It’s almost Mother’s Day and this time last year I was just coming out of the really difficult phase of both early parenthood and early business owning. While neither of those roles ever becomes significantly easier, with a year gone by I feel like I’ve really had the chance to watch both “babies” flourish, my adorable daughter Daphne and my not-so-new business. One of the highlights of my Spring so far was spending time with Daphne on home turf of New York City for the first time. It was so great to see New York through her eyes – she was both overwhelmed and intrigued. She loved being surrounded by so many people and could spend literally hours exploring just one city block.
I decided to take her to do something special – even though Daphne is still very young (she just turned three) she is just old enough to attend “A Rawther Fancy Tea Party” hosted in the Eloise room in the Plaza hotel. We have been reading Eloise for months and I thought this would be a great way for her to connect the dots with what we had been reading and for us to spend time together so I made a tea reservation for the two of us. The Eloise room in which the “Rawther Fancy Tea Party” is held did not disappoint. Filled with there tastefully branded line of teas, plates saucers and other goodies and decorated in their trademark pink, white and black colors it was primed for a magical experience.
I wondered if Daphne would actually drink any tea – she never has before and doesn’t like when things are too “hot.” However, our waitress (who had the demeanor of a patient preschool teacher and an innately warm way of communicating with the “guests”) showed Daphne, without being at all condescending, exactly how to prepare her cup of tea and it was a huge hit. There was also pink lemonade served, another favorite.
Now I should probably mention the tickets to the Rawther Fancy Tea Party are $50 (for both adults and children). Having just been to Disneyworld, this didn’t seem unreasonable, but also wasn’t inexpensive. I was curious what kind of experience we would have given there was not going to be any champagne involved. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it felt like we got our money’s worth and more. I don’t like measuring experiences in terms of how much they cost but in hindsight, I think I think the price was extremely fair, for the lovely, personalized nature of the Tea Time. Daphne’s face when they brought over the tower of tea time treats was pretty priceless and there was even fruit to balance out some of the unhealthier sweets. Plus, I was actually starving having skipped lunch and found this was more than enough food for me and her to share. You can see a lone husband in the back of this photo – Dad’s are definitely welcome too:
The tea time had some structure to it, there was the sense of everything briskly moving along, which is a relief when you are an adult sitting in a teeny tiny toddler chair. After everyone neared the end of their tea and snacks, the sweet wait staff apologized on behalf of Eloise who “could not be there with us” and passed out paper so that we could each write her a letter she would later respond to. Daphne enjoyed this part and I helped her compose her letter to Eloise which the guests were then able to place in an ornate little wood mailbox just outside the tea room.
We were then dismissed and there was a store time, lasting about fifteen minutes which gave the parents a little breather and as you can see helped the kids burn off some of their post tea-time sugar high. They were good about wrangling the kids without being to strict and for the most part, everyone sat there and listened.
At the end of the hour, after store time, we were dismissed but not before all the kids were given Eloise gift bags that included some fun little treats, including a hard-cover Eloise etiquette book, which seemed very fitting. Daphne was thrilled with her goody bag and even more thrilled when we passed the Eloise portrait for the second time on the way out of the Plaza, posing for it and looking a lot like Eloise herself!
In typical New York fashion, we were simply too bushed at the end of such an extravagantly fancy tea to even think about negotiating the subway home. And it being rush hour, our only option back to our hotel turned out to be a rawther expensive car service so maybe that’s something you should factor into your tea time budget. Nevertheless, it was an experience I will always remember – a perfect little mother-daughter outing if you are in New York and looking to for a wonderful, Mother-daughter outing or even a Daddy-daughter date! Happy Mother’s Day!