Some people turn to chocolate or wine as their vice. But for me, it’s tea. I love it iced. I love watching it steep. And when it’s whipped up in a latte, even better.
Last week, I decided to take my 2-year-old out for high tea at Silver Tips Tea Room in Tarrytown. I knew it was a ridiculous idea — they didn’t have high chairs — but I kinda wanted to do it anyway. Sometimes you have to take risks as a mom, and this was mine for the week.
I unbuckled Harper from his car seat and took a deep breath, trying to channel some mommy courage. “Remember, this is a special restaurant. You have to sit in your seat and eat,” I told Harper. As soon as we walked in, I relaxed. Silver Tips isn’t a formal teahouse: There are no lacy curtains or pink walls or anything that screams no kids allowed. You might even mistake the space for a bistro if the tables weren’t set with delicate-looking porcelain cups and saucers. (Harper nearly tossed one minutes after we walked in. That would have been a very bad start.)
Harper and I chose a table by the window so we could watch trucks and busses pass while we ate. I ordered us Silver Tips Afternoon Tea for Two. It was $17 and included a pot of tea (chamomile for me!), the choice of two finger sandwiches (chicken salad and olive tapenade) and two scones (pumpkin and blueberry). It came out on a three-tiered platter, and I rejoiced. It’s the first time I was doing something kinda grown up with my wee one. I felt triumphant.
At first, the waitstaff eyed me like I was a crazy for walking in with a toddler, but within minutes, Harper had made friends with the waitress. He was waving and “chatting” with a lady sipping iced tea at the next table. Miraculously, he stayed in his seat and didn’t take his eyes off the tractor trailers, dump trucks, garbage trucks, school buses and every other large vehicle that passed.
By the time we got our finger sandwiches, I had sipped two cups of tea. Harper loved nibbling on the chicken salad sandwich (he spit out the tapenade) until he tasted the enormous, warm blueberry and pumpkin scones. That’s pretty much all he ate for lunch — and they’re served with creme fraiche, which I kept slathering on every bite.
Suddenly, Harper grew very serious. He stood up and hid behind his chair. “Mama, mama, Pooh-pooh,” he said. “Mommy, away. Pooh-pooh.”
My Cinderella moment was up. I zipped Harper to the bathroom and begged him to do it in there. OMG — you can’t poop in the middle of a teahouse. No go. So back to the table we went, and that’s when the grabbing of everything possible started. You know what I’m talking about — where your kid just goes for anything and everything in his reach, whether it’s a water glass, a knife, a napkin, a three-tiered platter of tea sandwiches.
“I nearly finished my pot of tea,” I joked with the manager. She winked.
Silver Tips Tea Room, 3 North Broadway, Tarrytown; 914-332-8515
Silver Tips is hosting a special Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea on May 13th with seatings at 10:30am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm and 4:30pm. You’re not guaranteed a spot without a reservation. It’s $32 per person. To make a reservation, call 914 332 8515 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.