From the storefronts lining Madison Avenue to the meadows of Central Park peppered with flurries, the frosty splendor of winter has whirled across New York City. As the nights are longer and the buzz of the holidays fills the crisp air, there's not a place in the world where you'd rather cozy up in a cashmere throw than the Upper East Side residences at The Kent.
While The Kent's singular views and detailed design are sure to cure any winter doldrums, another surefire way to get into the right spirit is to indulge in one of the most revered wintertime sacraments: sharing a warm drink and sugary treat with friends and loved ones. Whether you have a penchant for coffee, a taste for tea, or a yen for hot chocolate, your neighborhood will have a spot to fit any occasion.
Here are a few of our favorites:
DTUT | 1744 Second Avenue
When it's snowy, there's no need to travel all the way Downtown. Get a dose of that below-14th Street eclectic vibe five blocks away from your residence at DTUT (meaning: Downtown Uptown). DTUT's overstuffed vintage couches, reclaimed wood, and, of course, its coffee sourced locally from Irving Farms in the Hudson Valley will make fans of the television show Friends feel like they stepped into “Central Perk.” Come in during the day if you don't feel like cross-country skiing into the office to get some work done or meet up with a friend for a glass of cabernet sauvignon and the cafe's signature s'more platter that includes a personal fire to roast marshmallows over.
Two Little Red Hens | 1652 Second Avenue
For many, winter means hibernating in chunky knit wools, putting on a favorite movie, and getting toasty. But for fans of the season's culinary comforts, there's nothing better than throwing on the Canada Goose, tying up the L.L. Bean boots, and snacking on a seasonal treat from this Upper East Side icon. Although it’s busy, you'll always find a seat and a convivial atmosphere where you can roll up your sweater sleeves and dig into a slice of one of their famous desserts like silky pumpkin pie or luxurious chocolate mousse. Top off the experience: warm yourself with their Mexican hot chocolate, a glossy concoction of milk, cocoa, and a surprising and pleasant zip from hot chilis. Many have a hard time going back to "ordinary" hot chocolate after drinking this.
Kings' Carriage House | 251 East 82nd Street
For two decades, this former carriage house built in the 1870s has kept the tradition of afternoon tea alive on the Upper East Side. The location often falls under the radar of out-of-towners, but locals know that Kings' Carriage House offers a step back into a more refined, elegant time with sumptuous antique decor where diners feast upon small sandwiches stuffed with local and seasonal fare like egg and watercress and chive and cucumber. There are also sweets galore from tea cakes to lemon curd square to shortbread cookies. Pinkies instinctively flip upward once piping hot tea is poured into its fine china cup from a silver pot.