Zana Restaurant, New York City

On a recent holiday in New York, we decided to eat one night in the restaurant at street level, at the bottom of our hotel, the King & Grove.

What can I say ?

Indifferent service to the point of almost insolence.

Indifferent pizza, according to hubby.

My linguine were fine.

But it was the take-it-or-leave it attitude of our waiter that left a very poor impression.

Really wouldn’t bother eating here.

 

KIng & Grove Hotel, New York City

The hotel came recommended by a cousin, who knew it as the Lola, but by the time we arrived in Manhattan, it had changed management and its name, and become the King & Grove.

The location of the hotel is great – 29 E 29th Street – so just about all the major touristy stuff is walkable, be it 20 blocks north or 20 south.  So from that point of view, location, location, location = outstanding.

But.

I don’t think I have ever seen smaller rooms.  The word shoebox springs to mind.  With not even a kettle in the room, it was all pretty basic.  Clean, A/C, teensy safe for passports, but that was about it.

As I said, no kettle.

Cheap and nasty plastic drinking cups, those disposable ones.

Given that we were staying for about 10 nights, we asked if we could perhaps have a bigger room, so they duly moved us, to one that was infinitesimally bigger, but still no room to swing the proverbial cat.

The darkest, longest lobby imaginable, with a corner bar that didn’t seem to function (why waste the space ?  Why not serve morning tea and coffee there, perhaps ?)

I happen to dislike dark interiors, and walls which have curtains in front of them (why ?  what are they hiding behind the curtain ?  peeling paint ? rising damp ?) which is unfortunate given the décor of King & Grove :

 

 

There’s the curtain (above)…

…and the unused always-empty bar in the lobby (below)…

 

Staff perfectly friendly.

But other than location, the King & Grove really doesn’t have a whole lot going for it.

We did, however, a good discounted rate, so can’t complain.

 

www.kingandgrove.com

 

Where to source excellent tea in New York

Now I may well be teaching granny how to suck eggs here, but on a recent visit to New York (after far too long, but that’s another story) I discovered TEAVANA.

What a delicious shop, full of temptations galore.

And who knew there could be so many delightful sounding teas on offer?

I went in to buy what I described rather vaguely as Japanese rice tea, and the charming, knowledgeable shop assistant knew exactly what I wanted (is that what they are still called, by the way,  shop assistants ? Or is that a painfully old-fashioned term ?)

He showed me 2 kinds of genmaicha, and sold me a tin (which was another $7 – bit steep) :

But the tin is air-tight etc etc, and it did come with instructions :

Some of the teas in their catalogue sound heavenly – Lavender Dreams, anyone ?

If I’d read the catalogue then (as opposed to now), I might well have succumbed to Slimful Chocolate Decadence :

Ooh does that sound good or what ?

Less sure about the Rooibos Chai, even though it does skilfully blend South Africa and India, 2 big loves of my life, so who knows…

Loved the stylish decor of the Lexington Avenue shop (below) :

 

Personally tried and tested (and even tasted !) and therefore recommended.