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Lady Mendl’s: The Speakeasy Of Tea Salon’s In New York


by Sharon Varney



Welcome to Lady Mendl’s: The Speakeasy of Tea Salons in New York! If you’re a food and travel enthusiast looking for a unique and enchanting experience, then Lady Mendl’s is the perfect destination for you. Tucked away in the heart of Manhattan, this hidden gem is a haven for anyone who appreciates the art of fine tea and exquisite dining.


Stepping into Lady Mendl’s is like stepping back in time to the glamorous era of the Roaring Twenties. With its elegant décor, luxurious furnishings, and vintage charm, this tea salon transports you to a bygone era of sophistication and refinement. Whether you’re a local New Yorker or a visitor to the city, Lady Mendl’s offers an unforgettable experience that combines the elegance of a tea salon with the clandestine allure of a speakeasy.


But Lady Mendl’s is more than just a tea salon. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in the rich history and traditions of tea, while indulging in delectable treats and savoring the flavors of carefully selected teas from around the world. From traditional afternoon tea to themed tea tastings, Lady Mendl’s offers a wide range of experiences to cater to every tea lover’s palate.


In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the fascinating history of Lady Mendl’s, the unique atmosphere that sets it apart, the delicious menu offerings, and the exciting tea tastings and events that you can be a part of. We’ll also provide tips on how to make a reservation at this exclusive tea salon, so you can ensure a memorable visit to Lady Mendl’s.


So get ready to embark on a journey that will awaken your senses and transport you to a world of elegance and indulgence. Step into the speakeasy of tea salons and discover the enchantment of Lady Mendl’s in the heart of New York City.


The History of Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon

Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon has a rich and intriguing history that dates back to the early 1900s. Founded by Elsie de Wolfe, an influential American actress and interior decorator, the salon quickly became a social gathering place for the elite and prominent figures of the time.


Elsie de Wolfe, known as Lady Mendl, was an icon of style and sophistication. She was a trailblazer in the world of interior design and created a reputation for herself as a tastemaker in high society. In 1919, Lady Mendl opened her eponymous tea salon, initially as a private space for her friends and acquaintances.


The tea salon’s original location was a townhouse on Irving Place in Manhattan. This charming building, which still houses Lady Mendl’s to this day, became the backdrop for countless elegant afternoon teas and intimate gatherings. With its cozy and opulent interiors, it became a sanctuary for those seeking respite from the bustling city.


During the 1920s, when Prohibition was in full swing, Lady Mendl’s took on a new identity. Hidden behind an unassuming exterior, the tea salon became a secret speakeasy, offering a discreet gathering place for the fashionable elite to indulge in tea-infused cocktails and exquisite delicacies.


Throughout its history, Lady Mendl’s has been frequented by celebrities, artists, and intellectuals, who were drawn to the salon’s unique ambiance and impeccable service. It became a place where ideas were exchanged, friendships were forged, and memories were made.


Today, Lady Mendl’s continues to honor its rich heritage while embracing the modern era. The salon remains a pillar of elegance and refinement in New York City, offering guests a glimpse into the past while providing a warm and welcoming environment.


When you step into Lady Mendl’s, you are entering a space steeped in history and tradition. It is a place that celebrates the art of tea and the joy of meaningful connections, just as it has done for over a century.


The Unique Atmosphere of Lady Mendl’s

Entering Lady Mendl’s is like stepping into a different world. The salon’s unique atmosphere is an enchanting blend of old-world charm and modern sophistication. From the moment you walk through the door, you are greeted by the elegant and intimate setting that defines Lady Mendl’s.


The interior of the tea salon is a visual feast for the eyes. The walls are adorned with vintage artwork and photographs, creating a sense of nostalgia and allure. The furniture, meticulously chosen to reflect the salon’s historic roots, is both elegant and comfortable, inviting guests to relax and savor the experience.


The attention to detail is evident in every aspect of the decor. From the delicate china teacups to the exquisite floral arrangements, everything is thoughtfully curated to create a sense of refinement and beauty. The soft lighting and gentle music further enhance the ambiance, creating an atmosphere of tranquility and escape from the outside world.


What sets Lady Mendl’s apart is its commitment to providing an intimate and personalized experience. With only a limited number of tables available, guests are treated to an exclusive and private setting. This allows for attentive service and ensures that each visit to Lady Mendl’s feels like a special occasion.


