Traditional recipes

The Carlyle: A Hotel Steeped in Tradition

The Carlyle: A Hotel Steeped in Tradition

Located at 76th Street and Madison Avenue in New York City, the classic Carlyle Hotel is close to the Metropolitan and Whitney museums, Central Park, and a bevy of upscale Madison and Park Avenue boutiques and restaurants.

The Carlyle exudes elegance with its quiet location on the Upper East Side, 75-year history of presidential and celebrity clientele, white-gloved elevator operators, and lobby furniture fit for Louis XIV. The 187 guest rooms, including 59 suites, are spacious and airy, ranging from 350 to 2,600 square feet. They house English antique furniture, Italian linens on big, comfortable beds, and huge closets and dressers. Marble bathrooms offer an extensive array of Kiehl’s toiletries, and some even have whirlpool Jacuzzis, antique vanities and fixtures, and fresh orchids.

The Carlyle Restaurant is grand, with sophisticated décor including a huge fresh central floral arrangement, plush cozy banquettes, crystal chandeliers, mirrored alcoves, and a tuxedo-clad waitstaff. The menu is French-American; highlights include cured foie gras torchon, chicken-fried duck confit, scallops with butternut squash, Maine whole lobster, Dover sole, grilled ribeye with bone marrow granola, rack of lamb, and venison.

Two tasting menus are available: the larger chef’s tasting menu with seven courses for $185 and the smaller Carlyle tasting menu with four courses for $110. Two extravagant caviar options include Caspian Sea classic osetra at $198 per ounce and Caspian Sea golden osetra at $228 per ounce. Desserts include impressive raspberry, Grand Marnier, and chocolate soufflés, a chocolate mousse tower, crème brûlée, panna cotta, and a selection of sorbets and ice creams.

The intimate Café Carlyle offers a smaller menu, including old-school supper club dishes such as steak tartar, jumbo shrimp cocktail, beef tenderloin, and a crab Louie salad. Guests can enjoy classic cabaret dinner performances by talents including Woody Allen, Steve Tyrell, Judy Collins, and Alan Cumming. The café setting is highlighted by murals featuring musicians by artist Marcel Vertès.

The hotel also houses Sense Spa, a mosaic-tiled spa offering facials, massages, and body treatments. Adjacent to the spa is a hair salon and small gym.


The Cuisine of Auvergne

Fed by the terroirs of Auvergne, Cantal and Haute-Loire, Auverge cuisine is steeped in farming tradition and is famous for cabbage, which is served stuffed, marinated in a soup, or even in hotpot stewing with different pork preparations. Pork is the meat most often found on tables in Auvergne: dried ham, sausage, breaded or grilled pig’s feet, salt pork with green lentils from Puy. Auverge cuisine is also rounded out by the melt-in-your-mouth Charolais beef from Allier and Salers beef from Cantal. Often "truffade" (potatoes with fresh tomme cheese from Cantal) or aligot (another tomme cheese and potato dish) are served with these dishes, making the whole even more delectable.

Springtime fishing adds magnificent gems to the already large variety of local foods: wild trout, salmon, char, pike, and zander. Come the fall, strong meats such as venison, wild boar, waterfowl, and other game pepper local menus. This season also means Sunday afternoons spent exploring the forest for tasty mushrooms and berries. Regional cheeses include Saint-Nectaire, bleu d'Auvergne, Fourme d'Ambert, Cantal, and Salers, and should always be enjoyed with one of the five local Côtes d'Auvergne crus (vintages) available in red, white, and rosé.

Regional Specialties:

Aligot, truffade, green lentils from Puy, Auvergne hotpot, stuffed cabbage, Auvergne-style oxtail, blackberry caramels, and galets de la Cère (chocolate-covered almonds) are just a few specialties that you must discover.

Regional Cheeses:

Cheeses to enjoy here include bleu d'Auvergne, bleu des Causses, Cantal, Fourme d'Ambert, Gaperon, Murol, Saint-Nectaire, Salers, and tomme d'Auvergne.

