English Gardens, Afternoon Tea and the King

When I was in elementary school I loved watching the Eloise films. What little girl wouldn’t want to live at The Plaza Hotel?


And you all know how much I love Afternoon Tea, so it will be no surprise that I went to the Plaza’s Palm Court for tea.
Our reservation wasn’t until 2:00 pm, so first we went in search of the English Garden in Central Park.

Even with a map of central park on my phone, it was very confusing how to get to the gardens. Finally I switched on data for a minute to get my bearings!

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We found we had turned the wrong way and were following the path in the opposite direction. So we turned around and started again. And boy was it hot that day! The GPS was definitely worth a little data usage.

The English Gardens are in a larger garden called Conservatory Garden. There is an entrance right on Fifth Avenue which is probably the best way to enter, rather than from Central Park.

Here is the garden at the Fifth Avenue entrance, which I believe is the French Garden.

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There is a beautiful path covered by a wrap around trellis.




Just to the left of the French Garden is the English Garden.


In the heart of the English Garden is Burnett Fountain with a statue designed by Bessie Potter Vonnoh.


And to the right of the French Garden is the Spanish Garden.




Then we headed over to the Plaza for some tea and sandwiches.

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I started with my favourite, Earl Grey tea.


Followed by the New Yorker Tea.


Hiding on the bottom tier are two freshly baked scones.



Vivica and Julia ordered the Eloise Tea, which looks rather fun!

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At first it didn’t seem like so much food, but by the end we were all stuffed! I couldn’t even finish mine so I brought the rest back to my hotel. The Eloise one is a bit smaller, but I think The New Yorker could definitely be shared by two people.

After tea, we began heading over to Lincoln Center for our second show of the trip, The King and I! Once again, we took the scenic route through central park.



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We also stopped by the Alice in Wonderland sculpture. And what’s perfect is that Vivica had her Alice and Wonderland dress on!

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Then we headed off to see The King and I.
Let me just say, I have never seen a production as beautiful as Lincoln Center’s The King and I.  All elements from the beginning to the end we just spectacular, and so well done. At the very beginning, the orchestra started to play, and the audience is positioned around the orchestra. It seemed like from where we were sitting, we would have to turn our necks to see everything on stage, but then all of a sudden, a floor slid over the orchestra, bringing a massive ship with it, and from then on everything was played in that downstage area. Including the beautiful Shall We Dance? number. And not to mention Kelli O’Hara’s amazing performance!  I hope there will be a PBS Live from Lincoln Center version of this so everyone can see it!

To finish the evening, Vivica and I went to the stage door to meet the cast!

Here is Ruthie Ann Miles, who played Lady Thiang.

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And Kelli O’Hara! Who was wonderful as Anna.

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If you get the chance, go see this show while it’s still on stage! You won’t be disappointed.

13 thoughts on “English Gardens, Afternoon Tea and the King

    1. It really is! I make sure I go there every time I visit New York. It’s especially beautiful in the fall with all the leaves changing colour! Thanks for the comment and the like!

  1. Super wish I went here when I went to New York, for some reason I love afternoon tea and after I saw your cotton candy I was SOLD. I hope you are having fun! 🙂

    1. Hey Carolyn! Cotton Candy is the last thing you’d expect at an Afternoon Tea, but it makes total sense with the Eloise theme! Hope you get the chance to go on your next NYC trip.

  2. This question may sound stupid… but keep in mind, I am an American. We tend to ask stupid questions… uh… I mean… what is Afternoon Tea exactly? Is it like a mid-day snack that EVERYONE does? Or is it kinda like brunch only for lunch-dinner? Also, thanks so much for sharing your adventure and I love that shawl thing you were wearing!

    1. Hey Kaily! It’s not a stupid question at all. I used to get confused between High Tea and Afternoon Tea. Both traditions originated in England. Afternoon Tea was originally served in the garden if possible, otherwise it was usually served in a drawing room or library with low tables and a sofa or chairs. It was taken between lunch and dinner (so around 2pm-4pm) to hold you over until dinner. Traditional Afternoon Tea consists of tea, scones with clotted cream and jam, finger sandwiches (especially cucumber), and mini pastries. Certainly the upper class British used to do this every day, but people have probably modernized it by just having an afternoon snack after work. Hope this helps! And thank you regarding the shawl! 🙂

      1. That’s actually really cool. I just recently started to enjoy tea and the idea of participating in an afternoon tea party? just seems so much fun. I’m off to look up what’s in a cucumber sandwich so I can make some myself 😉 I love cucumber! Thanks again for sharing all the detail, it really is neat.

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