Here’s a nice article from way back when in 1999 from The New York Times. Jesse McKinley outlines how: “British culture has of late been flooding these shores with almost colonial aplomb.” She gives a pretty exhaustive write-up of the British expat scene in NY at the time, and is very kind indeed about Tea & Sympathy:
“I chose the unofficial embassy of all British expatriates: Tea and Sympathy. This tiny restaurant in the Village is the city’s best-known outpost for complexities of British cuisine, from bangers and mash (sausage and potatoes) to shepherd’s pie (meat and potatoes).
With only about 10 tables, the restaurant is almost always packed. But at 6 P.M. I found a spot for myself and two friends, near a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
We started with a delicious Stilton rarebit (melted cheese on toast). My friends had shandy (ginger ale and beer), while I chose Ribena (black-currant concentrate and water). Bangers, lamb and chicken followed, all with a deep mushroom gravy and assisted by products like Branston Original Pickle and Colman’s Classic Mint Sauce.
As the meal settled, I felt a wash of satisfaction. The weekend had left me feeling full. I had only sampled the local British fare, but it was a loverly taste.
And as I pushed away from the table and into the night, I realized the best part of enjoying England in New York: being able to walk back home.
That Scepter’d Isle . . . Manhattan.”
Well, as the ‘unofficial British embassy of all British expatriates’, may we take this opportunity to thank all you lovely New Yorkers for being so welcoming. We bloody love it here. Please don’t make us go back…