Wines and Spirits:

The region produces vins de pays wines such as:
- Vin de pays du Bourbonnais
- Vin de pays du Puy-de-Dôme


Hotel focus: The Carlyle, NYC

JFK held parties there, Charles and Camilla used it on their last visit, and Woody Allen plays clarinet next door every Monday. Sarah Turner gives you the lowdown on New York's Carlyle hotel.

Star quality: Prince Charles and Camilla shacked up here on their last visit to the Big Apple and JFK used a secret entrance to host parties, where his guests included Marilyn Monroe. These days, The Carlyle is big on rock legends and Hollywood heavyweights, including Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Jack Nicholson, while Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes hosted a pre-wedding get-together for their families.

In fact, The Carlyle is so starry that film director Woody Allen plays clarinet every Monday in the Cafe Carlyle. Other regular performers there include Eartha Kitt and Elaine Stritch (who lives in one of The Carlyle's apartments).

Vital statistics: The Carlisle is a 34-storey Art Deco block that towers above Central Park - the higher you go, the better the views. There are 180 rooms, ranging from singles to seven-room suites, with fresh flowers at every turn and a smattering of chintz. The Carlyle is old-fashioned in the best sense of the word - it's more about staff who remember your name and extravagant flower displays than wi-fi and the latest flat-screen televisions.

Staying here is elegant and relaxing in equal measure and, since The Carlyle also houses apartments lived in by genuine New Yorkers, you'll share your lift with pampered dogs and jeans-clad owners as well as the hotel's famous white-gloved lift operators..

Location report: Minutes from Central Park and a short stroll from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as the shops of Madison Avenue, The Carlyle is the epitome of Upper East Side gracious living, with bowler-hatted doormen and wall-to-wall limousines.

Key attraction: Covered in murals by the artist who illustrated the Madeline books, Bemelmans Bar is a jewel box of a drinking den and an oasis from Manhattan madness. Next door is the equally glossy and atmospheric Cafe Carlyle, which has nightly cabaret.

Big noise: Woody Allen plays clarinet next door every Monday

In the news: The 1812 suite has a baby grand piano and is much sought after by itinerate musicians. Service is so attentive that when Charles and Camilla booked in, staff successfully searched Manhattan to find a shop to provide HRH with Marmite.

Good enough for the rest of us? Yes, The Carlyle's old-school manners mean that they treat celebrities like ordinary people and ordinary people like celebrities. It is currently made vaguely affordable by the exchange rate, but don't expect a discount for guests who visit the Cafe Carlyle - there's a $100 charge for listening to the music and dinner is obligatory. Hang around the lobby long enough and you're bound to bump into a living legend.


THE RYOKAN COLLECTION

Discover the seasonal rhythm of life in Snow Country. Settled for over 8000 years, this rich land endures not despite the heavy winters snows but because of them. During the long winter, the accumulated snow grows tall enough to dwarf a man, but never freezes to a hard iciness in temperatures hovering around zero. In spring, the downy drifts protect the shoots of wild vegetables until foragers pluck them up, tender and sweet. In summer, snow preserved under thatch provides a cooling respite from summer heat. While in autumn, soil that was allowed to rest in earnest for half the year bursts into life with a bounteous harvest.

Ryugon is a ryokan with Snow Country in its DNA. It's 29 rooms are situated in an early 19th-century farmhouse that has been lovingly renovated to preserve the most beautiful elements of the traditional architecture, including a sitting room registered as an Important Cultural Property, while adding amenities that meet the highest standards of modern luxury. A hyper-local ethos transforms timeless regional recipes into innovative fine dining and stocks the cellars with a treasure trove of Niigata-made libations, which the passionate local staff can tell you all about. Even the modern furniture nods subtly to the life-giving snow, with chairs resembling the local igloos known as kamakura and headboards slanting off to one side like a wind-blown drift.

Nestled between the steep slopes of Sakado Mountain and the picturesque farmlands around Untouan Temple, the property is well situated both for enjoying modern outdoor sports and exploring the time-honored practices that have sustained and nourished this community.

