Here are some great photographs from our campaign, backed by Virgin Atlantic, to have our corner of NYC renamed Little Britain. Joss Stone, the brilliant English singer, flew the flag and accompanied Sean to the ‘Little Britain’ press conference to petition for the change.
Seeing these pictures reminds us of the fun we’ve had down Greenwich Avenue. With the Royal Wedding barely behind us, plans for the Queen’s Jubilee this June are well and truly in motion. We’re sure you trust us when we say we have something BIG up our sleeve… Stay tuned!!
If Family Feud asked the question ‘What do you associate with Greenwich Village?’, we’d bet our right leg it wouldn’t be long until someone replied ‘interesting characters’. Right after ‘tea’, ‘scones’ and ‘great Shepherd’s pie‘, of course. In honour of the people who make this neck of the woods great we’re going to run a mini-feature today and tomorrow on a couple of characters who’ve caught our eye in the village of late.
First up, is John Darrow. Not a local, but visiting from Blighty, his cockney charms kept us well entertained. A real, living London cabby, he went mental when he saw Sean’s taxi, and begged to have a go. We obliged, but insisted on sticking Nicky in the back!!
Tune in tomorrow for: Top Hat Man!
We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: Yorkshire Gold makes a great cuppa. The jury’s still out on how it fairs against PG Tips, it’s certainly up there with the best tea that Britain has to offer. We featured their full length advert last week, and here, in addition, is a mini-feature they made specifically on us. Aren’t we lucky!
Much is made of Anglo-French animosity. What with the Norman Conquest, the Battle of Agincourt, and the Six Nations, it’s easy to see why there may be, ahem, disagreements. But truth be told, cross-channel relations best reflects the goading conviviality of a sibling rivalry – and when it comes to moments of need, we know they’re only a Eurostar ride away.
Twist our hand behind our back, and dig a finger in our ribs, and we may even begrudgingly admit there are a couple of things our froggy cousins do better than us – but never to their face! While food certainly isn’t one of them (gives us Jamie over Escoffier any day of the week), they certainly know a thing or two about cinema. Which is why when the French film company Simonet Productions asked to make a feature on the goings-on in Little Britain, we only had one word for them: ‘Oui!’ Beautifully shot, snappily edited, and with musique exceptionnel, we reckon they give Jean-Luc Godard a run for his money:
We’ll have our weekly recipe for you tomorrow, but until then… Au Revoir!
A few years back, we spearheaded a campaign to have our neighborhood renamed ‘Little Britain’. There’s a Little Italy and a China Town, so why shouldn’t our anglified corner of Greenwich Village, and the numerous Brit expats who live here, be recognised? Richard Branson, and other notable Brits agreed, and produced this video outlining the cause:
Unsuccessful the first time round, it seems the campaign’s embers still smoulder. Last week, Gothamist ran a piece entitled ‘Time to Cede Greenwich Avenue to the Brits?’ Recalling the campaign, the article states:
Something funny happened in the five years since. The area, which already had a few Anglo-friendly spots, went and got more British. Maybe it’s time to dust off the old moniker?
It goes on:
With the addition the lovely Whitehall a bit further east, you really could spend a day there without worrying about getting any Yankee filth in your stomach. Brunch at Whitehall, tea at Tea, dinner at A Salt, drinks at Fiddlesticks and boom! You’ve had a British staycation in the Village.
So, is the campaign about to be reignited? We couldn’t possibly say…
A few years back, Nicky penned a book of recipes and anecdotes from Tea & Sympathy, along with waitress Anita Naughton. Anita is a fabulous writer; here is her account of Christmas in Greenwich Avenue’s little corner of Britain. We hope you enjoy it and that each and every one of you has as fabulous a Christmas as is humanly possible! Looking forward to seeing you on the other side – we are open as usual on December 26th. Merry Christmas!
When I think of Christmas in New York, I’m suffused with the same feelings of pleasure I get from watching an old Woody Allen film. I love the yearly rituals: a trip to see Macy’s windows, a free makeover at Bloomingdale’s (I’ve never actually had one but I like to know I can), the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, and, of course, walking through Central Park on a crisp winter’s day to watch the ice-skaters.
As the big day approaches, I find whatever excuse I can for a trip to the shop next door, where the familiar products transport me back to my childhood. There are tins of Quality Street, boxes of Roses and Black Magic chocolates, bags and bags of Maltesers, and tube upon tube of Wine Gums. There are Christmas puddings, some with port and others with brandy. There’s Christmas cake, Turkish delight, Christmas crackers – and stockings full of every English sweet you can name.
On Christmas Eve we will have a Christmas party. We will close the restaurant early and all traipse into the shop. Sean will organize the music and open bottle after bottle of Champagne. Nicky will make a huge saucepan of milled wine. The kitchen guys will take off their work clothes and dress up for the occasion. It’s the only day of the year that all the staff ever get together.
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.