Have your teacake and champers, too

The Mandarin Oriental Tea Lounge menu tells the charming if perhaps condensed history of the afternoon tea ritual. Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Victoria, the Duchess of Bedford, it says, experienced “a sinking feeling” at about 4 p.m. each day. A woman in need of a pick-me-up if ever there was! And while pots of tea and little plates of dreamy meringue cookies and dainty sandwiches may have helped set the Duchess back to rights, we find that nothing lifts spirits quite like bubbles. For $18 extra, you can top your tea service off with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne. This, coupled with the view from either the Tea Lounge or Mandarin Bar, makes the world 23 stories below suddenly seem to be a far more civilized place.

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