Enjoy a taste of a highly unique regional culture, steeped in long tradition and rich terroir.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Cynthia Gold is a tea sommelier at The Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers. She also frequently speaks on tea cuisine at conferences and teaches at culinary institutes around the country. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

Lisëtern has written on diverse subjects from software to travel, and considers food writing her main passion. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Review

Alice Medrich, author of Bittersweet and Pure Dessert
&ldquo Culinary Tea is authoritative, inspiring, and useful for any cook passionate about bringing new and authentic flavors to their cooking. Cindy and Lise give us a wealth of details, ideas, flavor profiles, and cooking methods in addition to tantalizing recipes. In no time you will be deglazing pans with tea, cooking rice in it, brining poultry and making soup with it, not to mention concocting ice creams, cookies and desserts. Tea may well be the next big flavor&hellip I&rsquom totally on board.&rdquo

Mary Lou Heiss, co-author of the IACP award-winning and James Beard-nominated ―-

Chris Schlesinger, co-author of James Beard award-winning The Thrill of the Grill , contributing editor to Saveur , and chef/owner of East Coast Grill
Ȫs a chef, I am always excited to get reintroduced to an ingredient that has such a universal appeal and a broad function in the kitchen. After reading Culinary Tea , I am eager to try out several innovative concepts from brining and smoking to culinary rubs. Cynthia Gold and Lisë Stern&rsquos book will satisfy everyone from the home cook to the restaurant chef and will open the eyes of every reader to the wonderful uses of culinary tea.&rdquo

Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, James Beard award-winning authors of

Joseph Simrany, President, Tea Association of the USA, April 6, 2010
&ldquoFor those of you who think you know all about tea, you have never met Cynthia Gold or her disciple Lisë Stern.  Together, they will take you on a gustatory adventure that will span the globe in search of new ways to enjoy this amazing beverage.&rdquo

James Norwood Pratt, author of The Tea Lover&rsquos Treasury and The Tea Lover&rsquos Companion
𢯪utiful, imaginative, and wonderfully clear, what Cynthia Gold and Lisë Stern have given us is nothing less than a new dimension to the culinary arts. Here is the simply indispensable work on tea with cooking and cooking with tea. In time we will all pay our compliments to the chef."

Ming Tsai, host of award-winning PBS series, Simply Ming
&ldquoEveryone loves tea, but not many know that you can cook with it as well, and not just the classic recipes like Tea-Smoked Duck. Cynthia and Lisë have put together over 250 pages filled with savory and sweet recipes that use tea as an ingredient. From the Orange Spice Tea-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Mango-Peach Salsa to the Earl Grey Cream Tea Cake, this book will take you way beyond a cup of tea.&rdquo

Nina Simonds, author of ―-

Spices of Life
&ldquoIn CULINARY TEA, tea authority Cynthia Gold and food writer Lisë Stern offer generous information about all matters of tea, including tea history and varieties, advice on tea and food pairings, and a treasure trove of intriguing and mouth-watering tea-infused recipes.&rdquo

Adam Ried, Boston Globe Magazine cooking columnist and author of Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes
"In Culinary Tea , Cindy Gold and Lisë Stern offer an inspired, information-packed, eye-opening tea-torial on every aspect of this ancient, and modern, staple. Detailed taste profiles, flavor pairing recommendations, and incredible recipes help you see, and taste, tea in a whole new light&mdashand in different cookware, too! Gold and Stern catapult tea from the cup right into the saucepan, skillet, roaster, and cookie sheet&mdashand that&rsquos just the beginning!&rdquo 


Culinary Tea : More Than 150 Recipes Steeped in Tradition from Around the World

This cutting-edge tome on one of the world's oldest ingredients and most popular beverages will be an invaluable tool for both home and professional cooks. Gold and Stern offer new ways of looking at tea: the leaves with a history stretching thousands of years is now a secret weapon in the culinary arsenal.
Tea in its many forms has been around for thousands of years, and is a burgeoning industry in many countries as the demand for specialty leaves grows. Read all about the picking and drying techniques virtually unchanged for centuries, popular growing regions in the world, and the storied past of trading.

