Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
The Palm Court at the Plaza

Central Park South, New York City

Review by ThePlazaQueen, Susu, MaceVindaloo, Rosie, SteakGril, Diana, Wraith6, Runt, Farklempt, with guest star: PrincessMia

You've read or saw the Princess Diaries, right? You know that Princess Mia didn't know she was a princess until her father (or her grandmother, which ever version or read/saw) told her so. And then she had to undergo "princess lessons" so she would know how to behave and fulfill her birthright. When such an announcement is made and when such an important set of lessons is given, WHERE it happens is nearly as important as that it happened at all ... and it's hard to beat The Plaza Hotel for such events in one's life.

Your very first trip to New York City is equally as important. Some say it's the greatest city in the world, while others deride it as soulless blocks of concrete. So it's important to have a good experience to start, like for any other momentous life events. How better than to do as Mia's caretakers did, and open with High Tea at the Palm Court in the Plaza Hotel?

First, know that there is a dress code. It's an old-fashioned, polite-society kind of place and you are expected to act and dress the part. They require "collared shirt and slacks" on "gentlemen" and they will "tolerate" sneakers and jeans, but absolutely NO sleeveless shirts or sandals on men. Women can interpret their dresscode more liberally, but you get the idea. Like in the Princess Diaries, you need to dress as if you were a princess, or in the presence of one! (They don't mind if you bring your proper clothes in a backpack, as long as you change into them before you come into the High Tea! For changing, go downstairs to the hidden public bathrooms. They are pink and marble, and a woman constantly attends to the cleaning and restocking of the stalls. We don't know what they do in the men's rooms ... but the lady's is very nice and sparkly and pink!)

You sit down at the formally laid-out tables and you choose from several sets: The Deluxe, The Traditional, The Champagne, and For Little Itty Bitty Kids (that's our term for it, not theirs!). Each comes with a selection of pastries, scones with double cream and jam, and an array of sandwiches. For kids, the sandwiches are things like Nutella and bananas, or peanut butter and jelly, and ham and cheese — they were good! The traditional had sandwiches of watercress, cucumber, tomato, egg salad. The deluxe featured caviar on blini, smoked turkey sandwiches, lox on seedbread, prosciutto wound around a ficelle ... the champagne had that also, plus a glass of champage. The sandwiches were made, as best as we could tell, by stacking the different sandwiches on top of one another, skewering them with long sticks, then cutting into quarters to make four portions. It was all presented on tiered candy dish type things — you always wondered what those serving plates were for, right? If you have them at home, have a high tea ...

The caviar was sevruga, the "second grade" down from the almighty beluga. There were creamy, lightly hinting of the sea and were totally sublime. For those who refused to imbibe — your loss, and the more for those who wanted it on the large blini!

The Teas came with a selection of tea, of course. Most of us opted for Earl Grey, English Breakfast or "the Palm Court blende" ... the kiddles asked for Chocolate Milk. One of use liked the sound of Chocolate Mint tea, but we were disappointed that it only smelled of chocolate and mint ... next time we feel like being princesses, we'll get Black Currant, unless we feel more like sniffing the brew than drinking it.

There was a harpist playing throughout. She realized one large group was celebrating a birthday, so she played "Happy Birthday" — why does everything sound so much more elegant on a harp? It's a good idea to have a little party here for celebrations like coming of age, or being told you're a princess ...

There are no reservations for any party smaller than 8 — it's first come, first served, and remember to be dressed properly! High Tea is open from 4pm to 6 pm daily, no exceptions. You may think this can be a bit harsh considering it's not inexpensive ($20 to $45 per person) but think about it — the more elegant and proper a place is, the more elegant and proper it's patrons must be. Rules beget rules, and sometimes it's a very nice thing to sip tea and nibble on dainty, pretty sandwiches.

We did ask for our leftovers to be packed up, which they did without hesitation or blinking. We had tried to eat the little petit-four style pastries, but we were just too full ... and we didn't want to leave them behind. Alas, they do get soggy on sitting, so try to be hungrier than you think you should be when you come, so you can eat everything in context. That's what we'll do next time we want to be princesses! (Or maybe you prefer to be someone equally as high-falutin' but less riddled with responsibility ... do you remember, "My name is Eloise, and I live at the Plaza."??)

Disclaimer: The opinions and observations noted are the property of the author. Neither Wookieehut nor any associates makes any claims or lucre from the posting of this report or review. This webpage is presented by Wookieehut.com. Enjoy!