Whether you’re enjoying afternoon tea with friends or celebrating a special milestone, Lady Mendl’s offers a sense of luxury and elegance that is hard to find elsewhere. The salon’s atmosphere encourages conversation and connection, making it an ideal venue for intimate gatherings, romantic dates, and memorable experiences.


It’s not just the physical ambiance that makes Lady Mendl’s unique; it’s the overall experience that is carefully curated by the staff. The friendly and knowledgeable team is dedicated to creating a warm and welcoming environment, where guests feel like they are stepping into a home away from home.


At Lady Mendl’s, time slows down, and you are encouraged to savor every moment. Whether you’re sipping on a perfectly brewed cup of tea or indulging in one of their delectable treats, you can’t help but be transported to a place of relaxation and indulgence.


The unique atmosphere of Lady Mendl’s is a testament to its commitment to preserving the traditions of the past while embracing the beauty of the present. It’s a place where memories are made, and a sense of elegance and sophistication prevails.


The Menu at Lady Mendl’s

The menu at Lady Mendl’s is a delightful fusion of traditional tea offerings and innovative culinary creations. Carefully curated by the talented chefs, the menu reflects the salon’s commitment to providing a memorable dining experience that perfectly complements the art of tea.


One of the highlights of the menu is the traditional afternoon tea, which pays homage to the classic English tradition with a touch of Lady Mendl’s flair. This elegant affair features a tiered stand filled with savory finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam, and a decadent selection of bite-sized pastries and cakes. Each bite is a burst of flavor and texture, crafted with meticulous attention to detail.


In addition to the classic afternoon tea, Lady Mendl’s also offers themed tea experiences that transport guests to different corners of the world. From a Japanese-inspired tea ceremony to a Parisian-themed tea tasting, these special events immerse guests in unique cultural traditions while indulging their taste buds. Each themed tea experience comes with a specially curated menu that captures the essence of the chosen theme.


For those seeking a more substantial meal, Lady Mendl’s also offers a delectable brunch menu. From savory omelettes to fluffy pancakes and hearty sandwiches, the brunch options are the perfect choice for a leisurely weekend meal or a midday indulgence.


But it’s not just the food that makes the menu at Lady Mendl’s special; it’s the carefully selected teas that accompany each dish. The salon boasts an impressive collection of loose-leaf teas from renowned tea estates around the world. From delicate and fragrant white teas to robust black teas and refreshing herbal infusions, there is a tea to suit every palate. The knowledgeable staff at Lady Mendl’s are happy to guide guests through the tea selection process, ensuring that each cup is a sensory delight.


For those who appreciate the art of mixology, Lady Mendl’s offers an enticing cocktail menu that infuses the flavors of tea into innovative and refreshing concoctions. From tea-infused martinis to aromatic tea-based mocktails, these unique beverages add an extra layer of sophistication to the dining experience.


The menu at Lady Mendl’s is a perfect balance of tradition and creativity. Whether you’re a devoted tea lover or a food enthusiast looking for a unique gastronomic adventure, the menu at Lady Mendl’s is sure to delight and impress.


Tea Tastings and Events

At Lady Mendl’s, the love for tea extends beyond the traditional afternoon tea experience. The salon offers a variety of tea tastings and events that allow guests to further explore the world of tea and indulge in unique sensory experiences.


One of the most popular offerings at Lady Mendl’s is the tea tasting sessions. Led by expert tea sommeliers, these tastings introduce guests to a variety of teas from different regions, each with its own distinctive flavors and aromas. From delicate green teas to rich and robust black teas, these sessions offer a deeper understanding of the complexities of tea and the art of tea appreciation.


The tea tastings at Lady Mendl’s are not just educational; they are also interactive and engaging. Guests are encouraged to smell the dry leaves, observe the color and clarity of the brew, and savor the taste, all while learning about the history and production methods of each tea variety. These sessions are perfect for both beginners who are just beginning their tea journey and seasoned tea connoisseurs looking to expand their knowledge.


In addition to tea tastings, Lady Mendl’s also hosts special events that celebrate the art of tea in captivating ways. Themed tea parties, such as a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party or a Great Gatsby-inspired soirée, bring a touch of whimsy and nostalgia to the tea salon. These events feature specially crafted menus, entertainment, and décor that transport guests to different eras and worlds.


