I got the two jars of jam yesterday when Mike and I went to NYC. That was quite an adventure! Mike wanted to do some Christmas shopping in the city and I wanted to go to a tea house since a recent issue of Time Out New York featured good tea places in the city to check out. Well, the place that Mike picked out to go was called "Tea and Sympathy" and it was located in the village, so I figured we'll do two birds with one stone.
I took my father's car out there with Mike a little later than expected. I figured once we got to the village, we should walk up and down Bleeker Street and Hudson. There are lots of cool stores up there.. little brik-a-brak places that Mike and I could duck into and find some nice presents for his family. We parked right off Bleeker street and started walking up and down its length. We stopped in several stores. Four places are worthy to note...
The first place was a craft-like store. They sold lots of nifty things made out of wood and puzzle boxes and the like. There were a number of clever things that they sold there that could possibly make good presents for people. I didn't get anything, but Mike ended up buying come glass ornaments for his mother. They wrapped it up in a box carefully so hopefully he won't have any problems when he transports them back to Illinois when he goes home for the holidays. They had several windchimes and I'm thinking of getting Mike's parents and aunt a set. Hmm..
The second place that we stopped at was a tibetan-stuff store. It was nifty! They sold handmade rice paper that Mike found interesting. I saw stuff that would make great gifts for the budding Buddhist and I bought something for Christine there for Christmas. I won't say what I got (lest she read this... Hi Christine!) but I think she'll really like it. I'll let you know what her reaction was later.
A Morrocan store was the third place we stopped in because Mike and I spotted a fez in the window.
"Oo," I said enthusiastically. "You should get that for Ella for Christmas."
Mike nodded. "If I get that for her, she'll think I'm cool."
"She already thinks you're cool. This will merely affirm it."
He tried one on and tilted it slightly. I giggled and wrinkled my nose at him. He purchased the fez.
Across the street from the craft-like store was a small place that sold candles and candle-holders. I spotted ones that appeared like newts like the ones my mom has in a tank and pointed it out to Mike. I noted that they would make a great gift for my mother and Mike agreed. Later on in the day, Mike contemplated returning there to get them, but he decided against it and just go home.
After we went shopping, Mike and I started looking for Greenwich Ave., which is where Tea and Sympathy was located. We eventually found it (after much walking about) and were rather shocked at its appearance.
It's a terribly tiny place. It could probably seat no more than 20 people in a space as tiny as our kitchen at home. Tables were pressed next to each other and I got to watch the waitresses do near-gymnastic moves while bringing customers their teapots and dishes of sandwiches and scones. We waited outside, since there is no place indoors to wait and in about 10 minutes, we were called in to sit at the table directly in front of the door. I expected such a small, cramped place to be terribly noisy. It was a little for a while but I soon was able to tune out everyone else and it didn't seem too bad. I noticed while looking over the menu that the ceiling was low and contributed to the cramped feel of the space.
We originally planned in just getting Afternoon Tea for Two, which would consist of finger sandwiches, scones, and cakes. Well, I was much hungrier than that and we decided to get actual meals. I ordered the prawn cocktail and Mike ordered the welsh rarebit! I now know what it is! It is an open-faced sandwich of mustard and chedder cheese on white bread with tomatoes and bacon on top. Doesn't that sound yummy? Mm! The prawn cocktail wasn't at all what I had expected. Instead of shrimp cocktail, the prawns (small ones) were with mayo in an elegant glass. Eating them was quite a chore. I would take the delicious brown bread and butter it generously. I would put a bit of tomato on the bread and spoon some of the prawn mayo on top. I ate it voraceously. Yum!
Wowah, Iko! Slow down. You haven't mentioned to Constant Reader the scones. They are just biscuits, but they served them with clotted cream and raspberry jam that was divine. I wolfed it down when they served it to us and I even ordered another round for dessert. Yum. Mike got the apricot crumb cake with warm vanilla pudding spooned on top. It was huge. I think it also contributed to his desire to just go home and rest instead of continuing shopping.
The tea was delicious too.. and didn't need as much sugar as I expected. I got Earl Grey which was deliciously flowery and sweet and Mike had English Breakfast (called typhoo).
After dinner, I quickly sprinted over to their adjoining shop where I purchased two jars of jam: black currant and raspberry. We had some today on crackers. Delicious.
Outside of my excursion to the city, I spent most of the time this weekend to updating my website. I wanted to get rid of the frames and I finally did, once and for all! I also added a nifty splash page for [woolgathering] and I'm quite pleased with it.