New York Magazine Food Delivery Guide


Here’s a link to a food delivery guide put together by New York Magazine last year. As you can see, they’ve given our Shepherd’s Pie the model treatment – lights, studio, beautiful photography. We’re very proud – a true food icon.

We deliver every night of the week until 10.30pm (10pm on Sundays). You can find us on Seamless Web or give us a call: 212-989-9735.

Tea & Sympathy Cupcake Competition

Morning all, happy Monday, give us a smile, the weekend’s over but it’s not that bad – especially as we are announcing a brand new create-a-cupcake competition! It’s pretty straightforward – we want you to suggest traditional British flavors for us to turn into bitesized baked yummies. We put our heads together at T&S HQ over the weekend and came up with a few ideas of our own: Guiness, Rhubarb & Custard and Maltesers got us excited, while Shepherd’s Pie and Branston Pickle  got a firm thumbs down…

We need to confirm the prize, but most likely it’ll be a pot of tea and a couple of your little creations at Tea & Sympathy! As well as getting the honor to help name the beauty.

So please let us know by commenting below, or tweeting us @TeaAndSympathy, or on facebook.

Really looking forward to your suggestions!

One day, all this could be yours... Just give it a great British flavor!

Seeing in the New Year with an All-Time Food Hero: Jamie Oliver!

Well hello New York, are we recovered yet? While still feeling a little ropey our end, we were all out of bed and at work yesterday morning to loyally serve our customers the only real cure for the New Year blues: great British comfort food! We’re open tonight, as every night, until 10.30pm, so if you’re feeling the need for something to clear the cobwebs and warm the soul, nothing does the job quite like Shepherd’s Pie and Apple Crumble.

Shepherd's Pie: the best cure for the New Year's blues. Eat in, or order out; our fleet of British delivery boys are waiting to take your call on 212-989-9735!

While on the topic of Britain’s superb culinary record (our favorite topic), we’d like to share our best Christmas present with you. Jamie Oliver has had a more profound effect on the British dinner table than any other person in living memory. Best known this side of the pond for Jamie’s Food Revolution, he has had twenty cookery shows on British television, and fifteen cookery books, at least one of which will be present on the vast majority of British bookshelves.

A fresh-faced Jamie, at the very beginning of his prolific career. My, how he's grown!

We were ecstatic to pull a copy of Jamie’s Great Britain from our stocking this Christmas. As a celebration of modern British cookery, it is unrivalled, providing stunning renditions of all the classics, as well as paying due homage to immigrant influences which have dramatically broadened our culinary culture over the years (Keep Korma and Curry On!).

The recipes, artwork and food photography are all top-notch and we highly recommend it!

Guiness Lamb Shanks with Mashed Potato and Mint Salad. Heavenly!

First rate artwork, celebrating British food and colloquialisms in equal measures. How many do you recognise?

To whet your appetite, here’s a clip from the accompanying TV show of Jamie visiting a traditional British pub in Wakefield. Deep in Yorkshire, he shares a pint of ale with the locals and discusses the county’s most famous culinary export: Yorkshire pudding.

Beg, borrow, or steal to get your hands on this book. British cuisine is perfect to get you through the winter months. And if you don’t want to make it yourself, our doors are always open (well, until 10.30pm), and we’re more than happy to bring the food to you!

Here’s to a Happy New Year!

Happy New Year & Thank You For All the Online Love!

Well, what a year we’ve had. The highs, the lows, the laughter, the tears… and, of course, the food! Unlike most years, the highlight of the past twelve months is pretty clearcut. The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in March saw the whole Tea & Sympathy team come into their own, as we hosted the greatest street party in town.

Nicky, on fine form!

Greenwich Avenue was transformed, with the hanging of yard after yard of bunting, the serving of Union Jack cakes, the donning of our best British frocks and tuxes, and the general merriments that ensued.

Sean, looking dapper as ever in his pearly king outfit

Traditional morris dancers, pearly king and queens, and a performance from highly-regarded British musician Glenn Tilbrook set the tone, and after a few glasses of bubbly, the day was roundly decided to be a swinging success. Now for Harry to tie the knot…

Morris dancers!

We survived the snow storms, the earthquake and the hurricane, and greatly admired the resolve with which we New Yorkers face these things. It’s what’s known in Britain as ‘stiff upper lip‘. Keep Calm & Carry On, and all that

One of our best selling ranges of 2011!

If you will allow us a pretty weak pun, food is the bread and butter of what we do. A great part of embracing the wonderful world of the internet, has been the ability it’s given us to share our recipes more readily. We’ve also told you about a few of our great British food heroes. While we’re extremely proud of our cookbook, and highly recommend it to one and all, our shiny new blog has allowed us to spread our love of well-cooked British food.

