Thursday, July 14, 2016

Teatime at the Waldorf Astoria … a hundred years ago

Each week, as I'm looking up info on the history of tea and teatime in America, I come across great old images that I love to share. I'm so grateful to find these images in the public domain, and I also think some of these images might find their way onto tea party invitations, tea tote bags, tearoom walls, and who knows where else!

The 1914 image up top is from a menu at the Waldorf Astoria, and here is the inside of the menu. I'm surprised to find that tea was 25 cents per person (pretty pricey for back in the day), and I'm also surprised to see "Buds of Formosa Tea (Oolong)" and "Garden Young Hyson (Green)" teas on the menu. Are you?

But the menu item that puzzled me most was under the heading "Hot," and it reads, "Clear Green Turtle in Cups." I'm guessing this is turtle soup, and if so, no thank you. I'll stick with a pot of tea and one of the French pastries, perhaps the Choux Chocolat. (And I'm amused that the French pastries included "Southern Waffles.") So what would you order?


  1. I noticed that under "Hot" they offer Waffles with Maple Syrup. I wonder what distinguishes a "Southern Waffle"? I enjoy these old menus so much Angela. Thanks for sharing!

  2. What a fun menu! I know what I would NOT order - the "turtle" or the ham and tongue sandwiches, but there are several other selections that look delicious. Maybe those "Southern Waffles" had pecans in them. :-)

    1. I would decline on the ham and tongue sandwiches as well! I was hoping someone would notice that! :)

  3. I wonder what Monte Carlo toast is? I would have a tartelette and try the Russian tea. Fun menu and history!

  4. I was thinking the German Plum Cake sounded good with a cup of tea.

  5. I'll order the English Breakfast tea and toasted crumpets. I bet tea at the Waldorf Astoria is about 100 times more expensive now. :)

  6. The prices do seem a little expensive for the time. But considering the location I guess it was expected. I bet it was an exquisite event.
    I would try the green tea and crumpets.

  7. Such fun! I've saved my pennies all week, and I've decided on the Meringue Chantilly.

  8. I enjoy all things apricot so that'd be my choice today! Also, did you see that waistline of that pretty lady holding her teacup? I love vintage photos.

  9. I had to google Rillettes & when I did, I decided against that choice:
    Rillettes (/riː.ˈɛt/ or /riː.ˈɛts/; French [ʁiˈjɛt]) are a preparation of meat similar to pâté. Commonly made from pork, the meat is cubed or chopped, salted heavily and cooked slowly in fat until it is tender enough to be easily shredded, and then cooled with enough of the fat to form a paste.

    Soooo....I choose the Dartoise. Google shows that to most commonly be a puff pastry with apple pie filling. I will try a cup of Orange Pekoe as well.

    I love, love, love, the postcard art!

    Thank you posting!

  10. Great post, Angela - love the artwork, enjoy reading these menus, thanks for posting. Joanie


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