Harney and Son – Tea Time in SoHo

On Broome Street, just a few blocks away from my office, is a little tea shop called Harney and Son. They have a large collection of teas – in bags and loose leaf – for any type of tea lover. The front of the shop has tinned teas and a little tea tasting area where you can taste the teas that they have brewing, or shop for tea accessories.

Or, you can go to the back and sit for some tea and scones – and other treats. They have these large cups, and I usually get a small teapot which fills the cup about two times. The only downside to this is that you have to drink your tea quickly if you like it hot (like I do), or you have to pour it out a little at a time.

Their scones are pretty good, I’d count it up there in the “top 3 scones that I’ve had at tea shops in New York City”, and they come in pairs so you can share it with a friend.

I haven’t tried their ice cream yet, but I have it on good authority that it’s really good, especially the chai ice cream.

I love the utensils that come with the food, everything adds a woodsy feeling, like you’re picnicking outside, not sitting in the back of a tea shop. Of course, you can also order to go, but since it’s never really busy (or, I’ve always gone during quiet times) it might be worth it to sit and read or chat. I know that everyone that’s gone there with me has loved it! The next time you’re in SoHo, give it a try (and … um … invite meeee!!)

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Il Laboratorio del Gelato

In lower Manhattan (near Houston street) you will find il laboratorio del gelato and its extremely long list of gelato flavours.

Try not to fill up on samples, you will want to have your own delicious scoop or two, or more! And definitely try to be a little adventurous, it might pay off.

I had a scoop of Choclate Amaretto Crunch and one of Honey Lavender, it was a bit of an odd combination but it was so tasty!

I love the consistency of the gelato, it has just the right amount of sweetness and flavour that it doesn’t overwhelm your taste buds.

If you’re in the area (or even if you’re not) you should give it a try! Especially on these last days of summer.

Enjoy!

Newsies Seize The Day

I’ve seen my fair share of broadway shows, but there was something special about Newsies. The set was simple; metal stairs and platforms that move around the stage and a few tables and chairs where the only props. The costumes were simple – newsboys garbs and fancy suits. What made it stand out was the singing and more importantly, the dancing.

It’s probably one of the few shows I have seen with a substantial script – compared to the number of songs. It follows the story of a group of newspaper boys who sell The World news for their bread and butter. After an unfair hike in the cost of the paper, the kids decide to go on strike. It’s a very heart warming and relatable story; it also has its share of humour. I must say, compared to the singing and the dancing, the acting didn’t shine as brightly, but it was still good.

Script and songs aside, the thing that was most appealing about the Newsies was the dancing. It was amazing to watch, I found myself smiling thought-out the entire thing. What I found fascinating as well, was the fact that Newsies had a mostly male cast. They had great chemistry between them, and the voices blended beautifully together and the dancing – oh the dancing – it was just brilliant.

One of my favourite dance sequence was Sieze the Day, it had me at the edge of my seat, especially the part with the newspaper pages! You can see them perform Sieze the Day on The View. Another favourite was the King of New York sequence.

Overall, this was a fast moving, high energy, excellent show! If you have the chance to go and see it, you should!

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

Take a walk down 7th Street and find Big Gay Ice Cream Shop between 1st Ave. and Avenue A. Continuing our Saturday outing, my friends and I stopped by this shop for some desert. There are a lot of interesting concoctions to try – Vanilla Ice Cream with Toasted Curried Coconut might not sound appetizing, but you wouldn’t know for sure until you’ve tried it!

I’m not usually an ice cream fan, but once I saw this unicorn, I was sold! Surely a store with a unicorn mural will have the most out of this world ice cream? I was not disappointed. I got the American Globs – Vanilla Ice Cream, Pretzels, Sea Salt and Chocolate Chips, and it was delicious. I loved the vanilla flavour, it was clean and smooth and everything vanilla soft serve should be.

Delicious!

Lobster Rolls at Luke’s

After creating our own fragrances, some friends and I continued our East Village adventure with a late lunch at Luke’s Lobster, a tiny little store on 7th Street, between 2nd and 1st. You can get the regular Lobster Roll with a pickle on the side, potato chips and a drink, or you can get some creative combos that include things like shrimp rolls and crab rolls.

We were lucky to get in ahead of the rush, by the time we were finished there was a line, almost out the door. The demand  for these delicious lobster rolls is not without reason, each bit was filled with yummy, buttery goodness on a warm, toasted bread – no soggy roll here!  Luke’s Lobster probably has the best lobster roll that I’ve tasted to date and it’s in the East Village so it’s easy to get to!

The Fragrance Shop

Down in the East Village of Manhattan, on 4th Street (between 2nd and Bowery) stands a little shop called The Fragrance Shop. What’s special about this little store is the fact that you can create your own signature scent and make your own perfume, scented oils, lotion, bubble bath, bath oils, anything scent/perfume related.

Some friends and I took a trip there this past weekend to create our own scents. The owner, Lolita, was very helpful and has a knack for blending different fragrances to create a unique and lovely scent. She told us to chose four fragrances that we wanted to use and then added a few of her own suggestions, mixing it together and letting us test it out on our arms to see whether we liked the way it smelled. If we did, she would re-create it in a bottle of our choice that we could purchase. If we wanted, we could also get it as a perfume, a lotion, or any of the former mentioned forms.

  

You could also get decorative bottles to hold your oils and perfumes, I fell in love with the purple bottle with the tassel and decided to buy it, I thought it would go wonderfully with the scent I created – a whimsical, flowery smell with a lavender base.

For my scent, I chose the Ambrosia, Hibiscus Passion, Heavenly and Pink Jasmin while Lolita added Lavender. After mixing everything together she made a flowery, yet subtle scent, the kind of scent that I love. I got to name my scent, so I decided to call it Fleur du Ciel, or Flowers of Heaven, inspired by the Ambrosia and the Heavenly scent.

It was very exciting to have my own fragrant oil on hand, and the great thing is, when I run out I can always go back for more as she writes down the ingredients and the quantities and keeps it for the next time we might need it. Another thing that was interesting was the fact that no one else can go in and ask for my scent, not unless I give them permission. It makes it feel exclusive to just me.

It was a wonderful experience and my friends and I had a great time mixing our own unique scents. I’m definitely going to go back for some more!

So, I ran into JT …

He didn’t look pleased, the paparazzi were all over the place and we had to run to escape them. Luckily, we ran into George who was kind enough to offer us a place to stay.

All was well until George popped the question – Lemonade? Or Iced Tea? JT wasn’t pleased.

Robin said he was more of a coffee person, and went out to look for a Starbucks.

When he returned and we were all caffeinated (one way or another) we threw ourselves a little concert. That JT sure can sing!

His song was like the siren’s, every super hero within earshot came to celebrate.

More photos from Madame Tussauds’ can be found on Flickr. It was a wonderful and fun experience, definitely worth the trip!