"Please. I couldn't have another tart,"
came the remark from an elegantly dressed patron seated next to me. She was referring, of
course, to the array of dainty yet delectable desserts waiting to be noticed at The
Waldorf-Astoria's Peacock Alley. "Should I have one more?" she asked her dapper
companion as she cradled the china dish. His smile said she should, and that was the last
I saw of the frothy lemon meringue patisserie.
Strutting into Peacock Alley with Billy Crystal
|One table over and I heard a familiar refrain: "May I have your
autograph?" Billy Crystal was enjoying some fluffy eggs with Belgian waffles when he
was handed a piece of paper and a pencil. The actor smiled and shook the child's hand
which prompted his parents to chime in with, "That's my boy!"
But it's Sunday after all and that signals brunch for even the stars
at the acclaimed Peacock Alley. Located in the lobby of The Waldorf-Astoria, the grandest
hotel in New York City, Peacock Alley struts with perfection. Imposing yet surprisingly
intimate, diners can inhale the rich aroma of the tantalizing food while they tip their
glasses and drink in the glamour.
|There's a $50 price tag to such indulgence, but aren't you worth it? So is the
bill of fare with copious amounts of everything you've imagined of a brunch extraordinare.
From buttery French croissants to healthy
|Peacock Alley's buttery selections
||portions of fresh fruit, honeyed rice pudding, and lavish Eggs Benedict,
everything has a Benedictine-like effect on your senses. What's more, patrons are never
bothered by waiters hinting that you hurry, or by onlookers waiting to take your place.
|Credit the philosophy of millionaire William Waldorf Astor who, back in 1893,
dreamed of a one of a kind opulent establishment that would tingle his guests. Originally
located at 33rd Street and Fifth Avenue, in 1931 the current site was moved to span
81,000-square feet between Park and Lexington Avenues and 49th and 50th Streets.
Studying the desserts at Peacock Alley
No wonder at the time of its opening, it was the biggest hotel in the
world, and the first skyscraper hotel soaring forty-two floors above mid-town Manhattan.
Perhaps even more astonishing was the Art Deco décor that has not been replicated with
any charm or authenticity by today's nouveau hotelier.
Maybe that's just the point. No one can clone this property with its 119 suites and 123
guestrooms (no two are decorated alike) or "the hotel within a hotel." I'm
referring, of course, to The Waldorf Towers that occupies the 27th to the 42nd floors of
the landmark building. If walls could talk or sing, you'd hear from kings and queens,
business tycoons, Hollywood stars, and U.S. presidents who have stayed there. The guest
list of permanent residents includes President Hoover, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor,
Frank Sinatra, and of course Cole Porter who penned many famous melodies in his Waldorf
For sentimentalists, Porter's Steinway grand piano is in The Cocktail Terrace and plunked
nightly. Still, it will always be the composer's one-liner that added to the charm of the
popular venue. "You're a Waldorf Salad" he wrote, and today only the Waldorf can
39 East 51st Street
New York, NY 10022
Phone: 212-355-3000 or 800-WALDORF or 800-HILTONS
For Peacock Alley reservations:
Weekend specials begin at $189
# # #
"The LIVEWIRE" for Travel
Watch. Former President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association, and created the national writers conference, "The Days of Wine &
She is a travel and entertainment reporter living in the San Francisco Bay Area.
(More about this writer.)
- Web: http://www.i.am/lindamarie