Anglophiles will rejoice this Saturday, as American Meghan Markle will become the second non-noble to steal a dashing prince off the market in what is assured to be a beautiful and opulent ceremony at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. If — like ours — your royal invitation must have gotten lost in the mail, here’s where you should be heading to check out the monarchial festivities in the grandest of styles.
Is there anything more quintessentially British than a teahouse? Though the royal wedding starts around noon British Standard Time (coverage will begin hours earlier as guests arrive), that’s unfortunately 7 a.m. here on the East Coast. If you’re not one to be in a partying mood as soon as you roll out of bed, how about a nice relaxing morning tea?
Kathleen’s Tea Room in Peekskill opens at 10:30 a.m. our time Saturday, and offers a bevy of delicious treats, high tea, and more than 60 flavors to brew at your discretion. (They’re also one of the few local shops to stock real English clotted cream for you scone-happy home bakers!) Kathleen’s will be serving a special “Royal Secret garden” tea to celebrate, while supplies last.
Hastings Tea & Coffee will likewise be offering a special beverage for the day, based off of their English Foggy Lemon brew. (Fun tea fact: You never want to add both milk and citrus to your tea or else it’ll curdle, but you can skirt this rule by choosing teas with citrus notes, including traditional Greys!)
Just as the monarchy is no longer required to marry into nobility, we’re not going to leave you beholden to the county line when it comes to great tea. Charlotte’s Tea Room in Warwick and Tea Talk in Poughkeepsie are both great options. You can also drop by one of our favorite not-quite-Westchester teahouses, Florrie Kaye’s Tea Room in Carmel, for a special afternoon celebration. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the teahouse will serve a champagne reception followed by a four-course banquet featuring etiquette commentary by Miss Manners, as highlights of the wedding play in the background. (Royal wedding attire is requested, as it will help you compete in the Best hat contest.) Tickets are $100 and going fast!
Pubs and Grub
For something a bit hardier, try one of these classic English-style pubs for good food and maybe a pint to toast the newlyweds:
Brothers Fish & Chips in Ossining serves up their namesake dish and plenty of other seafood for the hungry, sailing family. Saturday they’ll even be offering a special of fish & chips with smashed peas (sometimes called “mushy peas”).
McDonald & Peacock Cider House in Peekskill might be one of Westchester’s most English of pubs, offering Scotch eggs, toad-in-the-hole, pork pies and pasties, fish & chips, as well as a whole host of Indian street fair. (And yes, about two-dozen bottled and tapped cider, plus beer and wine.)
Equus, the restaurant at Castle Hotel & Spa in Tarrytown will also be offering traditional English breakfast, brunch, and high tea from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m., including Scottish smoked salmon, kippers, scones, crumpets (the most British pastry in existence), tea, and champagne because it is a wedding, after all! The hotel will livestream the wedding while guests can also take photos with life-size cutouts of Prince Harry and Miss Meghan.
Outside our boarders you might also want to check out Albany’s The Olde English Pub & Pantry. It’s worth a day trip in and of itself, with a menu that is equal parts old-fashioned English pub fare and modern, healthy twists (hello, CrossFit-friendly paleo menu).
Throw Your Own Royal Wedding
Alright, take it easy, we’re not suggesting you swipe Equus’ Harry cutout and live forever in your wedding dress Miss Havisham-style. What we are suggesting is that with some handy DVR-ing, you can host your very own wedding party and invite all your friends who know what Doctor Who is. (And then maybe marathon The Princess Diaries for a post-show.)
First, you obviously need tea. Many of the aforementioned teahouses sell loose and bagged teas (and plenty of brewing and sipping options), but we also highly recommend Tarrytown’s Silver Tips. Though their tea room closed after nearly two decades this past April, it was done to focus efforts on the expanding online shop, which still offers some of the best teas and tea accessories around.
Other great Hudson Valley options include Old Chatham Country Store & Café and Harney & Sons, who will be offering a free 4 oz. tin of fruit tea with any purchase of $50 or more, and a Royal Spoke Cake that uses their (otherwise sold-out) Royal Wedding blend right in its simple syrup!
You can also pick up your own lemon elderflower cake just like the royal couple from your local Stew Leonard’s! A six-inch, two-layer cake with buttercream frosting topped with sugar flowers and baby’s breath, $19.99 is far cheaper than a trans-Atlantic flight.
And If You’re More the Boston Tea Party Type…
Well, hey, royal weddings aren’t for everybody. If you still love the idea of going out to local taverns on a Saturday but don’t want to run into any celebrants, we have a couple places in mind that should be sufficiently England-free:
The Olde Bryan Inn up in Saratoga Springs and The ’76 House in Tappan are old-school colonial-era pubs. And when we say “old-school,” we mean it: the Olde Bryan was first established in 1773, as their masthead proudly announces, while The ’76 House is the New York’s oldest tavern, first built in 1754, and was where British spy Major John André was confined prior to his execution for attempting to surrender West Point with Benedict Arnold! Take a road trip, order a couple tavern burgers and a domestic beer, then blast Sex Pistols’ God Save the Queen followed by some Paul Revere and the Raiders and Born in the U.S.A.