Tea at The Palm
But your job is, like, fun, right?
I blinked slowly, not fully understanding my friend’s question. Sure, working in a theatre has certain perks (for example, more days with office dogs than not) but it is a job like any other. I feel frustrated, overwhelmed, and burnt out like anyone else.
One of the perks of my job, which I’ve taken for granted, is my ability to enter any social situation and be forgiven for any lack of grace, simply because I work in the arts. This extends to conversation topics, personal habits, and outfits. Even surrounded by my government employee friends in their three piece suits, I can dress like a midwestern housewife with a passion for costume jewelry because I’m artistic. Never mind that I work on the management side of theatre, "I’m a creative" therefore no one questions my weirdness. I’m inherently interesting in Washingtonian society simply because I don’t work for the government.
All of that is to say I don’t normally put much energy into worrying about whether or not I will look appropriate at any social gathering. I can explain away any faux pas with my free spirit (which, to those that know me well, is truly the funniest thing). So when I received an invitation to a bridal shower tea at The Palm Court in the Plaza, my stomach dropped. I don’t know much, but I was pretty sure it was the type of event where I’d need to look better than “weird cousin who works in the arts”.
So, with some new seasonally-appropriate floral slacks, my favorite piece of costume jewelry, and the only pair of summer heels I own, I booked an Acela up to New York for the day to have tea at the Palm. Our group reservation was at noon and almost no one was there. I wish I had pulled out my camera to get some shots of the perfectly set tables before other guests arrived but I was with a lot of new friends and, again, didn’t want to be the weird art kid in the room.
The Tea Service itself was absolutely delightful. We sipped champagne and Earl Grey while tasting all kinds of miniature goodies. There were the usual sandwiches, but I know what I’m about, and focused my attention on the scones and sweets. Read on for more.
Something Worth Savoring
I’m not going to do a blow-by-blow of what we ate (one that feels egregious, and two you know your dietary habits, you know what you’ll like) but here were a few standouts. The classics of a tea service were as-expected-perfection: the Earl Grey they served was marvellous. I’m normally more of a green/white tea drinker, so Earl Grey has never been my cuppa, but this was incredible. I’d drink it every day. Caddies on the table had lemon curd, Devonshire cream, and berry preserves. And I was into it. Ostensibly I was eating a biscuit, but I think I ate most of the lemon curd on my end of the table. I’m not a huge sandwich person, yet the lox on a mini bagel was very cute. The desserts were both adorable and delicious—my personal favorite was a mini eclair slathered in chocolate and filled with raspberry cream. As my dining compatriots said, “that eclair was life changing”.
A Truly Beautiful Place
Guys, I don’t need to say it, but do it for the ‘gram. The Palm Court is stunning.
Make Some Memories
Tea at The Palm is iconic for a reason. Go with the people you care about and spend a couple hours truly enjoying their company. The kind and gracious staff will be happy to snap a photo of you and your bestie at your table. Or hell, go by yourself (I see you champagne bar, I’ll be back). Because if I can dress up and act like a lady for a day, so can you.