Culinary Tea has all this, plus more than 100 recipes using everything from garden-variety black teas to exclusive fresh tea leaves and an in-depth treatment of tea cocktails. The book will include classics, such as the centuries-old Chinese Tea-Smoked Duck and Thousand-Year Old Eggs, as well as recipes the authors have developed and collected, such as Smoked Tea-Brined Capon and Assam Shortbread.


Kentucky Derby Party Recipes

Recipes to make at home for an authentic Kentucky Derby party!

Louisville and Kentucky have rich culinary traditions steeped in Bourbon, which is the inspiration for the online video series, Bourbon & Biscuits. On the show, hosts Stacey and Jessica share their favorite local food and Bourbon cocktail recipes. Here are our picks from the series for a Derby Party at home.

Mint Juleps

The mixture of four simple ingredients (Bourbon, mint, sugar and water) has been a first-Saturday-in-May tradition since 1938. More than 120,000 mint juleps are served every year during the weekend of the Run for the Roses.

1 ounce mint simple syrup
2 ounces Bourbon
Fresh mint

Pack a julep cup – preferably silver or pewter – full of crushed ice. Strain in the mint simple syrup (not getting any of the mint leaf) and add the Bourbon. Grab a bunch of the fresh mint and “spank it” between your hands to release the essential oils. Garnish your julep with the mint.

1 ½ cups packed fresh mint leaves
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Bring water to a boil and add sugar – stir to dissolve. Toss in your fresh mint and stir. Allow to cool and infuse the mint flavors before you add to your cocktail.

Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese is a fixture on Louisville menus and every good Kentucky cook has their own version with slightly varied ingredients. The spread is most often served as a sandwich or on crackers, celery or chips, but for a Derby party display we like to serve alternating pimento cheese and Benedictine finger sandwiches on crustless white bread cut into triangles.

2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 10-ounce tub of whipped cream cheese
1 4-ounce jar pimentos, chopped
1-4 tablespoons Frank’s Hot Sauce (personal to taste)

Mix together cheeses and hot sauce to taste. Gently fold in pimentos.

Benedictine

Miss Jennie Benedict invented her savory spread in a one-room kitchen in the family backyard around the turn of the 20th century and now it's a Louisville tradition.

8 ounces of cream cheese softened
3 tablespoons cucumber juice
1 tablespoon onion juice
1 teaspoon salt
A few grains of cayenne pepper
2 drops green food coloring (optional)

To get the cucumber juice, peel and grate a cucumber. Then wrap with a clean dish towel and squeeze juice into a dish. Discard pulp. Do the same for the onion. Mix all ingredients with a fork until well blended. Add a couple drops of green food coloring to make it extra festive. This can be served as a dip or as the aforementioned finger sandwiches.

Mint Julep Kisses

Mint Julep Kisses

These pastel meringues are an adorable, miniature treat for your Derby day dessert spread!

2 egg whites
½ cup sugar
1 drop green food coloring
1 drop crème de menthe extract (or peppermint)
6 oz. mini chocolate chips

Whip egg whites into stiff meringue. Slowly add sugar, then food coloring and extract.
Fold in chips. Pipe “chocolate kiss” shape swirls out of a pastry bag onto foil-lined cookie sheet.
Put into a pre-heated 325 degree oven. Immediately turn off oven and let sit overnight.
Makes 2 dozen.

Bourbon Balls

The bite-size sugary treat was created by Ruth Booe of the Rebecca Ruth Candy Co., in 1936, in Frankfort, the state capital. The story goes that the bourbon-filled chocolate balls were born as a result of a comment by the Kentucky governor, who remarked that there was no better taste than a bite of chocolate followed by a sip of bourbon.

1 stick butter
1 1-pound box powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans + whole pecans for decorating
4 tablespoons Kentucky Bourbon
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

One day ahead: Cream the butter and sugar. Add the chopped pecans, mixing well with a spatula. Add the bourbon and quickly shape into small balls. Refrigerate overnight.

