In the Advice Sisters What Works Beauty Cosmetics & Fashion review holiday column, I introduced readers to the Village Tea Company. They’ve got stores in Texas and in California, and you can bet I begged for one to open in the Big Apple, too!
But last week at an event sponsored by Spa Week Daily and The Village Tea Company at the newly renovated Surrey Hotel, I got a chance to get even more up close and personal with Village Tea. The Surrey Hotel, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan off Madison Avenue, has recently undergone a $60+ million dollar rennovation. After oogling the Presidential Suite (great views), and enjoying some of the treatments you can get at the dreamy, super-private spa (more on that in a minute), we got down to the business of sampling tea.
I thought I knew a lot about tea. At least I know enough not to use boiling water (that just “cooks” the tea) and not to leave my tea bag in my cup indefinitely, But I didn’t realize that green tea is supposed to steep in the cup only for up to three minutes (the leaves will become bitter tasting if left too long). I also learned that South African Rooibos tea (a non-caloric, naturally sweet, caffeine free herb) contains so much antioxidant power, you can drink a cup or two and practically get your total antioxidant total for the day! Khloe Kardashian, I was told, has been drinking the Village Tea Company’s Sweet Grace Vanilla Rooibos Tea $12.95 3.88 oz. (makes 35-40 servings) to help lose her “baby weight”, because this tea is fragrant, and slightly sweet, but safe to drink during pregnancy and for nursing mothers.
Taylor Swift doesn’t just drink the stuff, she then uses the (Sassy Green Tea) bags to depuff her eyes!
The 100% recycled canisters of The Village Tea Company can be re-used to hold makeup brushes, or other treasures. The loose tea also arrives with three re-useable, cotton muslin bags for brewing the tea. Personally, I prefer a tea infuser, but at least you have the option. Each cannister also has basic instructions on how to brew tea. was also very impressed with the quality of the rich, aromatic Royal English Breakfast Black Tea $13.95 4.6oz (makes:40-45 servings). This black tea is particularly black, rich, and fragrant, thanks to tea leaves from Sri Lanka. We were shown plates of loose tea to illustrate the fact that you get what you pay for. The regular, grocery store brand tea bag, when ripped open, was just a pale pile of something that looked more like coffee grounds than tea. But you could see the deep, rich color and actual leaves in the Village Tea. It was more fragrant, too. Visit the Village Tea Company Web Site
The surrey hotel is convenient to world class shopping, and also the City’s finest museums, such as the Whitney and the Metropolitan Museum. The Presidential suite I visited has a fireplace, a private terrace, baby grand piano, formal dining room, two bedrooms, kitchen, living room, full bar and two bathrooms.
The Surrey spa has a subtle theme featuring hummingbirds, and also authentic, Australian aboriginal treatments and LI’TYA products (Darphin products are also used). What makes this spa particularly nice, and very unique, is that guests are encouraged to consider their spa experience as an extension of their comfortable room at the hotel, or their home. The spa features fully appointed spa suites, each with seating areas, a bathroom showcasing a huge, tub/shower, a small table on which to “eat in,” and even an armoire and a safe, so that you never have to leave your room, traipse to the bathroom in your robe, or use a locker. Unlike most spas, if you have more than one treatment, it is the therapists that come and go. You can stay put in your “room” in total comfort and privacy. Now that’s a totally pampering spa experience!
call: 646-358-3600 for more information and to book treatments.
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