Tea Places: Bellocq Tea Atelier

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Bellocq has been on my to do list for a while and I finally made my way there last weekend. From the outside, it was a very plain and unassuming brick warehouse. The moment I stepped in the door, I was transported to wonderland for tea lovers. The entryway was decorated in the style of an enchanted forest. All of the teas were displayed in a way that made them easy to touch and smell. It definitely did not feel like any tea place I've ever shopped in. The back room was so beautiful that it looked like it could be a set for a magazine spread. We were there so early that the tea wasn't ready yet but I think it would be so relaxing to sit and enjoy a sip of tea.

The tea selection wasn't enormous but there was something for everyone. The owner was enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. I had heard that the teas are very expensive but I've seen worse. I generally expect to pay a bit of a premium for this kind of atmosphere, beautiful packaging and very good quality leaves. I wound up purchasing 2 ounces of White Wolf and 1 ounce of an unusual green tea called Tai Ping Hou Kui. When I declined a shopping bag, my teas were tied together with an adorable yellow ribbon. I will definitely be visiting this charming shop again soon.

You can find out more about this tea place here.

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Tea and Chocolate

 Instagram:  @harneysoho

Instagram: @harneysoho

Harney & Son's SoHo shop has become a favorite spot for my boyfriend and I. We definitely had to stop in this past weekend because they were having a tea infused chocolate tasting with Chocolate in Chelsea. Cathy, the chocolatier was super friendly and her creations were delicious. Jason was pleasantly surprised to find that he enjoyed the matcha chocolate because he usually isn't a fan of it. Even though it wasn't tea infused, I think my favorite was the lemon basil. It was a perfect balance of savory and sweet. After we had our fill, we sat down for some tea and sweets. The cafe was pretty busy but we were able to grab a table after a short wait. There's nothing like a hot cup of tea on a chilly day, especially when it is accompanied by vanilla scones.

You can find out more about this tea place here.

 I had the Da Hong Pao

I had the Da Hong Pao

 Jason stuck with his favorite, Choco Nut

Jason stuck with his favorite, Choco Nut

 I had the vanilla scones and Jason had some peanut butter macaroons

I had the vanilla scones and Jason had some peanut butter macaroons

Tea Places: Le Palais des Thés - Prince Street

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I'm a big fan of the French tea retailer Le Palais des Thés and I was beyond excited when I learned that they would be opening up shop in New York. I'm just a hop, skip and a jump across the Hudson River so it makes stocking up extra convenient. I have yet to visit their Columbus Circle location but I stopped into their Prince Street store last weekend. Although not a huge space, it felt light and airy with lots of glass fixtures. I love that in addition to the large tins behind the counters, they have leaves of all of their blends available for sniffing. The staff was extremely friendly, offering me a cup of tea as soon as I walked in the door on a very chilly day. I found them to be very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Although I promised myself that I wouldn't buy anything, I wound up picking up 3oz of their Grand Cru Dong Ding. I am now madly in love with this tea and my review will be coming shortly.

Last night I had the pleasure of attending their grand opening. It was very crowded but it was great to see so many people excited about tea. I was glad to see some of tea friends there including Sara of Tea Happiness , Jo of A Gift of Tea, Darlene from The Tea Enthusiast's Scrapbook, and Mario from On the Go with Mario. One of my favorite parts of the evening was getting to meet the president of Le Palais des Thés, François-Xavier Delmas. I have been an avid reader of his blog, Discovering Tea, for some time. Sadly, I forgot my camera at home but I did grab a few pictures with my phone. There was a photographer at the event and I will be sure to update once those pictures are available.

You can find out more about this tea place here.

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 François-Xavier Delmas, Mario and I

François-Xavier Delmas, Mario and I