatting with close friends for an hour or two, Podunk is. The three of us paid $22 each, which for the amount of food we received, was a great deal. I told Elspeth that I would definitely be back. Her kind heart and appreciation of my passion for tea was enough. The delicious food and tea was even more! I can't say enough good things about Podunk, so I will just tell you to go for yourself! Bring your friends, bring your mother, and enjoy a hot pot of tea while you nibble on Elspeth's wonderful foods!

BONUS: Tipping is strictly prohibited! Elspeth will never accept a tip, no matter how big your party is! If that isn't enough to get you running, I don't know what is!


  1. Thanks for sharing, Ethan. Sounds like a must visit for me. Perhaps we can meet for tea?

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Kathleen,

    I would love to meet for tea! I know the best spots in the city and would be glad to share them with a fellow tea lover!