Tea has been used since ancient times to fight illness, overcoffeed caffeine rushes, and the letter U. Pay homage to leaves' most prolific progeny with today’s Groupon: for $24, you get an afternoon tea for two (a $48 value) at Sanctuary T in SoHo.
Sift through Sanctuary T’s roster of more than 50 tea varieties, whose naturally calming effects are amplified by a cozy, serene atmosphere. Afternoon tea, served Monday through Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., provides a comfortable, intimate setting for two friends, romantic partners, or tag-team wrestlers to sample the bevy of leaf-brewed nourishment. Reminisce about favorite mythical creatures while sipping a cup of Dragonwell Lung Ching, or use the Carolina Comfort to inspire conversation about your last trip to East Carolina. Like a Victorian-era party, afternoon tea is served with assorted tea sandwiches, pastries, scones, and pinky-extension how-to guides. As antioxidants combat inner-body tangles, Sanctuary T's soft overhead light and sleek, wooden décor combat work- or traffic cone-induced stress.
While working long hours as an investment banker, Dawn Cameron often found herself dreaming of tea—of the brightness of the mint, the calmness of the chamomile, and the crispness of the matcha green. Her world was a portrait of the high-paced New York work environment, thrumming with caffeinated coffee junkies, screaming phones, and lost carrier pigeons. Seeking respite and finding none readily available, Dawn created her own: Sanctuary T.
Surrounded by the cork-paneled walls of the tranquil, sunlit dining room, her guests perch on woven chairs and wooden stools, sipping more than 70 available varieties of tea. To ensure fresh flavors, tea gurus bag each serving by hand. When explaining this process to reporters from Metromix, Dawn explained, "there's a fullness to the [teas'] flavor. When machines process the teabag, you lose that character."
Deep in the kitchen, chefs whip up innovative dishes that pair well with well-steeped beverages including tea-infused specialty cocktails lauded by reporters from the New York Post. Behind the bar, mixologists preside over extensive beer and wine lists that earned Sanctuary T designation as a Top Beer and Wine Bar from the raconteurs at Shecky's Nightlife. Shecky's writers also heaped praise on the bar's specialty cocktails, which they referred to approvingly as both "holistic" and "trippy".