Next day: Melt both the chocolates in a double boiler until the chocolate has a smooth consistency. Dip the chilled bourbon balls into the chocolate. Decorate each bourbon ball with one whole pecan on top. Place the candy on waxed paper in the refrigerator to harden.


Lafayette, LA Restaurants

Lafayette, LA has the Cajun flavors you crave, along with the freshest in Louisiana seafood, and always a little something unexpected. Homegrown chefs are putting an inventive spin on time-honored recipes with the freshest local ingredients. A distinct culinary identity as the heart of Cajun & Creole country, steeped in tradition, merges with a new generation making it an incredible place to eat. From white tablecloth to white paper napkin, all of it is incredible. But don&rsquot take our word for it.

Tastiest Town of the South
- Southern Living

Best Getaway in the South, Tastiest Town and Best Gumbo in Louisiana
- AAA Southern Traveler


Bemelmans

This article appears in January/February 2012: Issue No. 21 of Edible Manhattan.

Old-school on a barstool at the Carlyle Hotel.

In the last few years, a few of the paragons of the modern mixology movement have tried to recapture the lost art of the Manhattan hotel bar. They’ve romantically revamped the drinking dens of fusty old Midtown hotels like the Edison and Iroquois, bringing in sophisticated decor, soft lighting, cool music, jacketed barmen and old-fashioned service.

Thirty blocks to the north, Bemelmans Bar has observed this phenomenon with blasé bemusement. The Upper East Side landmark has been quietly keeping the hotel-bar torch burning for nearly three-quarters of a century inside the upper-class residential fortress known at the Carlyle. Its stature is shared by only a couple other surviving standard bearers: the Old King Cole Bar in the St. Regis and (until it recently closed—again!) the Oak Room at the Plaza.

Managing director Erich Steinbock isn’t shy about stating why he thinks Bemelmans has retained its prestigious standing over the years. “I call it a real bar,” he says. “First of all, there are no TVs. It’s conducive for people to talk to each other. It’s a little more formal. There aren’t so many great freestanding bars anymore. There are sports bars and Irish pubs, but you don’t find many bars like this.”

Bemelmans already has all the things that the taverns mentioned above are after. The banquettes are plush, the music is oldstyle sophisticated and plays nightly, and the light from the tiny lamps on the tiny tables bathes everyone and everything in a cinematic amber glow. But it also possesses a couple things the parvenus downtown will never have. The namesake murals, first and foremost. Executed by illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans, creator of the Madeline series of children’s books, they depict the four seasons in Central Park, a whimsical world of frolicking bunnies, snakes in hats, a sheep-filled Sheep Meadow and monkeys who peer in at caged bankers.The artworks’ enveloping presence makes certain that wit, art and New York café society history will never quit the room.

Running a close second in exclusivity is Tommy Rowles, a small Irish bartender who was hired in 1958. A local legend, he has wiped down the same bar for 53 years and has never had another job. Any reporter who walks into Bemelmans wants to bend Rowles’s ear, and you get the feeling that the man’s developed an earache. “The stories I have you can’t print,” he says offhandedly, in an accent whose Gaelic lilt has been sandpapered down over the years. The stories that can be printed have been printed, again and again. They involve dead people, mainly. There’s the one about Harry Truman ducking in for an Old Grand-Dad Bourbon on the rocks in order to escape an army of reporters camped out on Madison Avenue. And the ones about serving Jackie Kennedy, but not having served Jack. (He did wait on Bobby and Teddy the Kennedys have made the Carlyle their Manhattan compound for more than a half a century.)

Rowles certainly has other tales locked in his memory bank, but under lock and key they will stay. For this is the Carlyle, where the obsession with guest privacy can be, well, obsessive. “People come here from good homes,” says Rowles, “and one thing you don’t do is screw them up with what you talk about. That goes for any good home, but the rich especially.”

Rich, indeed. By management’s guess, 25 percent of Bemelmans patrons are hotel guests (rates begin at $800 a night) the other 75 percent come from hotels and homes in the immediate area. These folks have no difficultly complying with the formal, if unofficial, dress code, or affording a $285 ounce of Beluga caviar with their $21 cocktail. Or relating to the 14K-gold-covered ceiling.

