06 January 2009

Lady Mendl's Tea Room

January 4 was the one-year anniversary of the death of my godfather (actually the husband of my godmother, though he wasn't officially, I always considered him to be my godfather at heart). He died suddenly of a heart attack and I miss him a lot so I wanted to do something special to keep him in mind that day. My godfather had been wrestler and a football player in school, and he spent a number of his formative years in the army. But he also loved gardens, especially rose gardens, harp music and taking his wife and I to tea rooms. Whenever he knew I was going to be in New York City, he would say "go to Lady Mendl's!" Knowing I was going to spend the 4th in NYC, I knew what I had to do.

Le 4 janvier marquait l'anniversaire du décès, il y a un an, de mon parrain dont j'étais très proche. Il me manque beaucoup et je voulais faire quelque chose pour l'honorer. Mon parrain faisait du "wrestling" et jouait dans l'équipe de football américain pendant sa scolarité et après a passé plusieurs années dans l'armée. Malgré un apprentissage du monde très masculin, il aimait beaucoup les fleurs, surtout les jardins de rose, la harpe et amener sa femme et moi aux salons de thé. Quand j'allais à New York, il me disait toujours "va au salon de Lady Mendl !" Sachant que j'allais être à New York le 4, je savais ce qu'il fallait faire.

Lady Mendel's is a small English-style tea room, attached to an inn. If you don't know it's there, you could easily miss the understated wooden sign out front. As soon as you walk in, however, you're overwhelmed by the smell of tea, and flower-scented candles.

Lady Mendel's est un petit salon de thé anglais, attaché à une auberge. Quand on ne le connait pas, il est facile de passer à côté du petit panneau en bois qui indique le bâtiment. Pourtant, dès que l'on entre, on est submergé par les odeurs agréables de thé et de bougies.

The "tea" consists of five delicious courses: 1. Salad 2. Finger sandwiches 3. Scones with clotted cream and jam 4. Chocolate cake with raspberry sauce 5. Chocolate-covered strawberries and petit-fours. And of course a pot of tea of your choice, which they serve you throughout and refresh towards the end when it's getting cool or too strong. I chose a delicate and flavorful rose tea that I thought my godfather would have appreciated. Most of my family came too and my mom loved it so much she decided she wants to spend her 60th birthday there with me and my sisters!

Le "thé" du dimanche est un repas de cinq plats 1. salade 2. petits sandwiches 3. scones avec crème et confiture 4. gateau au chocolat et coulis de framboise 5. fraises couvertes de chocolats et petits-fours. Bien sûr, on choisit aussi son thé qui est servi à volonté pendant tout le repas. J'ai choisi un thé à la rose, bien parfumé mais délicat, que mon parrain aurait aimé. La plupart de ma famille est venu avec moi et ma mère a tant aimé qu'elle veut y retourner pour ses 60 ans avec moi et toutes mes soeurs!

D. and I came home to snow (unusual amounts of it for Paris):

Quand on est revenu, il neigait à Paris! C'était tellement beau la neige qui tombait silencieusement sur la ville.

It looked beautiful coming down outside our window and falling quietly over the city.

**Snow pictures from my window dedicated to Dana ;-)


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A great tea room! Nice snow pictures!



Jessalyn Pinneo said...

Est-ce que t'as jamais essaye (au bureau, alors pas d'accents, voila ce qui m'enerve comme n'importe quoi!) le the parfume de rose au salon de the a Aix? "Sur la route de..." j'oublie completement le reste du nom du salon, c'est horrible. Mais leur the a la rose etait super-bon, tres delicat, et tout a fait delicieux. J'essaie depuis de trouver un parfum semblable, mais je n'y ai pas encore reussi!

Cicero Sings said...

Nothing like going out for a cup of tea when it is done up right!

Hopie said...

Rosa - Thanks! Cheers to you!

Jessalyn - Je ne pense pas voir essayer le thé à la rose à Aix. C'est vrai que c'est parfois difficile d'en trouver un qui est délicat. Il faudrait que je demande à mon magasin de thé ici. Il y a de tout et tout est bon !

Cicero - Indeed. Couldn't agree more.

Ivy said...

Lovely tribute to your grandfather Hopie. That last picture of yours looks like a painting of an impressionist.

Joie de vivre said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It looks like it was a wonderful way to remember a good man.

kathy said...

What a lovely tea room and what a fabulous reason to go - such a nice tribute to your godfather. Love the snow pic of Paris

Sam said...

What a great way to remember your Godfather.

It looks like you're having the same weather as we are in the UK, it looks nice but it's freezing!

Alex Rushmer said...

Hey, looks great. Wish we'd had snow when we were over.

Maria said...

What a beautiful way to pay tribute to your Godfather. I am sure he was pleased with your choice.
I've neve rbeen to a tea room, but I think I will plan one such outing with my daughter. She is such a girly girl and I think she'd love something of this nature.

giz said...

Although sadness in the loss of your godfather, he left you such a wonderful custom and memory. I adore tea rooms (not that I've been to many). Psychgrad and R took me to one when I visited their city - it was so charming and the cakes so memorable.

Psychgrad said...

Sounds like a very delightful place. When I went for afternoon tea with Giz, it felt like such a refreshing experience. So dignified that we made a pact to pretend to be very civilized.

Happy belated Near Year!

Hopie said...

Ivy - Thank you! Funny you say that because I just went a museum with a bunch of impressionist paintings and I do love those ones of Paris (some of London too) in the snow. I definitely see what you mean.

Joie de Vivre - Indeed. I think it's important to have some rituals around loss and I was glad I did this.

Kathy - Thank you. It was a lovely afternoon.

Sam - Exactly! Pretty but very cold. Being used to cold, snowy winters though, I don't mind too much.

Alex - It does do something magical to the city, doesn't it.

Maria - A nice mother-dauther thing to do. If your daughter is a girly girl, I can't see how she wouldn't love it :-) I certainly did when I was little, still do!

Giz and Psychgrad - Sounds like you guys had a wonderful time! It certainly can be hard to act civilized, but being an actress, I did my best ;-)

Anthony Johnson said...

The tea room sounds lovely and it seems like a perfect way to honor your godfather.

Hopie said...

Thanks Tony! I'm sure my godfather would have been happy to see us all there.

RV said...

He seems like a nice fellow -and not only 'cause he was a football player ! Bel hommage, Hopie.