Afternoon Tea at Bergdorf Goodman

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Afternoon tea on the 7th floor of Bergdorf's ^-^

Tea here always beautiful and lively, and now it's extra busy because tea at the Plaza is closed for renovations. Best time to visit is Monday at 3pm, right as service starts.

Compare and contrast with my last afternoon tea post from Bergdorf's. It's been awhile.


We're drinking Nuit à Versailles Tea from Dammann Frères, a sencha base with bergamot and orange blossoms.


Let's begin with smoked salmon...


...and a savory tart of prosciutto, mozzarella, and tomatoes...


...followed by sesame and ham. 


There's a chicken salad with parsley...


...and turkey with cranberries.


A good egg salad makes me so happy...

14964965655_f93ca1f38a_c.jpg does cucumber and cream cheese. Simple things!


Scones are dotted with cranberries and...


...served with clotted cream and Bonne Maman preserves. 


Macarons (in strawberry and pistachio) and...


...petit fours are outsourced.


While salted caramel tarts...


...fluffy coconut-lemon cakes...


...and dark chocolate bites with whipped ganache are made in-house ^-^

Summer Staycation in NYC

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How is it already mid/late August? January feels like it was a few weeks ago.

I did a good amount of travel this year (with more to come...stay tuned), but sometimes it's nice to have a quiet weekend in the city. Though the word itself is cheesy, I love staycations. I love the idea of staying close to home but not actually being at home. I love being in a place where everyone is in a state of transit...adventure! You never know what will happen. And I'll take any excuse to visit a great hotel. 

So before summer ends, visit Gotham Magazine for my picks for an NYC staycation. There's the Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca (88 rooms, each furnished in a unique matter...think leather chairs in one, mosaic tiles in another)...

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...Mondrian Soho (that specific shade of blue is taken from Jean Cocteau's 1964 production of La Belle et la Bête)...

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...The Bowery Hotel (say hello to Bo the Bear for me!)...

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...the ever elegant Pierre Hotel (a third of the building is residential, so if you can't bear to end that staycation...)...

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...and of course, Mandarin Oriental New York ^-^

Thailand | Spa Teas

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My favorite part of going to the spa isn't the treatment itself (though that's a close second ;) but the teas served before/after the treatment. The teas are a small but essential touch. It encourages you relax upon arrival. And when leaving, it offers a feeling of completion.

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Each spa does it different. Some do green teas, most do herbal teas.

In Thailand the brews were particularly special (and now I have an urgent desire to explore spa teas in Japan! Vietnam! Russia! The list goes on.) I've highlighted a few favorites for xoVain, which include the...

Spa Drinks - 3 - Paresa.jpg mulberry tea at Paresa in Phuket. Mulberry is grown throughout Thailand and the dried leaves are commonly used for infusions. It's served chilled with honey at the beginning...

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...and hot (without honey) and a side of local pineapples post-treatment. 

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At Let's Relax Spa in Bangkok, they start with a chilled pandan tea...

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...and finish with hot oolong (grown in Chiang Rai) and a dish of sticky rice and mangoes.

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The most memorable spa tea was at Dhara Dhevi's Deva Spa. It's a combo of ginger, raw honey, and dried bael fruit (pictured below). They serve it chilled at the beginning and hot at the end with an excellent fruit and nut bar.

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I emailed the girls at the spa for the tea recipe...enjoy, enjoy ^-^ 

The Deva Spa Bael Tea  

  • 4-6 dried bael fruit pieces
  • 2-3 slices fresh ginger
  • 2-3 tablespoons raw honey
  • 400 ml water

Bring water to a boil and add the dried bael and ginger and simmer for 15 minutes. Add honey and stir to dissolve, adjusting sweetness to taste. Serve hot, or lightly chilled (but not over crushed ice, as it lowers digestive ability). 

Afternoon Tea | Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai


Dhara Dhevi (formerly a Mandarin Oriental) is this crazy and amazing resort in Chiang Mai. We'll take a closer look at the property itself next week. But for today...afternoon tea at the Dhara Dhevi Cake Shop ^-^


They brew a full line of loose leaf from Mariage Frères and do a memorable Thai tea. 


Three tiers with four savories, scones, and plenty of sweets. Let's begin with the egg salad sandwich...


...and smoked salmon wrapped in cucumber.


There's a mini croissant stuffed with crab salad and dotted in tobiko...


...but the best was sai oua in puff pastry. This pork sausage is a specialty of Chiang Mai, spicy and fragrant with curry paste, kaffir lime, lemongrass, and galangal.


The middle tier features banana cake...


...alongside raisin and plain scones...


...with clotted cream, raspberry jam, and kumquat marmalade.


Sweets are the highlight of this tea. Think dark chocolate brownies with toasted walnuts and whipped ganache...


...and at least a dozen flavors of macarons offered each afternoon. We got the strawberry-rose one.


Matcha financier!


And lemon tarts...


...followed by coffee-chocolate tarts with whipped cream...


...and a baby pistachio religieuse.


Till next time ^-^

The Morning Detox Tea | Into The Gloss

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Happy Tuesday.

Head over to Into The Gloss for a Morning Detox brew. Ginger, turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon, honey, and lemon make for a spicy concoction that I like to keep brewing all day. It's a forgiving recipe, and more of a guideline. Like ginger? Add more. Don't want honey? Skip it.

P.S. When making a late night brew, I add chamomile and leave out the turmeric and cayenne. It makes for a super soothing pre-sleep concoction ^-^