If the Carlyle management and Tommy are nobly keeping mum on the subject of the Bemelmans clientele, the gossips on Yelp! aren’t nearly as discreet. “Older men are dressed with the kinds of things that the Thurston Howell IIIs of this universe sport,” writes one Yelper, in a particularly piquant portrait of a typical evening at Manhattan’s swankest saloon. “The ascot, the blazer decorated with buttons of precious metal, and slip-on dress shoes of fine velvet embellished with their initials.” On a given night, “Steve Martin is surrounded by a coterie of admiring ladies, dapper in his tux and retro rimmed glasses,” while “Al Pacino [is] at the bar (looking a little rough and ready in a hoodie), and at a table just the other side of the piano is Jean Reno.” As for practical advice: “If you want to be ignored, show up in a T-shirt and jeans. It works!”

Before finding fame at Pegu Club, cocktail-world doyenne Audrey Saunders ran the liquor program at Bemelmans from 2001 to 2005. She has her own assessment. “It feels like a modern-day Ricks Café Américain,” she says, referencing the famous, fictional watering hole in Casablanca. “It’s a very upper-crust crowd in the best sense of the word: They all have such polish, such grace, such elegance, a détente attitude. I loved looking after them. There was a small group of gents that I admirably referred to as my White-Haired Lions—semi-retired business titans who I looked up to as mentors—they would come into the bar and sit down with me, and we would always have such enjoyable, stimulating conversations together. They continually showered me with nuggets of wisdom.” (Saunders has a reason to remember Bemelmans warmly she met her husband, Robert Hess, there.)

Saunders was hired soon after the Rosewood Hotels chain of luxury hotels and resorts took over the Carlyle in 2000 and refurbished the bar. The company, looking to refresh Bemelmans’s image, brought in as a consultant cocktail legend Dale DeGroff, who helped kick off the cocktail renaissance with his retro work at the Rainbow Room in the late 1980s. DeGroff recalls, “They wanted me to redo the work manual for the bar, do training sessions and write a new cocktail menu that at least brought the bar into the late 20th century.” But DeGroff had his work cut out for him, for the Carlyle is a union hotel, with union bartenders. “There were a lot of issues,” he says. “You had Rosewood coming in. They weren’t quite prepared for the strong unions, specifically Local 6. The least senior guy was 17 years on the job. Those guys looked at me like a side dish they didn’t order.”

Tommy, in particular, was recalcitrant—but in a charmingly Irish way, of course. He refused to serve an ornate oyster shooter drink DeGroff devised because it contained food. “‘You know it’s such a pleasure to be working for you, you’re such a famous young man,’” says DeGroff, doing a spot-on Tommy impression. “‘But I won’t be able to serve the oyster shooter. It’s such a lovely drink, but I can’t handle food. I can’t go against the union, after all these years, what would happen?’” The oyster shooter was struck. But many other fine drinks were added.

When asked whom to hire to manage the new program, DeGroff recommended his protégé, Saunders, with whom he had worked at the short-lived restaurant Blackbird. “Dale had just begun the initial process of overhauling the liquor inventory, getting glassware samples, working on the cocktail list, the uniform design, everything … soup to nuts,” says Saunders. “After Dale left, they asked me to evolve the menu for the next season. When they saw how well it was doing, they basically gave me the keys to the car the season thereafter and told me to drive.”

As a nod to the Saunders era, a couple of her inventions—the Gin-Gin Mule and the Old Cuban—remain on the menu. Today, it’s the dapper and elegant Brian Van Flandern who switches up the cocktail menu seasonally. But, for all of Saunders’s and Van Flandern’s efforts to keep the drinks program cutting edge, only a fraction of the clientele truly take notice. “This being such a traditional bar, you have to have the traditional drinks,” says Steinbock. “You have your Sidecars, your Manhattans. You can never go away from that. Seventy percent of our guests drink the same drink they’ve been drinking for decades. They don’t change at all. And the other 30 percent change constantly.”