Shepherd's Pie. One of our great British recipes of the year. And there were so many more! Tweed Kettle Pie, Finger Sandwiches, Chicken Soup and Treacle Pudding to name just a few!

We have been blown away by the positive response we have received here, on TwitterFacebook, and Youtube and we hope you all continue to spread the word. We have some exciting things planned for 2012, so please do keep coming back!

Otherwise, all that’s left to say is…. Happy New Year!

The New York Times: Archie Panjabi – What I Wore

Did  anyone see Archie Panjabi’s ‘What I Wore’ feature in The New York Times fashion supplement this weekend? For those who didn’t here’s a recap of the lady herself, and her Sunday night ritual that includes takeout from (guess who)… Tea & Sympathy!


In Something Familiar With All Her Black

Published: December 1, 2011

The actress Archie Panjabi, 39, won a 2010 Emmy for her role as the intriguing investigator Kalinda Sharma on the CBS drama “The Good Wife.” A native of England who grew up there and in Mumbai, India, she now lives in New York.

Actress Archie Panjabi wearing a dress by Carolina Herrera before attending the International Emmy Awards.


Brunch at Extra Virgin with friends. I put on a gray-and-white-flecked knit Zara dress with a Proenza Schouler double-wrap belt and black twill blazer from the Row. I like pieces that are tailored. Loose things tend to look big on me. For accessories, I selected a vintage necklace I purchased at a flea market in Paris and my black Costume National lace-up boots. From there it was off to Whole Foods to fetch a few groceries. Arrived home to sort out my flat and review my lines for the coming week’s episode. I got cozy in my Splendid sweats and a Black Keys concert tee, wrapped myself in one of my cherished embroidered Indian shawls and ordered in some of my favorite British comfort foods: shepherd’s pie, rhubarb crumble and custard from Tea & Sympathy.

Smart girl Archie, that Sunday ritual sounds like heaven! If you’re inspired, give us a ring on 212-989-9735, or order from Seamless Web.
Ps. Wanna know the best kept secret in the West Village? Tea & Sympathy is open for dinner every night of the week! So be it a Sunday pick-me-up, or a Friday celebration you’re after, our door is open (well, until 10.30pm). What’s more, the line is considerably shorter come the evening! 

Shepherd’s Pie: Something for the Guy Fawkes weekend

Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot… Those words, or a close approximation, are most likely known by every child in England. A distinctly British celebration, Guy Fawkes Night marks the failure of the eponymous Catholic’s failed attempt to blow up the House of Parliament and kill King James I, in 1605.

Guy Fawkes, formally known as Guido Fawkes, along with his fellow 'Gunpowder Conspirators'. They gained this title, and the plot generally became known as the 'Gunpowder Plot', because of their chosen means of assassination. The plot was foiled by the discovery of 36 barrels of gunpowder that they had planted in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament.

The event, known as Pope Day, was initially observed in North America but, imported by settlers, it died out with the Revolution. The religious undertones have largely subsided, and the day sees children making effigies (known as ‘Guys’) to be burnt on the customary bonfire , fireworks displays, and, of course, food!

Traditionally, children make 'Guys' out of trash sacks, stuffed with straw or other filling, and old clothes. After spending the day raising money with the slogan 'Penny for the Guy', the effigies are thrown onto the bonfire.

Towns such as Lewes in the south of England, have particularly impressive parades every year. Different ‘Bonfire Organizations’ spend months planning their outfits, firework displays and procession floats. The resulting spectacle is distinctly medieval, and well worth seeing for yourself if you ever get the chance. Here’s a video to give you a taster:

And now to the important part: feeding people. If you are hosting a bonfire party, bearing in mind the weather at this time of year, you’ll want a dish that can be made in large quantities, is warming and easy to serve. A Shepherd’s Pie would be ideal. After giving you the recipe for mashed potato last week, you’re halfway there. This dish is probably the most famous English culinary export, and well worth mastering for your repertoire. It’s easy, affordable and extremely delicious.

Shepherd’s Pie

Here's how we serve it in the restaurant - with peas and carrots, what else!

Note: The name refers to the shepherd and his flock of sheep. Traditionally the dish is made with lamb. It’s just as tasty, maybe more so, if made with beef. This variation is known as cottage pie.

