Dolce Far Niente.
The sweetness of doing nothing.
As we watched Eat, Pray, Love on a random Saturday night, the single phrase that resonated with us was “Dolce Far Niente”; the sweetness of doing nothing. And sure, it might have been cruel to subject my boyfriend to a Saturday night watching the ultimate chick flick, but he really appreciated the film for what it was. Personally, I love the book. My favorite part of the book is the beginning when she was in Italy. After the movie, we were both in awe of the idea that one could experience the joy of doing nothing every day.
With bills to pay, we don’t have such a luxury. But long ago, when I worked at Starbucks, I remember looking enviously at the people on their 3rd refill of coffee, donning yoga pants and flip flops while busily stroking away at the keys of their laptop. I have always wanted to experience the freedom to work my own hours and have more flexibility for creativity. But instead I report to work 5 days per week. I clock in at 9. Take my lunch at 1. And clock out at 5. Wash. Rinse. And Repeat.
Granted, I actually enjoy having a job. It gives me a great sense of purpose. And who doesn’t love a regular paycheck? But a small part of me always wonders “Wouldn’t that be nice?!?!”
With the art of doing nothing still sitting with BR and I, we both decided that we needed a mental health day. A day to take off from work and do as we pleased. Whether we take a walk in the park. Grab a bite at a local café. Or just sit by the pool with a good book. It was long overdue and with the weather in New York City a tolerable 80* with a nice breeze, it was the perfect opportunity for such an idea.
After a leisurely morning stroll in the park with Mickey, we set to brainstorming on what to do with our full day of nothing. A quick search via some reliable food sites and I came across a list of the best places for Afternoon Tea in New York City which led me to Bosie Tea Parlor. Bosie Tea is not only in the ideal-for-walking part of the village, but it was also noted for being the best bang for our buck while providing a great afternoon tea experience. So that was that.
We arrived at Bosie Tea around 1pm on a Monday. It was empty except for a few people busily typing away on their respective laptops, sipping pots of tea. The music was a classic blues/jazz station with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Louie Armstrong and some french tunes. The music was not blaring but it was just audible enough to be enjoyed without being distracting.
The waitress, who was all smiles, was extremely patient and helpful when it came to taking our orders. We first decided on the type afternoon tea package we wanted. There were 3 to choose from. The Bosie Tea package, the Champagne Tea Package and the Chef’s Tea Package. Since the Chef’s tea required 2 days notice, we opted for the Champagne package which came with 2 pots of tea, 4 warm scones, 4 macarons, 3 tea sandwiches, 2 glasses of champagne and 2 choice desserts from the pastry case; $85. The only difference between the Bosie Tea package and the Champagne package is the addition of champagne and two choice desserts. We have made a note for future reference, to try the chef’s tea.
Once we decided on the tea service, we selected our tea. I was craving something warm and familiar and my favorite tea of all time (so far) is a hot cinnamony chai with foamy soy milk. Our waitress obliged with an enthusiastic smile and mentioned that their chai was especially aromatic. I was super excited.
Had she told me that chais were excluded from the package, I was going to opt for the Earl Grey Crème. BR ordered it so I got to have a taste. A deliciously fragrant and almost “creamy” tea. I have always loved the aroma of Earl Grey tea and think next time, I will have to indulge my curiosity.
The three tiers of deliciousness can be eaten however you wish but I suggested we work our way down from the top. My new love is clotted cream…at least with regard to warm scones and jam. I had zero reservations about smearing a heaping knife full of clotted cream and jam on ever bite. BR did the same.
In addition to choosing a type of tea, we opted when we would like our champagne (we wanted to save it for last), what types of macarons we wanted (salted caramel, maple bacon, raspberry and orange blossom) and the types of sandwiches we wanted (egg salad, cucumber, and smoked salmon).
The macarons were incredibly fresh! And while BR found them to be too sweet for his liking, I had no trouble devouring his. They have a peanut butter and jelly macaron that I MUST TRY!
The tea sandwiches were really good as well. Out of the 3 we selected, we really enjoyed the egg salad and cucumber. The spreads on the sandwiches were not overwhelming and were not messy to eat. They had a generous, yet thin layer of cream cheese/egg salad. The smoked salmon was not a hit with us which disappointed me. I am a huge fan of smoked salmon but this particular smoked salmon had some lemon zest, heavy on the lemon. I have my citrus aversions on savory food as it is; this just didn’t work for me. When we asked our waitress for a 4th sandwich, the curried chicken salad, she felt bad we didn’t like the smoked salmon and gave us a hefty discount to ensure our return.
After our curried chicken salad sandwiches, we received our champagne which immediately made me sweat like the dickens! We didn’t expect to be SO FULL! Its quite a meal.
From the pastry case, BR selected the chocolate éclair. A delicate, yet rich chocolate pastry filled with a vanilla custard. He could only finish half.
I, on the other hand, completely devoured my dessert. It was the perfect size. The Earl Grey mille crepe. Thin and soft layers of crepe with an early grey chantilly cream in between each layer topped with a burnt sugar crust was light, creamy, and the perfect end to this casual feast. What I expected to be sweet and overly fragrant was heavenly, and addicting. By far, the best dessert I have had in a long time.
We spent two glorious hours at Bosie Tea Parlor, enjoying a delicious meal, talking, and not having a care in the world about going back to work or having to be anywhere. We were so in the moment. We felt so relaxed too.
And when our waitress came back with our check, we were completely floored by the $20 she took off the check on account of a disappointing smoked salmon. Her gesture was so appreciated and so unnecessary for a $5 sandwich, that we opted to leave that $20 she took off to her tip. She wanted to ensure we would return, and that gesture alone made that strong maybe into a definite yes.
A fantastic day, for sure. We are looking forward to our next day to master the sweetness of doing nothing.