Time Out New York put together this interesting little Anglophile guide to NYC ahead of the Brit Fest held last year. We’ve only included Tea & Sympathy’s mention below, but you can read the whole thing here.
Have a cuppa, don your best mod gear and pretend you’re a Brit for a day. By Chris Schonberger and Sharon Steel
It’s fitting that Brits tend to fly under the radar in New York—after all, waving the flag of St. George from balconies or pushing esoteric tea-drinking ceremonies (milk, two sugars) on the Starbucks-swilling masses wouldn’t be very…well, English, would it? But thanks to the first annual Brit Fest (britfestnyc.com), which kicks off Friday 4 and runs through June 10, expats and Anglophiles alike have a chance to engage in seven days of Britain-related revelry. “Many other nationalities have a parade or celebrate their culture in NYC, and we felt it was time the Brits did the same,” explains Louise Gale, cofounder of the expatriate networking organization Big Apple Brits (bigapplebrits.com). Once you’ve danced the night away during the fest’s Hacienda Dance Party on Friday 4, fill yer boots at our favorite bastions of Englishness around the city.
Sit down and have some sugary tea Pop in to Tea & Sympathy (108–110 Greenwich Ave at Jane St; 212-989-9735, teaandsympathynewyork.com) if you are English, or just want a proper cup of char. There’s always a devoted community of Brits and wanna-bes at this cramped but homey space, where, over the clinking of china, you can strike up a conversation with the diner sitting right next to you. Order the afternoon tea ($35 for one, $55 for two), which comes with assorted finger sandwiches, scones and a selection of cakes—plus a steaming pot of the only beverage more sacred to the English than beer. “It’s the actual tea-drinking that we do so well. When I first came here, I couldn’t believe it—I’d go to other places and the tea was just revolting,” says Nicky Perry, a former Londoner who opened Tea & Sympathy in 1990. “I’m very, sort of, ‘This is it, this is how it is.’ You walk in the doors, and you’re in my living room. But our tea is very popular, made fresh to order. And I always tell people to come hungry!” You can never go wrong with the classic English breakfast or Earl Grey, but Tea & Sympathy has 41 other varieties to choose from, including Yorkshire Gold and rose petal.