Serves 4-6
Preparation time: 2 ½ hours

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 ¼ cups beef stock
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons oregano
3 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
4 medium carrots, peeled, chopped, and cooked
1 ½ cups frozen peas, cooked
Mashed potato
Grated sharp Cheddar cheese (optional)
Small bunch watercress, washed and trimmed (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Sauté the onion in the oil and butter until it is soft.
  • Increase heat to high, ad the ground beef, and cook until completely browned, separating the meat as it is cooking to avoid winding up with big chunks of meat in the pie.
  • Add tomatoes, stock, Worcestershire, oregano and bay leaves, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour, until the meat is tender.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, and add a little more Worcestershire sauce if needed.
  • Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof baking dish and mix in the cooked carrots and peas.
  • Top with an even layer of mashed potatoes and a little grated cheese (optional). Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
  • Serve garnished with watercress, if you like.

And finally, another Guy Fawkes Night classic is bonfire treacle toffee. Made from treacle, these hard sugar candies have a distinctive burnt sugar flavor. Very warming and great to suck while you stand around the bonfire.

Bonfire Treacle Toffee

We sell them in-store for $3.95 a quarter pound. As with all our produce, we ship. Please contact us at, or on (212) 989-9735, to inquire about any products, including our cookbook Tea & Sympathy: The Life of an English teashop in New York, which contains all our recipes.

From all at Tea & Sympathy: remember, remember the fifth of November.

Colcannon: Something for the Halloween Weekend

There’s no two ways about it, when it comes to Halloween, you Yanks beat us hands down. But it is of course our Irish cousins who hold the claim to the origin of Halloween, and they have the food and folklore to go with it.

Colcannon is traditionally served on what was known as All Hallows Eve. It’s a deliciously creamy mashed potato, mixed with a variety of scallions, cabbage and bacon or ham. A healthy dose of Irish storytelling comes with this recipe; here’s two traditional tales behind how it’s served on Halloween:

charms were mixed in with the colcannon. Depending on what charm you found it was seen as a portent for the future. A button meant you would remain a bachelor and a thimble meant you would remain a spinster for the coming year. A ring meant you would get married and a coin meant you would come into wealth…

Unmarried women would put the first and last spoonfuls of Halloween colcannon into a stocking and hang it on their doors. Their shared belief was that the first man who walked through the door would become their husband…

Anything but the thimble!

Here we’ve given you our mashed potato recipe, along with the correct amounts of additional ingredients for you to add how you see fit. We’ve done it this way round as mashed potato will be a key component of future recipes (Shepherd’s Pie anyone?).

Mashed Potato, and Colcannon

Keep your ghouls well fed

Serves 2-3 (for a pie that serves 6-8, double this recipe)
Preparation time: 30 minutes

3 lbs. potatoes, peeled (Idaho potatoes are ideal)
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup Whole milk
Salt and pepper to taste.

  • Coarsely chop the potatoes and boil in lightly salted water for 20-25 minutes, until soft.
  • Drain them well and then mash the potatoes, stir in the butter and add the milk little by little until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • For Colcannon, add:
  • 1 head of cabbage, cored, finely chopped and steamed; 1 pound of ham or bacon, fried and chopped; 4 scallions, chopped and fried.
As ever, this recipe comes from our cookbook ‘Tea & Sympathy: The Life of an English teashop in New York’. It is now out of print but we have a few copies still in stock. To order, contact us at, or on 212-989-9735.
From everyone at Tea & Sympathy – Happy Halloween!

Whatever happened to the British invasion?

The British are Coming!... Delta Airlines new transatlantic offering.

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…

CBS – The Royal Wedding at Tea & Sympathy

Here are a few articles on our Royal Wedding celebrations from the lovely people at CBS:

Tea & Sympathy Prepares For Royal Wedding Bash
April 25, 2011 12:11 PM

Prince William and Kate Middleton (credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There will be several places around the City where you can watch the royal wedding this Friday.

A royal block party is being planned outside Nicky Perry’s Tea & Sympathy restaurant on Greenwich Avenue.

“It’s all I’ve done for the last month it’s been unbelievable. It’s like royal wedding central,” Perry said. “We’re going to be up, I’m sure, all night, because we’re going to decorate the block with bunting, and we can’t do that the night before.”

The festivities begin at 6 a.m.

“The most exciting thing will be the dress. The second most exciting thing will be the kiss on the balcony because, do you know the first royal couple to kiss on the balcony was Charles and Diana?” she said.

“I can’t wait to see the dress. I just want to take it all in,” one patron said.

Perry regards the royal wedding as a tribute to Princess Diana.

“I think it just destroyed people emotionally. I know it did for me, and I think that this is now the opportunity for us all to get behind her son and wish him happiness,” she said.

Perry was expecting hundreds to attend the party on this side of the pond. Champagne included.

“I’m probably going to have 8 million drunk and disorderly people out here. Thank goodness I get along with the Sixth Precinct,” she said.

Continue reading