Let me start by saying there is no place like New York. I was born and raised in Manhattan, so once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker. It really is a melting pot of different cultures, magnificent art, top of the line fashion, delicious food and fantastic tea spots.
I had to make a trip into the city this week for a doctors appointment. It was a gorgeous day in the Big Apple, so after my appointment, I decided to run a few errands. To my surprise, running errands turned into an unexpected tea journey. A journey which needed to be documented, even if I only had my cell phone camera to do so.
While writing this post, I prepared myself a warm cup of Milk Oolong from The Tea Lover's Archives. May I suggest you stop right now, make yourself a cup of tea and join me as I share my special tea journey with you.
As I strolled along the East side, I was stopped dead in my tracks by the lovely window display at the Macaron Cafe.
I'm very picky when it comes to my macarons. I blame this on a certain French company which will remain nameless. In my book, no other macarons could hold a candle to their quality until now. Yes, the Macaron Cafe is now a major contender in my macaron arena.
They have a large assortment of flavors which include several tea and flower selections like Earl Grey, Matcha Green Tea, Matcha Chestnut, Jasmin and Honey Lavender, just to name a few. The Earl Grey and Honey Lavender are simply amazing. The Matcha Green Tea was the real deal. Rich and brilliant green matcha filling which hits your palette with a blast.
The macarons are decadent, soft and creamy. The packaging is clever as it shows off the beauty of these special treats. They also offer French inspired foods and Mariage Feres tea. Macaron Cafe had me at hello.
After leaving the Macaron Cafe with my precious goodies in hand, I must have been in a macaroon fog because I walked right pass the block where I planned to make my next stop. Instead of turning back, I decided to walk around the corner and back up to my destination. Midway through the block, I saw an awning with the name Radiance.
One of my very first blog post was about the Radiance Tea House & Books. This is one of my favorite tea houses in New York, so I was elated to discover they just opened another location. This new East side location is a upscale restaurant with more focus on food, but it still has the charm and essence of the tea house.
Simplicity at its best..................
Perfect seating for a small group of tea friends.............
The manager Vince remembered me from my last visit at the tea house. I had taken a group of out of town tea buddies on a NY tea tour and he was so gracious to us during our visit. I congratulated him on the new place and told him I would spread the word to all my tea friends.
Vince also mentioned they have an award winning Chinese culinary chef who recently won a New York award for best chef. I reviewed the menu and I already know I must try the Crispy Shrimp Cake, Steamed Barbecued Pork Bun and Spinach Bisque with Minced Chicken.
I love how they have included small touches of tea releated books and teaware.
There are beautiful light fixtures hanging throughout the restaurant. They help create a atmosphere of peace and tranquility. As I left Radiance, I was already planning when I would return to partake of some wonderful food and tea.
As I continued to walk in the radiance of the sunny day, I didn't expect to run into my next tea adventure at Leo Kaplan LTD.
I couldn't take my eyes off of these stunning teapots in the window.
I couldn't resist ringing the bell to find out a little more about these 2 pieces. To my surprise, I entered a teapot haven. There were teapots to the left and right of me. I almost couldn't contain myself as I talked with the kind gentleman who welcomed me into the gallery. I had so many questions about these rare gems, but he didn't know much about teapot collections. He did however know most of the pieces were from England and were produced around 1700 - 1800's.
I instantly recogonized the Wedgwood pieces which were absolutely stunning.
I so enjoyed my time at Leo Kaplan LTD. I thanked the gentlemen for allowing me to take photos. He told me to stop by anytime and I plan to take him up on his offer. I found the collection very interesting. There is also some information on the website about some of the pieces. When I do visit again, I will make sure to bring my camera, tea notebook and a traveling tumbler full of tea. Experiences like this definitely require a nice cup of tea.
What an amazing day I had! It became very clear to me that my day had been orchestrated without any effort on my part. A trip into the city to see my doctor turned into an unexpected tea journey. Perfect medicine for what ails you! This is just one reasons why I love New York. It has so many treasures to unfold. I hope you enjoyed the journey.