For those seeking a more hands-on experience, Lady Mendl’s offers tea blending workshops. During these workshops, guests have the opportunity to create their own personalized tea blends, under the guidance of experts. From choosing different tea bases to adding botanicals and flavors, participants can tap into their creativity while learning about the art of tea blending.


Tea has long been associated with wellness and relaxation, and Lady Mendl’s recognizes this connection. The salon occasionally hosts wellness-focused events, such as yoga and tea meditation sessions, where guests can rejuvenate both their body and mind in the tranquil setting of the tea salon.


Whether you’re attending a tea tasting, a themed tea party, or a hands-on workshop, the tea events at Lady Mendl’s offer a unique and immersive experience that showcases the beauty and diversity of tea. Each event is carefully curated to provide guests with an unforgettable journey through the world of tea.


How to Make a Reservation at Lady Mendl’s

As one of New York City’s most exclusive and sought-after tea salons, making a reservation at Lady Mendl’s is a must to secure your spot at this hidden gem. Here are a few easy steps to help you make a reservation and ensure you don’t miss out on this exceptional experience:

  1. Plan in advance: Lady Mendl’s is known for its intimate setting and limited number of tables, so it’s essential to plan your visit ahead of time. Reservations can fill up quickly, especially for popular times such as weekends and holidays, so it’s best to make a reservation well in advance.
  2. Contact the salon: To make a reservation, you can call Lady Mendl’s directly or visit their website. The salon’s contact information can be found on their official website, where you can also find additional details about their menu, events, and availability.
  3. Provide necessary details: When making a reservation, you will be asked to provide certain details, such as the date and time of your preferred visit, the number of guests in your party, and any dietary restrictions or special requests you may have. Ensuring you provide accurate information will help the staff at Lady Mendl’s cater to your needs.
  4. Confirm your reservation: After providing the necessary details, the salon will confirm your reservation, either via email or over the phone. It’s important to carefully review this confirmation to ensure all the information is correct. If there are any changes or if you need to cancel or reschedule, make sure to inform the salon as soon as possible.
  5. Arrive on time: Lady Mendl’s values punctuality and strives to provide an exceptional dining experience for all guests. It is recommended to arrive a few minutes before your reserved time to ensure a seamless and enjoyable visit.

Keep in mind that Lady Mendl’s maintains a strict reservation policy, so it’s crucial to adhere to your reserved time to avoid any inconvenience. Additionally, the salon may require a credit card to hold your reservation, especially for larger parties or during peak hours.


With these simple steps, you can secure your spot at Lady Mendl’s and look forward to a memorable and enchanting experience in New York City’s speakeasy of tea salons. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in the elegance and charm that Lady Mendl’s has to offer.



Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon is a hidden gem that offers a truly unique and enchanting experience in the heart of New York City. With its rich history, elegant atmosphere, delightful menu, and engaging tea tastings and events, Lady Mendl’s captures the essence of the sophisticated tea culture.


Stepping into Lady Mendl’s is like stepping back in time, as the salon’s vintage charm and attention to detail transport you to the glamorous era of the Roaring Twenties. The intimate and personalized setting of the salon sets the stage for memorable gatherings, intimate conversations, and culinary delights.


The menu at Lady Mendl’s combines traditional tea offerings with inventive creations that tantalize the taste buds. From the classic afternoon tea experience to the themed tea tastings and innovative brunch menu, each dish is crafted with precision and presented with style.


But it’s not just the food and drink that make Lady Mendl’s special; it’s the immersive events and tea tastings that truly elevate the experience. These events provide an opportunity to delve deeper into the world of tea, learn about its rich history, and appreciate the artistry that goes into each cup.


When making a reservation at Lady Mendl’s, be sure to plan ahead and take advantage of the salon’s limited availability. By following the simple steps provided, you can secure your spot and look forward to an extraordinary experience that will leave a lasting impression.


So, whether you’re a tea aficionado, a food enthusiast, or simply someone seeking a unique and magical experience, a visit to Lady Mendl’s is a must. Immerse yourself in the elegance, refinement, and timeless beauty that define this historic tea salon. Step into the speakeasy of tea salons and embark on a journey that will enchant your senses and create memories to cherish.