Christmas Is Coming!

The holiday season’s nearly upon us, and we’ve got loads of festive treats for our wonderful customers to do Christmas the British way – crackers, advent calenders, christmas pudding and delicious British chocs for use as stocking stuffers. Take a peek!

Christmas Gifts At Tea & Sympathy

Christmas crackers are an integral part of Christmas dinner in Britain. Pull each side for a loud bang, and to find a joke, a toy and a paper crown inside the cracker!

An Advent Calendar filled with delicious Cadbury Chocolate.

Don’t tap it, whack it! Terry’s Chocolate Orange is an essential Christmas stocking stuffer.

Everything here and more is available in our store – Carry On Tea Sympathy. We deliver locally and can also ship orders to the US and Canada.


Boxing Day

Ah, how was it for you all? Family arguments? Dry turkey? Awkward moments with the in-laws? Well that’s what Christmas is all about! Behind this facade of token British cynicism, all at Tea & Sympathy actually had a pretty brilliant day. And here’s hoping you did too!

Merry Christmas...

We meant to post yesterday, but we were enjoying what is known in Britain as Boxing Day. December 26th is a national holiday, traditionally spent in much the same way as the previous day: at home, with your nearest and dearest, eating and drinking. The name ‘Boxing Day’ dates from the Middle Ages, and refers to a tradition of giving one’s servants boxes of gifts. Unfortunately, this custom didn’t make it over to the United States, and our thoughts were with all those (including the T&S gals and delivery boys) who were back at work yesterday.

A whole day, just for us?

A relevant aside – considering 2011 saw many countries undergo sudden regime change, there were riots on the streets of London, and Time’s person of the year was ‘The Protester’ – is the tradition of the Cutty Wren. Held on Boxing Day, townspeople would hunt a wren and tie it to the top of a decorated pole. Dressed in masks, straw suits and colourful clothing, they would parade through the streets, accompanied by traditional music bands. This tradition may date from the peasants’ revolt of 1381, when landworkers marched on London to demand better treatment from King Richard II. Known as the King’s bird, the killing of the wren holds special significance.

Time's person of Year, 'The Protester'

So there you go – Merry Christmas and long live the revolution! And here’s hoping Prince Phillip makes a full recovery!

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen's husband, who spent Christmas and Boxing Day in hospital following a heart scare.

Christmas Gift Guide

My goodness, Christmas has crept up on us this year. With only 12 days left, we’re into the final countdown and we know as well as the next person that this is when most of the shopping happens. We’ve put together this guide to some of our best Christmas products to help you get the right gifts for one and all.

As well as being available in-store, we can ship any of the items you see here. Get in touch via email ( or by phone (212-989-9735), if you’re interested in anything you see here or have any further questions.

And from everyone at Tea & Sympathy, Merry Christmas!

Hope & Greenwood old fashioned candy selections. Beautiful packaging, and great for anyone older who would have grown up with these treats, or as a way to introduce the next generation! $8.95-$35.00

For the tree we have these great Union Jack baubles. A perfect gift for an Anglophile friend, or keep them for yourself and have the snazziest Douglas Fir in town.

Walker's luxury toffee selection. Four flavors, complete with a mini metal hammer to save your teeth the hard work! $14.95

This might be our favorite Christmas product. A yard of Jaffa Cakes, containing five standard-size boxes. Sure to keep even the most diehard fan of these delicious chocolatey, orangey biscuits happy for a month or two! A steal at only $25.

We've really gone all out with our Christmas cakes this year. Handmade in Massachusetts by some incredibly skilled women who call themselves 'The English Cousins'. Incredibly authentic and totally delicious. Fruit, frosting and plenty of brandy! $65

Fancy a cup (or two) of something festive? The very skilled tea mixers at Taylors of Harrogate have let out this limited edition Spiced Christmas blend. If you're not yet feeling the yuletide spirit, a mug of this will get you in the mood!

No Christmas is complete without a box of choccies. So we've flown in a wide selection from Thornton's, Britain's best-loved quality confectioner. Pour yourself a glass of port, sit by the fire and slowly but surely work your way through the whole lot!

And if you, or the one you're buying for, is more of a Cadbury's fan, then this is for you. All the favorites, packaged in a festive stocking. A chocoholic's dream!

And, of course... tea! We have a wide selection of Ahmad's Tea gift boxes in stock. With up to 12 flavors in each, this should keep any tea drinker happy for the rest of the year.

Now in stock: Advent Calendars

We hope you all had as wonderful a Thanksgiving as we did. Who knew you could stuff a turkey with Shepherd’s Pie mixture! Now on to the serious business of Christmas. And look what we have in stock to help your kids (and you) get excited for the big day: advent calendars, with a window for each day hiding a delicious morsel of British choccy goodness. Priced between $10.95-$14.95, there are only  six days until December 1st, so stop by the store or email ( or call (212-989-9735) for shipping.

The classic. Mars advent calendar. Perfect for kids and adults alike.


Thornton's advent calendar. For the cocoa connoisseur.


Assorted cartoon calendars. Perfect for the little'uns.


We’d like to wish a very merry Happy Thanksgiving to all our customers at Tea & Sympathy, and all those who follow our blog. We hope you eat well, drink well and spend it with the people you love. The restaurant and produce store is open as usual tonight, until 10.30pm, so if you don’t want to cook at home (we’re delivering: 212-989-9735), or need to pick up some last minute goodies, stop by!

And with christmas only a month away, now seems the perfect time to begin introducing the this year’s festive treats. First up, as well as being gorgeously buttery, devilishly sweet and oh-so-moreish, thanks to our collective punning skills at T&S, our first offering is also politically relevant! May we introduce to you… Mince OccuPies! Yes, that’s right, we have named that quintessential pastry treat of British Yuletide (packed with sultanas, dried fruit and a spiced syrup) after the goings on in Zucotti Park that dominate New York’s daily headlines. We’ve also invented our very own twitter hashtag #MinceOccuPies (how 21st century!) which we will be using with unrestrained glee between now and December 25th. Please copy, paste, and retweet to your hearts’ content. After all, nothing mixes better than festive frivolities and a bit of political insurrection.

99% delicious

We have various packaged mince pies available in-store at Carry On Tea & Sympathy, as well as the unbeatable homemade #MinceOccuPies, for $2 each, or $6 for two with our very own brandy butter. For further info, please stop by, email us at, or phone on 212-989-6735. And remember the Twitter hashtag: #MinceOccuPies!

From all at Tea & Sympathy, we wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings, and a brilliant December to follow. Now bring on Christmas!