For most of the regulars, “the usual” is a Martini, says Rowles. In that way, the bar and its fans remain steadfastly rooted in the Mad Men era—as does Tommy, who, in his Eisenhower approach to the iconic cocktail, finds little use for vermouth. (One gets the impression, in fact, that he doesn’t put any vermouth in his Martinis.)

Bemelmans is at least the second name this space has worn. After all, the illustrator painted the murals in 1947, and the hotel has been around since 1930. In its first flowering, the bar—along with the areas now know as the Gallery and the Carlyle Restaurant—was known under the umbrella title of the Carlyle Regency. Ludwig Bemelmans was hired to do the murals by then-owner Robert Dowling. (How long after that his name was given to the bar is not known, but it was regularly referred to as Bemelmans Bar by the mid-’70s). Perhaps the most surprising thing about the murals is that they are no longer 100 percent Bemelmans’s handiwork. “Not all of it is original anymore, it’s been touched up so much,” says Steinbock. (After 65 years hanging around a bunch of drunks, you’d need a little help, too.) Inspect the murals closely and you’ll find telltale signs of updating. The rabbit in the far corner, for instance, is wearing roller blades and headphones. When the room was restored a decade ago, the murals had been darkened by years of exposure to nicotine. “The best way we found to get it off was Wonder Bread,” says Steinbock. Wet Wonder Bread, specifically. Slice after slice was applied to the walls.

Smoke is no longer a problem in Bloomberg’s New York, but the room still suffers wear and tear. Recently a steam pipe hidden within a painted column at the center of the bar burst the illustrations on the pillar will have to be completely recreated. For such jobs, the Carlyle has seven painters on payroll. “You need them in a place like this,” observes Steinbock. “Those guys have a full-time job.”

The painters better get it just right. Ironically, for a hotel that has changed hands a good number of times over its history, the thing the Carlyle’s cosseted denizens crave most is constancy. They don’t want anything about the hotel to change—and at Bemelmans, they largely get their wish. The murals remain the murals Tommy stays Tommy Chris Gillespie can be found playing the cocktail hour every night Tuesday through Saturday and the Loston Harris Trio faithfully arrives those same days with some after dinner music. (The piano is tuned a few times a week.) Sometimes the singers who appear over at the Café Carlyle, the swank cabaret spot just across the corridor, will drift in and jam with the Bemelmans boys. But that’s about as much as things shake up.

When Tommy finally retires, it will be a shattering day. The man not only provides a throughline to the Bemelmans Bar’s storied (or, more exactly, purposefully un-storied) history. He also contributes a welcome blue-collar antidote to the saloon’s blue-blooded atmosphere. Decades after stepping off the boat, his rough, salt-of-the-earth edges haven’t entirely been polished smooth. His hobbies, he says, include partying.

And what is Tommy Rowles’s idea of a good party? “I’m Irish,” he says. “What do you think?”


Best Scone Recipes

Category: Best, Recipes

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A collection of our best scone recipes and tips for making the perfect scones for your next high tea.

Annually held, the Australian Grand Dairy Awards are testament to the fresh and delicious produce that flavours the country’s big, light and fluffy cloud-like scones. Now, a homemade favourite, the old-fashioned comfort food is from Scotland and made with unleavened oats and cooked over an open fire. Unlike today’s handheld scones, they were the size of a medium-sized plate and so had to be cut like a cake before being served. Since, it has spread beyond its Scottish origins and become popular throughout the United Kingdom where it now is the centrepiece of a classier affair.

A Devonshire or Cream Tea is a light afternoon meal, consisting of tea taken with a combination of scones, clotted cream (thick cream), and jam. ‘Devonshire Tea’ originates from the county of Devon in England, where it is a local specialty, hence the name. In Australia, scones are typically split in two, then spread with jam and topped with a dollop of double thick cream. However the method in Devon is to cover each half with clotted cream first and then add strawberry jam on top. Whipped cream and any other jam flavour is not usually acceptable and milk should be taken in your tea.


Watch the video: Robbie Williams. Puttin On The Ritz Official Audio (January 2022).